Jeroen Berwaerts performs at the BBC Proms 2019

Jeroen Berwaerts will perform Tobias Broström’s double concerto for two trumpets, together with Håkan Hardenberger, at the BBC Proms 2019.

On the 25th July, Jeroen Berwaerts will perform with the BBC National Orchestra Wales at the prestigious BBC Proms. Performing Tobias Boström’s ‘Nigredo: Dark Night of the Soul’, he will be joined on stage by fellow trumpeter Håkan Hardenberger. We took some time to catch up with Jeroen to talk about the Proms.

For musicians, the BBC Proms has a very special place in their hearts. Considered one of the world’s greatest classical music festivals, over the years audiences have enjoyed a wealth of unforgettable musical moments and artists too.

‘In my time as an orchestral player I have performed several times at the BBC Proms and I truly believe that they are one of only a few concerts and festivals in the world that are magical before you even go on stage. What I find extremely unique, is the closeness to the audience whilst being in such a huge hall.’

Tobias Boström’s ‘Nigredo: Dark Night of the Soul’ is still a relatively new piece having only had its premiere in March this year. It’s a great addition this is something that Jeroen hopes will truly demonstrate the versatility of the trumpet.

‘When you study the score of a new piece it’s of course our plan, our guide, the roadmap with only a little freedom.

In March we played Tobias Boström’s Nigredo for the first time at a concert in Sweden and I can say that his writing is of a very melodic nature full of tension and colours which is exactly how I would describe the trumpet. A musical instrument with a wide range in dynamics and in turns of character, it can speak softly, sweetly and smoothly but can be aggressive if needed.

I’m really pleased to be performing again with Hakan Hardenberger whom I admire a lot. I used to practice with his CD until I could get along with the music on it. We met 3 years ago in Sweden, where I played a recital including Ligeti’s ‘Mysteries of the Macabre’ and he was listening, you can imagine how that felt.

If I had to sum up my profession in a few words, I could say that is a constant process of learning and improving. Working with Hakan now is taking this to the next level, it is a dream come true.’

With performance such an integral part Jeroen’s love of the trumpet, it’s clear that the wide range of repertoire that the trumpet enjoys is something that drives this passion.

‘Being versatile is very important to me, I always believed that “Variety is the spice of life”. I cannot do just one thing, I need that variety to keep it interesting. The perfect month for me would be a new trumpet concerto, a few concerts with some Jacque Brel Chansons and a discussion with my students about “10 rules for students and teachers” by John Cage. I could happily include a Mahler V at the end there. I don’t like borders, not physical nor in our heads. We always feel the need to be a part of a group. Either you like classical music, or Jazz, or this or that. I just love and live music.’