Tido Visser

Managing Director of the Netherlands Chamber Choir

More than just a voice or the unnecessary downfall of Lied

As a managing director the Netherlands Chamber Choir and former singer himself, Tido Visser is an ambassador of the exploration of choral music as an art form with huge potential. The Netherlands Chamber Choir seeks and collaborates in projects with a.o. actors, dancers, video artists. In this process, he has noticed over the past years a lack in the education of professional singers as fully trained artists with a broad view on society, arts in their fullest scope, in other words: complete artists. In this session, Visser gives his view on what is needed to make this development happen and to create singers who are more than just their voice.

Especially nowadays, with the merging of and encounters between so many art forms, the potential of Lied is huge. Why is it that so few young singers use the potential of Lied? They do not seem to profit from the potential, nor do they seem to approach and inspire a.o. directors, visual artists, choreographers, to collaborate and develop Lied into a leading genre. They are not helped by programmers, as they seem to believe there is no audience to be found for Lied, as it seems static and archaic. There seems to be a flaw in the education of young singers at the conservatories. It is there that singers should be inspired and educated to explore the Lied to its full potential, and to explore themselves as more than being merely ‘a voice’.

Tido Visser comes from a family of musicians. He studied singing at the Conservatory of Amsterdam, with Margreet Honig and Ronald Klekamp, and founded his own madrigal ensemble, The Kassiopeia Quintet. With this ensemble, he recorded all 128 madrigals of Gesualdo. In 2007 he turned towards management. After several years in the commercial recording industry, he became general manager of the baroque ensemble Combattimento Consort. In 2010 he became artistic and managing director of the Netherlands Chamber Choir. For the choir, he developed internationally acclaimed projects like 150 Psalms (Festival of Early Music Utrecht, White Light Festival New York, Klarafestival Brussels), and the controversial music theatre production Gesualdo, in collaboration with theatre group De Warme Winkel.