Piano duo Beth & Flo
Beth & Flo, i.e. Elsbet Remijn and Claudette Verhulst, first met during their studies at the Royal Conservatoire of The Hague (NL). They studied with the late Rian de Waal, and in 2014 Elsbet and Claudette graduated for their Masters with respectively Ellen Corver and David Kuijken.
Both Elsbet and Claudette participated in competitions with good results, they won prizes at for instance the National Competition of SJMN in The Netherlands and the Prinses Christina Competition. They received masterclasses for solo repertoire by a.o. Igor Roma, Ronald Brautigam, Paul Badura Skoda and Ilona Timchenko.
Piano duo with a theatrical touch
Discovering that both pianists shared a love for theatre as wel as music, they decided to integrate this in the concerts they give. And so, in 2013, piano duo Beth & Flo was born: a piano duo giving classical recitals embellished with songs and spoken word. Placing the music into a story or context and interaction with the audience are important elements in Beth & Flo’s concerts.
Claudette and Elsbet have performed as a duo on several occasions. They have played in festivals, such as the Haags UIT Festival (showcases of the coming cultural season in Den Haag), Peter de Grote Festival in Groningen and The Netherlands leading classical music festival: the Grachtenfestival Amsterdam. In 2017, Beth & Flo performed concerts in New York and in Sicily. In Sicily, participating in the international music competition IBLA Grand Prize, they were awarded as ‘Most Distinguished Musicians’ with a jury mark of an 8,7. Also, they received a special mention for their performance of a piece by the Dutch composer Ruben Naeff.
Beth & Flo were selected to present themselves as young artists on the Talent Stage during the BUMA Classical Convention, November 2015. Another special occasion was the EYE Filmbal in April 2016, where the duo played live music on two grand piano’s for a silent film from the year 1907.
In 2016-2017 Beth & Flo are invited for the concert tour ‘Kunst in de Kamer’; playing in more than 25 living rooms in The Netherlands and Belgium. This tour continues in 2017-2018.
Concert venues where they performed include Het Concertgebouw Amsterdam, TivoliVredenburg in Utrecht, Muziekgebouw Frits Philips Eindhoven, the Oosterpoort in Groningen and several other halls and theatres in The Netherlands. Some of their performances were broadcasted on national TV and radio stations in The Netherlands. In October 2016 they released their first professional recordings named ‘Een Vleugeltje Klassiek’: the one and only Beth & Flo USB-sticks, shaped like a tiny grand piano!
In 2013 and 2014, Elsbet and Claudette were selected to perform in the Café Theater Festival in Utrecht. Together with director Elisabeth Boor they made two short concert performances; in 2013 ‘Where did you get that hat?', based on the 19th century Music Hall and the English variété shows of that era, combined with classical piano repertoire from the 19th century. In 2014 they played ‘Oui, oui, zo ies èt levèn’, (‘Oui, oui, such is life’), a cheerful Parisian setting about love, with music of French composers and now and then a chanson.
Perhaps their most spectacular performance so far, ‘Slaande Ovatie’ (‘Slamming Ovation’), premiered in 2015 at the Grachtenfestival Amsterdam, where it was performed 5 times. In this staged concert, directed by Jorinde Keesmaat, a grand piano is placed in a boxing ring, and Beth & Flo are not only pianists but also kickboxers among whom a fierce contest develops. A rough concert in which music and the art of fighting are combined and which is at the same time an experiment about the impact physical exhaustion has on piano playing.
In the summer of 2016 the concert programme ‘Sitting in the Garden’ premiered, directed by Elisabeth Boor. A cheerful and honest performance in which Beth & Flo aim to defeat evil using music as a weapon.
Beth & Flo perform in theatres and concert halls and also love to play at places where classical music is rarely ever heard.
Season 2019-2020 piano duo Beth & Flo perform the concert programme Rachtime with music by Rachmaninov, Gershwin and the Moldau by Smetana.