Every year at the end of August and just after Christmas, ‚Stift‘ in Twente in the beautiful Eastern Netherlands turns into a hugely vibrant center of chamber music. Over 30 concerts in nine days, from intimate chamber music by candlelight in the medieval Stiftskerk to the Festival Ochestra, film screenings, family concerts, “Stift Unbound” and open air operas at stunning Twickel Castle. The gorgeous estates and ancient churches form the backdrop for a colorful, ambitious and very atmospheric festival, full of striking, adventurous musical personalities that take you on an emotional musical journey.
Ever since the first edition, “Stift” has made a lot of room for new music and world premieres, woven into an imaginative thematic programming where beloved masterpieces go hand in hand with lesser known repertoire. Our mission is to bring together world-class musicians with an adventurous heart and a passion for communicating in lovely setting of the Twente nature, atmosphere and conviviality: We are delighted to keep you informed.
“ Het Stift, in the eastern Netherlands area known as Twente is where I grew up, after my parents moved there from London when I was three years old. It was the perfect place for my father to compose, surrounded by the peaceful beauty of this at that time recently restored small village around the 15th century Stiftkerk – one of the most beautiful and unique small churches in Holland. It also proved a wonderful place to grow up, and I would practice my violin overlooking the old oak trees and the church. It was the place I played my first recital, heard my father perform often and it’s very much connected to the family. So maybe it was inevitable that in 2004 the idea sprung up in my mind to start a festival there. The first edition was in August 2005, and the Festival has become something very close to my heart. My ideal is to bring together a colourful group of adventurous-minded musicians for a week in this extremely beautiful setting, and to strive for programmes which are full of contrasts, surprises and imagination, with plenty of space for both 20th century classics and new works. „