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Anke de Bruijn had her first recorder and classical piano lessons at the age of five and seven respectively. As a teenager, she played and sang in the local church and gospel choir band and taught herself to improvise on the piano. Born in 1970 into a German-Dutch family she initially followed her passion for languages and studied English literature and linguistics at the University of Utrecht, where she became leader of a student choir. It was there that she discovered her talent for getting people to sing. She took up choral conducting studies in Utrecht, followed by music theory & history studies at the Schumann Academy (Utrecht/Zwolle Conservatorium, with Euwe de Jong and Erik Visser).
She studied conducting with Dirkjan Horringa and Koosje Kiezebrink and currently receives coaching from pianist/conductor Margaret Griffiths. She has studied singing with Janice Jackson, Paul Hameleers, Joy Lander, Esther Putter, and Mitchell Sandler.
Passionate about different styles of music, she sang in early music ensembles, vocal groups singing romantic and modern music and a women’s close harmony group, led by Tijs Krammer (Montezuma’s Revenge) and composer/singer Jetse Bremer (Nederlands Kamerkoor). Anke sang with the double quartet choir and instrumentalists, the Margaretha Consort (videos on Youtube Lotti’s Crucifixus and Buxtehude’s Membra Jesu Nostri, e.g. ad genua).
Anke’s teaching and conducting activities are rooted in her passion for enabling singers of all levels to free their voices. At her home in Southwest France she teaches her ‘Vocal Workouts’. These small group singing workshops can include singers from beginners to more experienced singers. Sessions focus on breath control and the participants become researchers, exploring their bodies and vocal space to produce this often elusive thing called voice. This almost scientific exploration at the start of the workshop reduces anxiety and makes it possible for even the least experienced of the group to perform a song for the others.
She teaches piano and singing at the Souillac Music School, in the north of the Lot department.
In the Lot Anke conducts La Chorale de Cazals is an international mixed choir of 30-plus members of all levels from total beginners to experienced soloists. Performances are now standing room only and audience members regularly rave about the professionalism and pure joy of the ‘wall of sound’. Parisian film maker, François Stuck, made a documentary about La Chorale de Cazals in 2017. Anke also directed Gaia, a vocal ensemble of fourteen women. For Gaia, Anke wrote the evocative Canto Amoris. The video clip of this song was shot in the stunning landscape of the Périgord Noir, where medieval castles are behind each corner.
Classical, Blues, Jazz & inbetween
With her love of different musical styles, she performed with sopranos Carol Durman and Rosalind Atherton, accompanied by pianist Margaret Griffiths (baroque, classical, opera, musical). Their last concert before Margaret’s death took place in the impressive cathedral of Cahors.
With jazz pianist and composer Peter Duiverman, she is Stone&Tara. A journalist from La Dépêche wrote about them: “A splendid repertoire which remains faithful to the jazz-blues and South American styles, well-known hits arranged to their own love for styles that include latin and classical music, and also their own creations.”
A fellow musician wrote: “The combination of Anke’s magnificent voice and Peter’s dazzling piano interpretation creates a warm, unique and refined sound. Add to this their innate musical sense and amazing stage presence and you have a dancing and entertaining duo of rare elegance.”
Their versatility flows together in their own original compositions for choirs, which are now published as the Stone&Tara Songbook.
Anke speaks four languages and is also a writer for various magazines about life in France. She is the author of the books Peking Duck (1999) about the 1997 Peking to Paris Rally, and two books about her life in France (2017 and 2020). She combines her two passions (language and music) in writing about music history, making original connections between past and present.
Anke’s articles on the history and beauty of Southwest France are published in Dutch magazines. Her third book was published in 2020. Her first book, Peking Duck, about the Peking to Paris Classic Rally, is on sale here. Her two books about life in France (in Nederlands) are here.
To follow Anke on Facebook, click here or find her on Facebook @singsouthwestfrance
Anke DE BRUIJN
SIRET 790 110 019 00037
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