We received the sad news that our alumnus Folke Nauta passed away on 5 August 2023. Folke studied piano with Jan Wijn at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam and graduated with the highest distinction. He won prizes at several prestigious international competitions. His breakthrough came in 1994 when he became the first Dutchman to win the Scheveningen International Piano Competition and the Dutch Press Prize.
Folke enjoyed a versatile career in a repertoire that ranged from Baroque to contemporary music. In 1995 he premiered Willem Jeths’ First Piano Concerto, which was dedicated to him, recording it later on with the Noordhollands Philharmonisch Orkest conducted by Thierry Fischer. He had an eye for unknown repertoire; for example, he recorded the piano concertos by Dutch composer Julius Röntgen with the Orkest van het Oosten conducted by Jurjen Hempel.
In chamber music, he formed duos with cellist Jeroen den Herder and violinist Janine Jansen. He also performed with Daniël Wayenberg, Rian de Waal, Rudolf Koelman and the Daniel Quartet, among others.
As a result of a muscle disorder in his right hand he shifted his focus to piano works for the left hand. He delved into the repertoire composed for Paul Wittgenstein, the pianist who had lost his right arm in World War I, and made his own arrangements of solo works for other instruments for piano left hand. In 2017 and 2021, he released albums of works for piano left hand.
Our condolences to Folke’s relatives, friends and colleagues.