End and Beginning

concert with light installation (2020)

Photo by Kazumi Kurigami, Graphic design by Simo Tse

It was only until after the collapse of the Soviet Union, that the work of composer Galina Ustvolskaya (Petrograd, 1919-2006) received the international platform it deserves. Thanks to the famous conductor and pianist Reinbert de Leeuw, who brought Ustvolskaya’s work to the world stage, she is today known as the most innovative composer of the last century. No other composer moves us like the lady with the hammer does. Together with an extended family of unique voices, artist/director/pianist Tomoko is continuing the legacy of de Leeuw, who passed away earlier 2020.

For End and Beginning the world-renowned composer Alexander Raskatov wrote a new composition ‘Bells’ (2019), using the same unusual instrumentation, and this exceptional gathering of musicians as Ustvolskaya’s “Dies Irae” (1973).

Even though preparations of the End and Beginning started far before the pandemic, the appropriately titled work reflects the conditions we currently find ourselves in. With eight double basses, percussion and a piano on stage, the performers invite their audience to collectively reflect on closing chapters, new beginnings and creative evolution against our unprecedented circumstances.

In response to the pandemic, from earlier 2020, Tomoko Mukaiyama and Reinier van Brummelen started collaborating a series of livestreams and virtual concerts.

Together with technical director Luftzug / Yutaka Endo, three unique performances, spanning across three venues with the same program, were delivered live from Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ (Amsterdam), Korzo (Den Haag) and De Zeeuwse Concertzaal (Middelburg).



Concept and Direction: Tomoko Mukaiyama
Light Installation: Tomoko Mukaiyama / Reinier van Brummelen
Composers: Alexander Raskatov / Galina Ustvolskaya
Technique: Yutaka Endo
Sound Engineer (Live streaming): Yuji Tsutsumida
Camera (Live streaming): Reinier van Brummelen / Reinier Zoutendijk

Andrea Dettori, double bass
Cody Takacs, double bass
Louis van der Mespel, double bass
João Marcelino, double bass
Dominique Chabot, double bass
Goncalo Feijao, double bass
Pedro De Elvas Raposo, double bass
Quirin van Regteren Altena, double bass
Niels Meliefste, percussion
Tomoko Mukaiyama, piano

Galina Ustvolskaya – Composition No. 2 ‘Dies Irae’ (1973) for eight double basses, piano and percussion
Alexander Raskatov – ‘Bells’ (2019) for eight double basses, piano and percussion

Co-production: Koninklijk Conservatorium Den Haag, Korzo
Supported by: Fonds Podiumkunsten, Eduard van Beinum Stichting, Ammodo, Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds, Fonds21, Stichting Dioraphte, & BNG Cultuurfonds


16 September 2020, Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ, Amsterdam (NL)