Three very talented young musicians, Raoul Steffani (baritone), Laetitia Gerards (soprano) and Ramon van Engelenhoven (piano), laureates of the Prinses Christina Concours in the Netherlands and Conservatory students, will perform on May 7th at the First Presbyterian Church in LA and on May 10th in San Francisco at the Legion of Honor Gould Theater.
The Prinses Christina Concours has been organizing competitions for young musicians for more than forty years. Each year around 500 participants take part in the Princess Christina Concours for classical music. There are also editions of the competition for young composers and jazz musicians.
The Netherland-America Foundation (NAF) and the Dutch Consulates have invited the laureates to perform in the US. Every year, the Prinses Christina Concours organizes many concerts abroad for their laureates in order to improve their network and gain international exposure.
For more information and tickets, visit the website of the NAF.
Raoul Steffani, Baritone
Raoul Steffani (1992) started piano and singing lessons at a young age, and studied classical singing at the University of Arts in Tilburg. Currently he studies at the Conservatory of Amsterdam. He attended master classes by the famous Dutch singers Elly Ameling, Margreet Honig and Hubert Delamboy. He won several prizes at regional competitions of the Princess Christina Concourse. In 2013 he was invited by the Dutch Embassy in Greece to sing at concerts in Athens and Crete.
Raoul has performed several opera roles on stage, such as Porgy (Porgy and Bess by Gershwin), Dr. Falke (Die Fledermaus by Strauss Jr.), Aeneas (Dido and Aeneas by Purcell) and Papageno (Die Zauberflöte by Mozart). He also sang solo parts in oratorios and cantatas by Bach and Händel. He has performed in theatres in Paris, Innsbruck, Lindau, Amsterdam, the Hague and Maastricht. Raoul is also active in the more intimate “Lieder Genre” and performed songs by Robert Schuman, Vaughan Williams and Aaron Copland.
Ramon van Engelenhoven, Concert Pianist
Ramon van Engelenhoven (1995) started learning to play the piano at the age of six and today he continues his advanced studies at the Conservatory of Amsterdam. In addition he attends master classes by well known pianists in the Netherlands and abroad.
In 2012 Ramon was awarded first prize at the Dutch Steinway & Sons Piano Competition, after which he represented the Netherlands at the prestigious International Steinway Festival in Hamburg. In April 2013 he received a first prize at the national finals of the Princess Christina Concourse competition in the Hague, and was selected to represent The Netherlands at the Lions European Music Competition held in Istanbul in October 2013. Ramon has performed in foremost European venues such as the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Philharmonie in Haarlem and the Laeiszhalle in Hamburg. He has performed live for Dutch Radio 4. He regularly gives concerts and recitals. Last year he and Laetitia Gerards received a personal invitation by Princess Christina to perform at the CIMA Festival in Porto Ercole ( Italy).
Laetitia Gerards, Soprano
Laetitia Gerards was born (1993) into a musical family. At the age of six she started to learn play the Cello. Later on she attended singing and drama lessons, including two years Musical Theatre at the Fontys Conservatory of Tilburg. Currently, she studies classical singing at the Conservatory of Amsterdam. In 2009 she won prizes at the Junior Deutekom Concourse for singers, and in April 2013 she was awarded a first prize at the national finals of the Princess Christina Concourse in The Hague.
Laetitia has performed all over The Netherlands, including the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. Last April she was invited, together with other prize winners of the Princess Christina Concourse, to sing in Buenos Aires on the occasion of the coronation of King Willem Alexander and Queen Máxima. She and Ramon van Engelenhoven received a personal invitation by Princess Christina to perform at the CIMA Festival in Porto Ercole ( Italy) in 2013.