City palace

Bach sounding from the city palace in Leeuwarden

Concert series Miniatures of Music and Visual Arts

The Princessehof in Leeuwarden, birthplace of the world-famous graphic artist M.C. Escher, is the setting for a special project. In the concert series Miniatures of Music and Visual Arts, works of art are linked to musical themes. Classical music lovers will be captivated by the latest series of Miniatures, which revolves around M.C. Escher. In four videos, musicians perform intimate concert pieces by J.S. Bach and others, with Escher and his birthplace as sources of inspiration. The first episode can be viewed from Friday, 18 December, via After that, new weekly episodes will be posted online on Friday, 25 December 2020, and 1 and 8 January 2021.

Miniaturesis an initiative of violinist and artistic director Tosca Opdam and consists of a series of short online concerts. Each miniature lasts about 10 minutes, and is introduced by Eline van den Berg, one of the Princessehof’s curators, and initiator and violinist Tosca Opdam. Tosca Opdam, viola player Dana Zemstov, harpist Petra van der Heide, double bass player James Oesi and accordionist Vincent van Amsterdam perform the music in varying configurations. In the first of the four-part concert series the musicians will perform Nos. 1, 4, 6, 15 and 8 from Bach’s Two-part Inventions in the Princessehof’s palace room. In the other three videos, viewers can enjoy a selection of compositions by F. Kreisler, Mozart, Bartók and Berio, and others. All these beautiful works are performed with the Princessehof as a magnificent backdrop, and you don’t even have to leave your living room to enjoy them. The complete repertoire is available on the museum’s website.

Miniatures in the Princessehof, photo by Eline van den Berg

M.C. Escher

With the recently renewed exhibition At Home with M.C. Escher, the Princessehof honours one of its most famous residents, Maurits Cornelis Escher, who was born in 1898 in this former city palace in Leeuwarden. In Miniatures, connections are made with this world-famous graphic artist and the musical themes are, successively, his birthplace, the famous work Day and Night, the Spanish Alhambra which so deeply inspired Escher, and the three-dimensional translation of his work by Leon Keer in the Princessehof’s vaulted cellar. Each episode focuses on one of these themes.


The first edition, Miniatures I (August 2020) was recorded in the Van Gogh Museum, with portraits from the exhibition In the picture, portraying the artist serving as inspiration. So far, the concerts have attracted more than 900,000 viewers with many enthusiastic reactions. The subsequent Miniatures II took place in Teylers Museum in Haarlem, where the musical selections were linked to John Constable's romantic skies and landscapes. All editions remain available online and are accompanied by information about the programme and the performing musicians.


Tosca Opdam initiated the project in collaboration with the Toscata Foundation, the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, Teylers Museum in Haarlem, and the Princessehof National Museum of Ceramics in Leeuwarden.

The Miniatures project is supported by the Prins Bernhard Culture Fund, the museum’s partners, private donors and the Toscata Foundation.

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