‘It’s natural for me to explore and connect the dots. I myself am a mixture of the artistic research I do throughout my life and my love for icons of jazz like Lennie Tristano or Wayne Shorter.’
The improvisational now
‘There’s nothing more exhilarating than transforming musical traditions of centuries into a single point in time: the improvisational now.’
‘Jazz, Western classical music and Middle Eastern music are deeply rooted within my system. Foreign techniques drive my search for original ways of composing. I love to make rich harmonies and poetic rhythms collide and merge, preferably in fascinating meters such as 23/8 or 11/4.’
Percussionist Vinsent Planjer and bass player Tony Overwater are of like mind. The Rembrandt Trio have travelled the world with original compositions, and collaborate with jazz colleagues like Paolo Fresu and Sylvain Rifflet.
‘Rembrandt Frerichs’ playing is as memorable as his first name: a young musician with remarkable chops who’s also developed an easily-recognisable— All About Jazz
Rembrandt Frerichs – ‘Spring Bells’
The Rembrandt Frerichs Trio live at the BIMhuis Amsterdam, 2015. The original composition is also featured on the trio’s album ‘A Long Story Short’.
Rembrandt Frerichs Trio – ‘The Big Over Easy’
Rembrandt Frerichs on piano, Tony Overwater on double bass & Vinsent Planjer on drums. Live at the BIMhuis Amsterdam, 2020.
Fresu & Frerichs perform ‘I fall in love too easily’
Paolo Fresu, trumpet & Rembrandt Frerichs, piano. ‘I fall in love too easily’ composed by Jule Styne with lyrics by Sammy Cahn. Live at the BIMhuis, Amsterdam in 2015
Rembrandt Frerichs Trio – Live at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam
Rembrandt Frerichs – ‘Silberschmitt’ played by Rembrandt Frerichs on piano, Tony Overwater on double bass & Vinsent Planjer on drums.
Live at Jazz International Rotterdam 2017
Verneri Pohjola – trumpet, Sylvain Rifflet – saxophone, The Rembrandt Frerichs Trio. For the concert series of ‘Music made in Europe’, live at LantarenVenster Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
The classical now
‘When Mozart performed, he played Mozart. And he improvised. In that respect, I might be closer to the old composers than many contemporary classical musicians.’
Strong personalities embrace Rembrandt’s contemporary way of working with classical structures as a challenge to get out of their comfort zone. Among them are Liza Ferschtman and Rick Stotijn (Netherlands), Hugo Ticciati, Mahan Esfahani and Dominic Seldis (United Kingdom).
Classical ensembles invite Rembrandt for compositions or collaboration, such as Holland Baroque, Amsterdam Sinfonietta, Netherlands Chamber Orchestra, Cello Octet Amsterdam, New European Ensemble and the Cello Biennale. Musicians of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra have commissioned a piano concerto to be premièred in 2021.
Original compositions – A selection
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Rembrandt Frerichs – ‘Pier and Ocean’
Original composition for Dutch television programme ‘1oo Years Mondriaan and De Stijl’. Rembrandt Frerichs – piano, Maria Paula Majoor – violin, Benjamin Glorieux – cello, James Oesi – double bass
Rembrandt Frerichs – ‘Concerto for Baroque Orchestra and improvising soloist’
Emmanuel Holguin, Giulia Ott and Jean-Baptiste Haye perform together with Holland Baroque. Live from the finale of the Dutch Harp Festival.
Rembrandt Frerichs – ‘Mondriaan Tracks Nr. 10’
Original composition, performed with Dominic Seldis – double bass, on Dutch classical television programme Podium Witteman.
Rembrandt Frerichs – ‘ Leitmotiv in zehn Antworten’
Liza Ferschtman – violin, Mahan Esfahani – harpischord. Live at Concertgebouw, 2018.
Shaping new piano sounds
For the purpose of better blending with the classical Middle Eastern instruments such as kamancheh, târ, oud or qanun, the Rembrandt Trio developed an alternative sonic layout.
The 18th century fortepiano, forerunner of the modern grand piano, can be tuned like a santur, the Persian cimbalom. The violone dates from the early Renaissance; it precedes the double bass. With six strings and lighter timbre, it can fulfill a melodic, harmonic as well as a bass function. The Whisper Kit, an invention by Vinsent Planjer, brings together percussion instruments from various cultures and periods, creating a rich rhythmic basis.
The Rembrandt Trio performs on a regular basis with some of the most iconic stars in world music, such as masters of Persian music Kayhan Kalhor and Hossein Alizadeh.
‘One of the highlights of the North Sea Jazz Festival’— Jazz Magazine
Rembrandt Frerichs – ‘Offering’
Kayhan Kalhor, kamancheh & Rembrandt Frerichs Trio. Live at Dutch classical television programme Podium Witteman, 2018.
Kayhan Kalhor and the Rembrandt Frerichs Trio live on tour
Kayhan Kalhor – kamancheh, Rembrandt Frerichs – fortepiano & harmonium, Tony Overwater – violone & double bass, Vinsent Planjer – Whisper Kit. Recorded at concerts in October 2016.
Kayhan Kalhor and the Rembrandt Frerichs Trio
First concert of Rembrandt Trio and Kayhan Kalhor. Live at contemporary music festival November Music 2013, the Netherlands.
Hossein Alizadeh & Rembrandt Frerichs Trio – Tour trailer
Hossein Alizadeh – shurangiz, Rembrandt Frerichs – (forte)piano & harmonium, Tony Overwater – violone, Vinsent Planjer – drums. Featuring Ali Boustan – shurangiz and Saba Alizadeh – kamancheh. A trailer of various tours.
Hossein Alizadeh & Rembrandt Frerichs Trio – Gusheh ‘Nahoft’, Dastgah Nava
Hossein Alizadeh – shurangiz, Rembrandt Frerichs – fortepiano & harmonium, Tony Overwater – violone, Vinsent Planjer – Whisper Kit.
Festivals seek after Rembrandt’s expertise and ability to create unorthodox musical connections by giving him carte blanche on programming.
Among them are contemporary music festival November Music, literature festival Crossing Border and Classical Encounters The Hague, and renowned concert halls such as Concertgebouw Amsterdam, De Doelen Rotterdam and TivoliVredenburg Utrecht (Netherlands).
With the Rembrandt Trio, he initiates a yearly series ‘Music made in Europe’, celebrating the best of European jazz and improvised music, with guests such as Paolo Fresu (Italy), Vincent Peirani and Sylvain Rifflet (France) and Verneri Pohjola (Finland).
In cooperation with leading museums in the Netherlands, the trio explores the space for musical improvisation and visual arts in ‘The Art Of The Trio’.
‘In the composition Zombi Zua by Misha Mengelberg, Rembrandt is an alter ego of the composer, his playing being so obstructive and headstrong.’— Friesch Dagblad
Rembrandt is professor Jazz piano at the Conservatory of Utrecht. As a guest teacher he regularly works with new generations at the conservatories of Padova (Italy), and Rotterdam, Groningen, Amsterdam and Den Haag in the Netherlands.
Many of his compositions have been used for TV documentaries and theatre plays.
Rembrandt plays a Chris Maene fortepiano especially built for him by and on very kind loan from the Dutch Musical Instruments Foundation.
In addition to the selected discography, albums released with Rembrandt as leader include:
- Self Portrait (2006)
- Ordem & Progresso vol. I & II (2009)
- Sehnsucht (2010)
- Levantasy (2011)
- Continental (2012)
- Acoustic Compass (2013)
- A Long Story Short (2014)
- Living Here (2017)
- The Contemporary Fortepiano (2018)
- It’s still autumn – feat. Kayhan Kalhor (2019)
- Graffiti Jazz (2020)
- Same Self, Same Silence — feat Hossein Alizadeh ( 2021)