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Rorate Caeli: a new composition for Advent

“Drop down, ye heavens, from above,
and let the skies pour down righteousness.
Let the earth be opened and send forth a Saviour.
The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the firmament sheweth his handy-work.”
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Due to the new Dutch partial lockdown, today’s Advent Concert of the Leidse Cantorij was cancelled, which meant this composition was not premiered.However, the choir kindly recorded their rehearsal earlier this month and they have allowed me to share their second rehearsal.
I hope you enjoy this composition!
Wishing you a safe, healthy, and happy final week of Advent, and many Christmas blessings!
2021-12-20T15:39:58+02:00December 20th, 2021|

An interview on BBC Radio 4

Emma was delighted to have been interviewed for BBC Radio 4’s Sunday Programme, together with composer Thomas Hewitt Jones. The Sunday Programme focuses on contemporary religious and ethical questions, both serious and light. This week’s programme investigated Christmas music. I hope you enjoy the short extract!

2021-12-12T11:09:13+02:00December 12th, 2021|

Remembering infants who passed away

Each year, on the second Sunday of December, candles are lit around the world at dusk to commemorate the children and babies who died in infancy. In Emma’s hometown, Leiden, the local hospices and the city council organise an annual remembrance ceremony. Emma will join flutist/saxophonist Pieter de Mast and pianist/organist Sebastiaan van Delft to perform two songs during the ceremony. The ceremony will be broadcast privately to the families concerned.

2021-12-02T17:03:12+02:00December 8th, 2021|

“Populus Sion” an introit for Advent

Emma is grateful to the Leidse Cantorij for singing her introit for the second Sunday of Advent for the Leiden inner-city congregation last Sunday, in the Hooglandse Kerk. The text, “Populus Sion” is from the Gregorian Missal. The Leidse Cantorij have sung at St. Paul’s Cathedral, York Minster, Gloucester Cathedral and at the royal wedding of HRH Pieter-Christiaan, Prince of Orange-Nassau.

The Leidse Cantorij is conducted by Hans Brons.

2021-12-07T21:17:16+02:00December 7th, 2021|

Remembering Erna Eisner Abramowitz

Last month I was asked to sing in a place where I never though I would experience music: the former Nazi transit camp in Westerbork, the Netherlands.

Over 97,000 people passed through Camp Westerbork. Almost all of them were transported to Auschwitz and Sobibor and murdered.

One of the prisoners was soprano Erna Eisner Abramowitz. She sang for Camp Commander Gemmeker in his entertainment evenings. Through her performances, she was able to postpone further deportation for herself and her family. But after the very last concert, the camp commander withdrew all exemptions. Erna and her family were transported and murdered.

The recordings took place on the very spot where Erna sang her last performance.

Please take a moment to watch the documentary (in Dutch) so that Erna’s memory is not forgotten.

The documentary is part of a series to mark the 75th anniversary of the Dutch War Graves Commission.

2021-12-04T13:59:42+02:00December 4th, 2021|

Christmas Tattoo

On 11th December Emma will perform as a guest soloist at the Leiden Christmas Tattoo, with five orchestras, as well as dancers and actors. The event will be held on the Pieterskerkplein in Leiden, the Netherlands. Tickets are available through Marching Band Management.

2021-12-04T13:57:29+02:00December 3rd, 2021|

Singing in Westerbork Transit Camp

Last week I sang in a place where I would never have expected to have heard music. Camp Westerbork, in the Netherlands, was a Nazi transit camp during the Second World War. Over 97,000 people passed through Camp Westerbork. Almost all of them were transported to Auschwitz and Sobibor.

Singing there was intense. When the recordings are released you will see why. It is a deeply tragic story. The recordings were for an episode in a series of mini-documentaries to make the 75th anniversary of the Dutch War Graves Commission, presented by Lisa Wade, with IDTV.

They document the lives of Dutch people during the Second World War. The series, “Lang Zouden Ze Leven” can be seen on the website of the Dutch War Graves Commission.

2021-12-02T16:59:55+02:00November 30th, 2021|