Dutch music duo to be seen in SA this week


The Dutch musicians, Gelske van der Duin and Yolande van den Berg, who are known as Duo Duin & Berg, have been trying to present shows in South Africa for the past two years.

Local audiences can finally tune in this week for two different presentations of A musical journey, Duo Duin & Berg’s performance of various poets’ poetry in song form. So, two different programs under the same name.

“The one program is composed of light classical music. It is a journey to physical places, and a life journey to the unknown future full of expectation and hope. With this program, we want to use music to cheer people up and create a feeling of happiness in them.

“Our second presentation wants to take audiences on a musical journey through the Low Countries and South Africa. It is a world journey that goes in different directions: from cabaret and a lullaby, to a moment of reflection, through music that embodies happiness and illuminates life,” explains Yolande to RNews.

With Yolande on piano and Gelske as soloist, Boerneef, Totius, Elrika van der Walt, Marianne Raath and Susan Smith’s poems, among others, come to life in musical form. “People who love Afrikaans and poetry in general will enjoy this show.”

Yolande, a born South African, says she and Gelske already had an extremely successful concert at the Pierneef Theater in Pretoria on Saturday. They look forward with great excitement to a few more shows to come.

“The warmth with which South Africans have received us is overwhelming. We had to bring more chairs into the Pierneef Theater so that there is enough room for everyone to sit. It really blew us away.”

After Yolande said goodbye to her profession as a chartered accountant to pursue her passion for music in a more formal way, she met Gelske at the Netherlands Conservatory.

Their paths crossed when Gelske asked Yolande to help her with the pronunciation of Afrikaans songs. “We immediately resonated with each other. Apart from Gelske’s fantastic, warm alto voice, she also has a wonderful sense of humor which I thoroughly enjoy.”

Yolande went to the Netherlands about 25 years ago, but it was not the plan to stay there. “When I met my husband, Rob, there, my plans changed in the blink of an eye,” she says with a laugh.

Gelske was born in Friesland. This is why she can get the pronunciation of the Afrikaans poems right. According to her, there are many similarities in pronunciation between Frisian and Afrikaans.

Here is a list of Duo Duin & Berg’s upcoming shows:

  • 11 July at 19:00 at the Free State Arts Festival, Bloemfontein. Get your tickets on Webtickets.
  • 12 July at 12:00 at the Free State Arts Festival, Bloemfontein. Get your tickets on Webtickets.
  • 15 July at 18:00 at the NG Church Nahoon in Beacon Bay, East London.
  • 23 July at 15:00 at the NG Church Helderberg in Somerset- West.

Listen here to a setting of Elrika van der Walt’s poem, “Gedig vir jou”, as a starter for the concert. The poet worked with Yolande to set this beautiful poem, and it is sung by Gelske.