On 1 January 2007, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw briefly became Paradise Regained, thanks to the NBE. In Paradise, everything is nice all the time. There is no hunger, no war, everybody is healthy, everybody is friendly and of course the music is always heavenly. What do you mean no surprises? No excitement? Nothing to be thrilled or overwhelmed by? Paradise… oh well.
Special guests for the 2007 New Year’s Concert were musicians who originally came to the Netherlands as refugees, and who are trying hard to make a living. Singer Minyeshu and her band are from Ethiopia, trumpet player Raphael Mamudu is from Nigeria, protest singer Evode Ntahonankwa from Burundi and Achmed Omer Hassan is a budding singing talent from the Kurdish part of Iraq. This year’s Young Composers’ Contest – a firmly established tradition by now – received entries from more than 120 children and youths from the Netherlands and the Flemish part of Belgium.
They wrote, played and sang about their visions of Paradise: what it might feel like, who they would expect to encounter, and whether or not it exists in the first place. The four winners were invited to perform their compositions on stage with the NBE during the New Year’s Concert.
Soloists Minyeshu Kifle Tedla (vocals), Raphael Mamudu (trumpet), Evode Ntahonankwa, Achmed Omer Hassan (vocals)
Young composers Maya Lievegoed & Brita Lemmens, Hans Blok, E-sevensharp (Wannes Salomé, Efraïm Salari, Jeroen Batterink, Camille Jansen), Eline Mann