people who love to hear great music and have a cup of tea. So the cafe concerts bring these ideas together," says Bouman.

Besides performing, he's busy composing, playing and building harpsichords.


"This harpsichord has had an interesting journey, " says Bouman, touching the instrument that he's just played".


In the past two years, it has been to France and it has travelled on a boat, when he lived on a sailing catamaran for a year. The sailing adventure took him around the Mediterranean from the south of France to Spain and Italy.


Having an environmentally sensitive travel-mate created some challenges for the musician.


"in the beginning the harpsichord was quite worrisome because everything started swelling. However, there's a point where everything reaches a new balance. You just have to let it absorb water, that's it. It takes time to adjust to the environment," he says.


Another interesting part of the journey took place in the spring of 2003 when he gave a recital on a 1647 harpsichord, housed in a Paris museum. It was broadcast live by Radio France.


"It was one of the most beautiful instruments ever made. The best part was getting to improvise on it. This is something new. To improvise the way I do in the style of the time is something very, very unique and I hope that other people will pick up that idea", says Bouman, whose solo composition for cello is being taught in a conservatory in Italy.


To date, he has premiered 42 compositons, made 25CDs of which several have been awarded prestigious prizes. Bouman is also writing a book and is giving music appreciation courses. His new CD will be released in the spring of 2005.


For his work, Bouman has received high praise from Fen Watkins, a fellow composer.


"As a perfomer and a composer, Hendrik is an extremely talented man. He could be mistaken for one of the masters," says Watkin, the musical director / conductor of the Charlottetown Festival, who has just retired after 40 years of service.


Fifty years ago, Watkin wrote an invention in the style of Bach. During a recent visit, he gave it to Bouman to look at.


"Hendrik edit it, rewrote it and played it for me. It's exciting," says Watkin.


Fen Watkin's Invention in Two Parts is one of the pieces that Bouman plays during the cafe concert.


The concert series continues on Saturdays and Sundays in October.


Sally Cole,

The Guardian, PEI Canada, Oct. 2004



After performing in concert halls around Europe, Hendrik Bouman is bringing his music home.

The Dutch-born harpsichord performer / composer conductor is giving a series of recitals on PEI where he now lives.


"We own a bed and breakfast, so the cafe concerts originally started as an extension of something that we offer to our guest," says Bouman.


Soon news of these gatherings spread, and music lovers of all ages started finding the path to his door on the Charlottetown waterfront.


This past Saturday afternoon, approximately 20 people turned out to hear him perform music on the fortepiano, harpsichord and clavichord. Unlike the piano, which uses hammers to strike the strings or the harpsichord that plucks the strings, the clavichord puts pressure on the strings from below, which creates a much softer tone.


The audience appeared delighted with the selection of fine cakes, coffee, tea and musical numbers that created images ranging from fireflies to the flutter of butterfly wings.


"You only have to look at Hendrik to see the creativity and the strength of this man in art and music. He is truly genuine." says Pilar Shephard, the art collector. "He plays with his head and heart."


The concert includes his own baroque compositions and a few classical all-time favourites of Mozart and Haydn.


"I say ' why make the baroque stop at a certain time? If you like the music, be creative, " says Bouman, with a smile.


But Bouman says afternoons like this one are nothing new. In taking his music home he's returning to a practice that was popular in the early days.


"Classical music has become so staged, whereas 50 years ago more people played, so there was always music in the house." he says.


This concert is a return to a more intimate venue - hearth and home.


"It's very much the way that we should imagine the original context in which these pieces have been written and played... Even the compositions of Mozart and Beethoven, which are now put on a pedestal, were originally written for use in people's houses".


That's because the idea of a solo recital outside as a public concert hadn't taken hold."


"It was something that started slowly in England but experienced greater growth through orchestras. With a string quartet it is the same thing. They're just four musicians who come together and have a great time. At the same time, there are also other

   

    THE GUARDIAN, PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND, CANADA

      FEATURE ARTICLE "AT HOME WITH HIS MUSIC"