"Ardenuir: The Stone in the Sword"
World Premiere, May 20, 2022. Virginia Somerville Sutton Theater, WellSpring, Greensboro, NC.
"The Stone in the Sword is a memorable multi media event. Imagine Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition ....with a plot along the lines of [Tolkien's] Lord of the Rings. Natalie's art is a winning combination of graphic novel art and phantasmagoria. Vincent's music was a marvelous mix of styles. From folk-like, frolicking music that depicts the market, to dramatic outbursts that take place in some battle scenes; from lyrical, romantic music ..to dreamy impressionistic cascades. Vincent's playing brought the artwork alive. He is a powerful performer, and his virtuosic chops were often employed in impressive rapid octaves, shimmering cascades of scales, and occasional glissandos. His lyric playing is admirable as well, with some lovely tunes emanating form the middle of the rich texture.
Timothy H. Lindeman - The Classical Voice of North Carolina.
Carnegie Hall debut
"Dr. Vincent van Gelder is a formidably equipped, no-nonsense virtuoso, his interpretative and temperamental style is remarkably redolent of what I would have expected from a stereotypical “Dutchman”. In fact his playing at this concert made me recall Cor De Groot, a splendid artist whose Philips LP recordings from the 1950s (released in America by Epic) gave me much pleasure."
New York Concert Review
"Vincent van Gelder’s performance of Gaspard de la nuit made light of all the extraordinary difficulties, and got straight to the nub of the work in three musical portraits of deep imagination, with the ability to tell three stories, conjure three scenes to perfection, and even manage, amid its legendary complexities, to find a great deal of wit in ‘Scarbo’."
London Musical Opinion
"Despite the severe demands on the stamina of the performer, Vincent van Gelder remained a proudly sensitive performer to the end, and even found the energy to add his own thrilling and original Fantasy on the Miller’s Dance from Falla’s ‘The Three-Cornered Hat’ as an envoi.
Leslie Howard-British Liszt Society newsletter
[performance of the four Chopin Ballades]: “He brought out the different layers with the precision of a brain surgeon”.
St. Louis Post
"The result was really good at the concert. The music was magnificent and magnified the atmosphere of the artwork, and the artwork always put the piano in the right context. The result was definitely fun"
Concert at Harpa, Reykjavik, Iceland
"To describe this evening as good playing is a complete understatement; the illustrations by Natalie were an essential part of the enjoyment".
-Classical Voice of North Carolina
Concert at East Carolina University
Vincent van Gelder was born in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. After studies at several academies and universities in Holland, Latvia, and the US, and receiving two master degrees, he graduated with a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in piano performance from the University of Missouri at Kansas City. His most influential teachers were Leslie Howard, Czerny-Stefanska, Teofils Bikis, Arnis Zandmanis, Wilfred Delphin, and Richard Cass.
Dr. van Gelder has played recitals throughout Europe, and in many states in the US. In 2011 he won the Liszt-Garrison International Piano Competition and also received the prize for the best performance of a work by an American composer. In 2007, he was declared a winner in the "Artist International Competition" in New York. As a result he performed a solo recital in Carnegie Weill recital Hall, on May 11, 2008. The critic for the New York Concert Review wrote: “Dr. van Gelder is a formidably equipped, no-nonsense virtuoso and his diversified program of music…. commenced in an unfrivolous, honest and un-egocentric manner. Dr. van Gelder’s interpretative and temperamental style is remarkably redolent of what I would have expected from a stereotypical “Dutchman”. In fact his playing at this concert made me recall Cor De Groot, a splendid artist whose Philips LP recordings gave me much pleasure”.
After this debut his career took a temporary dip when he nearly lost the index finger of his left hand. Thanks to a successful surgery he made a nearly full recovery. Other wins include the St. Louis Artist competition and all university concerto competitions at the places he attended.
Dr. van Gelder has been a member of the piano faculty at Duke University. He received numerous awards, some of which were from the Royal Dutch Association for Musicians, the EU (tempus), and most recently awards for video recordings of several programs and for his two CD’s, “Vincent van Gelder performs”, and “New York”, and this year for the recording of his new work: “Guardians of Iceland-Eylin’s Journey”
Vincent van Gelder’s recordings have been played on radio and tv stations in the US as well as The Netherlands. He is a judge in several piano competitions in North Carolina, including the 2018 Highpoint University International Piano Competition.
Vincent van Gelder teaches frequent masterclasses at American Universities and beyond.
In June of 2018 he performed the world premiere of his composition “Guardians of Iceland-Eylin’s Journey” at Harpa in Reykjavik, Iceland. This was a collaboration with his 13 year old daughter and art prodigy Natalie van Gelder who did 13 artworks for each movement. The reviewer for Frettabladid wrote:” The music was magnificent and magnified the atmosphere of the artwork, and the artwork always put the piano in the right context”. This project was published in an Art/Story book with accompanying CD in September of 2018.
Other recent performances include a well-reviewed recital for the British Liszt Society in London, England, and a solo recital at the Van Cliburn festival, performing works from Van’s 1958 Tchaikovsky competition program on Van Cliburn’s favorite Steinway model D.
He founded the Triad Institute for Young Musicians in September 2015, an organization that promotes professional support in the form of competitions, master classes, concerts and more for pre-college musicians. This organization was instrumental in de organization of the Van Cliburn Festival and also hosted 3 annual piano competitions so far.
Vincent van Gelder is a Steinway&Sons top educator.