Ben on Tour

ITF 2003 - Helsinki, Finland


This year ITF, held in Helsinki, was a big success, a big success for the organization but also for a huge Dutch contribution.


Alain Trudel and Jonas Bylund after their
windband concert on Wednesday evening.

The organization had put together a very nice program in a friendly surrounding. The Helsinki Conservatory had enough possibilities to host this rather small festival. Rather small when you compare this years festival with festivals like Utrecht and Denton. Although the program was good I missed some diversity; there could have been a bit more contemporary Theater style repertoire, Baroque style, there was no Pop or Folk (Salsa or other) styles which also have important trombone features these days and this made the festival a bit to equal in my opinion.

The NTC victory with Becquet, Thein, Malmivirta, 
van Dijk, Sumerkin, van Lier and Greenal.

As Dutchman I was very proud to witness the success of Jorgen van Reijen, Brandt Attema and the New Trombone Collective. Both J�rgen and Brandt showed their soloistic qualities; Brandt played a super contrabass trombone presentation and both were part of the success of the concert by the New Trombone Collective. It's really a treat to listen to and watch these youngsters during their concerts and as Friend, Colleague and teacher I had the time of my life.

Jorgen van Reijen, Bart Claessens and Mark Boonstra
in a stunning trombone trio!

Brandt Attema after his awesome performance of the Ewazen Capriccio.

Derek Bourgeois Scherzo Funebre, the NTC optimaforma!!!!

Gospel Time with guest soloist Bart van Lier.

Who is the soloist in Blue Bells of Scotland,
Pierre Volders-percussion or Jorgen van Rijen-trombone?.

"The New Trombone Collective has raised the standard of trombone ensemble playing to new heights with its creative programming and artistic excellence. Students and teachers alike can learn from the ensemble's excellent musicianship, ensemble skills and basic trombone playing. Its CD belongs on every trombonist's shelf, and should be studied in great detail. This ensemble provides ample justification for stating that some of the finest trombone playing in the world is happening in The Netherlands."

Vern Kagarice, Professor, University of North Texas 

Jiggs Wigham, Bart van Lier, Ben van Dijk
and the NTC (Nico Schippers is the Incredible Beerman!)
 having a good time in Helsinki.

Conversation with Thein and Courtois, 
Jiggs together with Jan and Vern Kagarice, 
Michel Becquet signing a Japanese gigbag 
and Antoine Ganaye and Brandt having a chat.

For me one of the highlights of this year's festival was the performances of Bart van Lier and Jiggs Wigham during the Jazz concert. Both showed there unlimited abilities on the trombone in combination with an emotion I miss so often in trombone playing in general. Jiggs Ballad playing is from an other planet and Bart's control over the instrument and his Dixie is breathtaking!

Bart van Lier's incredible performance during the Jazz-evening's concert

Ben van Dijk receives his ITA 2003 Award
 from ITA president Nathaniel Brickens!

For me this year's festival was also very nice because of the ITA Award I received. I didn't play so had no stress and could enjoy this event fully. Also, it was so nice to see all the friends I gained in the last 20 years; Michel Becquet, Alain Trudel, Ricardo Casero, Jay Friedman, Jiggs Wigham, The Kagarices, Jonas Bylund, Heinz Faddle, Dennis Wick and many more.

Dennis Wick, Michel Becquet, Victor Sumerkin,
Heinz Fadle and Ben van Dijk

Martin van den Berg and Ben van Dijk.

This year's exhibitions were visited very frequently and this was very welcome for my friends Max & Heinrich Thein; many interested trombonists tried out their great instruments!

Max & Heinrich Thein and Ben van Dijk.

Many tried out the beautiful Thein instruments.

Michel Becquet on the Thein soprano trombone.

Ricardo Casero plays the Thein tenor trombone.

Dennis Wick also gave it a blow. Still going strong!

Published Sep 01 2003, 11:27 AM
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Bass trombonist of the Rotterdam Conservatory "Codarts" Ben is professor at the Rotterdam Conservatory "Codarts. He plays exclusively "Thein" tenor-bass and contrabass trombones.
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