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Willem Breuker Kollektief
Willem Breuker: 45 Years Composing His World
Ars Nova Workshop is pleased to announce this incredibly rare performance by the Willem Breuker Kollektief. The Dutch composer Breuker died in 2010, and his will stated that this 10-piece ensemble he founded in 1974 tour only one more time following his death. For this final U.S. tour, the Kollektief presents an overview of compositions written by Breuker since 1965, including pieces that have never previously been performed.
The Dutch composer, multi-reedist and bandleader Willem Breuker's “jump-cut style and theatrical panache made him a contrarian hero of European jazz,” writes The New York Times. Born in Amsterdam, Breuker was a member of the Globe Unity Orchestra alongside Peter Brötzmann, Manfred Schoof and Alexander von Schlippenbach, and in 1967, he co-founded the Instant Composers Pool with fellow Dutch experimental musicians Han Bennink and Misha Mengelberg.
In 1974, the same year Breuker founded the BVHaast record label to elevate the work of Dutch jazz musicians, he founded the Kollektief. The 10-piece ensemble became a platform for mixing jazz and improvised music with Dutch music theater. Breuker composed over 500 works, and is considered an authority on the composer Kurt Weill. Often classified as a “madcap,” Breuker was celebrated as a postmodern composer unafraid to combine high and low culture, and to take extreme musical risks.
Ars Nova Workshop is a Philadelphia nonprofit jazz and experimental music presenting organization. As a facilitator between artists and their audiences, Ars Nova Workshop works to inform, inspire and challenge listeners in order to elevate the role of jazz, improvisation and experimental music in contemporary culture.