Yvo Verschoor

Pianist Yvo Verschoor (1966) developped his own unique style after his study jazz and improvisation at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague.
During the last 18 years he gained an enormous experience , also thanks to his long cooperation with the Eye Film Institute Netherlands , where he accompanied many hundreds of silent films, and his regular performances at film- and theatrefestivals and many other venues in The Netherlands and abroad.

After a series of successful filmconcerts Yvo organized in Berlin in 2007/08, he started making more and more his own programmes around certain themes.
In these programmes the history and development of silent film between 1895 and approximately 1930, is shown with the emphasis on a certain subject and new programmes are presented every month at the Pianola Museum in Amsterdam.
Please have a look at Solo Filmconcerts for information about these unique filmprogrammes or attend one of these Filmconcerts at this 1920 style museum.

"The art of improvisation (with images) keeps fascinating me. I'm very much influenced and inspired by masters of improvisation like Keith Jarrett and Art Tatum, but also by the rich romantic idiom of composers such as Brahms, Chopin and Rachmaninoff and by the impressionistic music of Ravel, Debussy, Mompou or Messiaen."

"As I play, hopefully an intimate dialogue begins between the improvised music, the images from which it is inspired and the audience. Passion, drama and comedy are musically interpreted to form a unity, which is different and new every single time".

"Music very much influences the way an object (in this case film) is seen and experienced, so if the music is different everytime, the object will be (or seem) different too and the combination between object and music is unique every time. It only exists there and then.
In my improvisations I use elements of classical music and jazz. I have a lot of respect for the tradition of filmaccompanying, but it is not my intention to play exactly as it was done in the early days of cinema; the here and now are more important to me."

"The 'modern' grand piano is very suitable because of its diversity of timbre (tonecolours) and dynamics. A good well tuned instrument is necessary to a good performance, wich is why I prefer whenever possible to take my own grandpiano."

'Frau Blüthner' and Yvo at Theaterbar Berlin

"This historic instrument, wich I call 'Frau Blüthner', is a speaking representative of her time. Although it is quite an effort lugging this old lady around, it is definately worth it; at the time this concert grand was built by the Blüthner factory in 1897 (two years after the invention of film), tonal quality was more important then merely volume and this instrument has very broad dynamic possibilities and can really sing."
Open Air FilmConcert with 'Frau Blüthner'
live fragment Vondelpark Amsterdam 2008

"Unfortunately, the persistant idea still exists, silent films were always accompanied on old, out of tune piano's. Undoubtedly this often was the case, but looking at all the tremendous trouble and huge expences involved in producing those films, it simply can't have been like that in all theatres.
The beginning years of film were also the top years for the piano manufacturing industries and some of the best instruments were build (and thus played on) in that period."

Yvo Verschoor has made several scores for documentaries, feature films and compilations that have been performed live and released on video.

Verschoor often tours Dutch, Belgian and German theatres with film, music and theatre performances, for both adults and children. He also works with actors, storytellers and many other musicians.

Due to his coöperation with the Dutch Filmmuseum
for many years, he has accompanied solo thousands of well-known and not so well known films and programmes of films from the period 1895-1929.
(please click AGENDA for playlist)

Verschoor is fascinated by the power of antique and photographic images and slides, and has been involved in several live productions in cooperation with The Magic Lantern Museum in Scheveningen, Holland.
One such performance was the English spoken 'Uncle Tom's Cabin', with actor/violinist Michael Wilcox, that also was performed at Vassar College USA.

He also regularly performs his own compositions and improvisations together with violinist Marike Verheul, which are inspired by images, texts and the performing situation. (occasion, location, audience)
'Seagull' fragment live concert Koorenhuis The Hague

Marike and Yvo recently recorded their new CD at a small church.
Photo: Reinder Wijnveld

He has written music for films by contemporary visual artist David Haines.

Yvo Verschoor performed at the International Film Festival Rotterdam IFFR, International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam IDFA, Holland Animation Film Festival, Festival of Silent Film in Bologna Il cinema Ritrovato, Filmmuseum Biennial in Amsterdam, Dutch Filmfestival Utrecht, Münster-Filmfestival Germany, Filmmuseum in Berlin and the OEROL Theatre Festival

Dutch Television item OEROL 2008

In addition, he has produced and performed shows at schools, such as 'Rintintin' and 'The Mystery of the Southpole' and collaborates with the Film Academy and the University of Amsterdam to produce film programmes.

He also teaches piano-improvisation and gives lectures and workshops on improvised filmmusic and history of the silent cinema.

Yvo and Frau Blüthner just before an
Open Air Filmconcert (photo: Reinder Wijnveld)>