150 years of KVNM

On 19 November 2018 the KVNM (Royal Society for Music History of the Netherlands), the oldest musicological society in the world, will celebrate its 150th anniversary.

A. Gilbers: Jan Pieter Heije

Since its founding in 1868 by Jan Pieter Heije, an Amsterdam medical doctor and music lover, the KVNM has aimed at promoting research and improving access to Dutch musical heritage. Throughout its long history, the Society has done research into music from the Netherlands, starting with the Renaissance, with the purpose of making it available through publication and ready for performance.

This jubilee affords the KVNM with a unique opportunity to call attention to Dutch musical heritage, and to contributions by the Society to the history of musicology, both nationally and internationally.


Exhibition and Documentary

Our jubilee activities are divided into two periods, connected by an exhibition and a documentary film on the history of the KVNM. The exhibition at the downtown University Library in Utrecht runs from 24 August through 24 November 2018.

Symposium ‘Editing the past’

On 30 and 31 Augustus, during the Utrecht Early Music Festival, an international symposium was held on the topic of interaction between editors and performers in the world of new digital possibilities, in cooperation with the Stichting voor Muziekhistorische Uitvoeringspraktijk (STIMU, Foundation for Historical Performance Practice).

Josquin Desprez was one of the subjects of the symposium. The KVNM has published his oeuvre twice, the New Josquin Edition was completed in 2017. The Utrecht Early Music Festival celebrated the jubilee of the KVNM with a concert series dedicated to Josquin, with daily concerts at 5PM and a number of evening concerts.

Abraham van den Tempel: David Leeuw and his family (1671). Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum
Festival Week: 19-24 November

The Festival Week will open with a celebratory get-together for members and guests on 19 November, the actual birthday of the KVNM. At this occasion we will present the publication Muziek in de Republiek by Rudolf Rasch, plus a special jubilee number of our journal, the TVNM. In addition, a project choir will perform a reconstruction of part of the very first concert with music from the KVNM publisher’s list, held on 15 April 1878 and conducted by Daniël de Lange.


On 20 and 21 November the Utrecht Kamerkoor and the VENUS chamber choir will each give a concert with works from the KVNM publisher’s list. In the same week, pianist Annette Middelbeek will give a short recital, and the USQ will perform during a lunch break concert, together with students of the Utrecht conservatoire.

International KVNM-symposium: 22-24 November

The Festival Week will close with an international congress on the role of musicological societies as intermediaries between scholarship, musical life and society. At this congress we welcome musicologists, musicians, our international sister societies, interested music lovers and students.

Performances from the KVNM Publisher’s List

Various conservatories are encouraging their students to develop projects based on KVNM editions. In addition, choirs, orchestras and ensembles stand a chance of winning free KVNM sheet music.