cindy bernard - “The Inquisitive Musician”
22 Jun - 23 Jun 2013

The Stedelijk Museum and the Holland Festival present: “The Inquisitive Musician” by artist Cindy Bernard. A musical and theatrical confrontation between ‘Beerfiddlers’ and ‘Kunstpfeifers’. With Thijs van Leer, Frans de Ruiter, and others

 June 22 and 23, 4 pm

Tickets can be ordered at:  

The American artist Cindy Bernard, in collaboration with musician David Watson (New York/New Zealand), has adapted the 17th-century German satire “Musicus Curiosus” by Johann Kuhnau into a dialogue for a contemporary audience. Centered on the eternal conflict between the trained and the self-taught artist, “The Inquisitive Musician”, which was recently performed at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, questions who is the better musician: the ‘Kunstpfeifer’ (or ‘art piper’) who is sanctioned by the government and plays from sheet music, or the ‘Beerfiddler’ who improvises and performs in pubs? This conflict between two cultures continues in the Stedelijk Museum today with the performance of “The Inquisitive Musician” with live music, spoken word, and video.

The Stedelijk’s performance begins in the central entrance hall of the museum and moves to the Teijin Auditorium with a musical procession. Several illustrious musicians are involved, including Thijs van Leer as a ‘Kunstpfeifer’ on the flute and voice and Frans de Ruiter (former director of the Holland Festival) in the role of the judge on the harpsichord.

The Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam and the Holland Festival work closely together on projects at the crossroads of music, theatre, and the visual arts. The aim of the collaboration is to present international artists to a broad public in Amsterdam and to exhibit works which could not otherwise be seen in the Netherlands. 

More information about the artist and the cast:

Cindy Bernard is an American multimedia artist who actively instigates social exchange. Her current work focuses on sound and music as part of a visual practice. Bernard’s recent solo projects include: “Year Long Loop”, a 24-hour-long video capturing the sights and sounds of one year of landscape and sound as experienced from a ridge overlooking various districts of northeast Los Angeles and “Silent Key”, a mapping of the transitory nature of territorial and political boundaries via Ham Radio QSL cards.  Bernard is an adjunct Professor of Graduate Fine Art at the Art Center College of Art and Design in Los Angeles.  

Cast (live performance): 

  • Prologus: Steve Heather, percussion
  • Paulus Harmonicus, Kunstpfeifer: Thijs van Leer, flute, voice
  • Enantius, Kunstpfeifer: Alison Isadora, violin
  • Pechmann, Beerfiddler: G.W. Sok, voice
  • Bocks-Märten, Beerfiddler: David Watson, bagpipes
  • Fiedel-Hänsel, Beerfiddler: Felicity Provan, trumpet
  • Schiefer-Barthel, Beerfiddler: Seamus Cater, concertina
  • Bona, the inkeeper: Hilary Jeffrey, trombone
  • Count Musphilus, judge: Frans de Ruiter, harpsichord, clavichord

Cast (video):

  • Prologus/Pickelhering: Dick Hebdige
  • Pechmann/Waschebleil : Mike Watt
  • Bocks-Märten/Bailiff: David Watson
  • Schiefer-Barthel/White Horse: Dave Muller
  • Cupido: Ami Tallman