Programme 2023

1st Symphony – Felix Mendelssohn
Allegro di molto – Andante – Menuetto – Allegro con fuoco

Slavonic dances 5 & 6 – Antonin Dvořák


Slavonic dances 7 & 8 – Antonin Dvořák

Rhapsody in Blue – George Gershwin

Soloist: Sander C. Lekkerkerk


1st Symphony – Felix Mendelssohn

German composer Felix Mendelssohn is often considered one of the most important composers of his time. He composed his first Symphony in C minor, opus 11, also known as the “Spring Symphony”, when he was only 15 years old. In this symphony Mendelssohn was able to already demonstrate his extraordinary talent and promising composition skills, offering a glimpse of the promising career that lay ahead of him.

At the symphony’s premiere, which took place in Berlin in 1824, conductor Carl Friedrich Zelter, who was also Mendelssohn’s composition teacher, lost his music stand and the symphony’s score fell to the ground. Mendelssohn himself was present in the audience and rushed forward to help Zelter. Together they picked up the sheet music and placed it back on the stand, and the concert continued.

Slavonic Dances 5 to 8 – Antonin Dvořák

The Slavonic Dances are among the most famous works by Czech composer Antonín Dvořák. These compositions are a series of short orchestral pieces that celebrate the rich musical traditions of the Slavic peoples. The Slavonic Dances were originally written for piano four hands (two pianists at one piano), but Dvořák later orchestrated a selection of these pieces. They are inspired by folk music and dances from various Slavic countries, such as the Czech Republic (Bohemia), Poland, Serbia, and Croatia. Dvořák was a master at capturing the characteristic rhythms, melodies, and temperaments of the various Slavic cultures in his compositions.

You can recognize Slavic folk influences in all 4 of the Slavic dances you will hear tonight. The dances are upbeat and energetic, with lively rhythms and spirited melodies. Dvořák was able to capture the essence of the Slavic musical tradition very well.

Rhapsody in Blue – George Gershwin

George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” is a famous and iconic piece of American music, often described as a “jazz concerto” or a “musical portrait of New York City.” Composed in 1924, it is an important work that bridges the gap between classical music and jazz. It demonstrates Gershwin’s remarkable ability to blend these two genres into a unique and compelling composition.

The piece begins with an unforgettable glissando from the clarinet, setting the stage for the fusion of classical and jazz influences that follows. The piano takes center stage, with Gershwin’s virtuoso performance originally serving as the heart of the piece, and it offers pianists the chance to excel in the work’s interpretation. The role of the orchestra is no less important, providing a rich and colorful backdrop that underscores the composition’s mix of genres. The entire piece reflects the vibrant atmosphere of the Roaring Twenties.



The Zuid-Hollands Symphony Orchestra (ZSO) is a relatively young orchestra, founded in 2000, with its home base in The Hague. The orchestra is known for its combination of ambition and fun, which gives its members ample opportunity to showcase their talent and develop further.

In addition to classics such as Beethoven, Brahms and Schubert, the orchestra also performs more modern pieces composed by such artists as Gershwin, Rachmaninov and Rimsky-Korsakov.

Through this variation in repertoire, the ZSO works to develop flexibility and musicality. As a result, weekly rehearsals remain varied and challenging, and this contributes to the growth and artistic development of the orchestra members.

Dominic Sierat

Dominic Sierat, the permanent conductor of the South Holland Symphony Orchestra since May 2022, has an impressive background as both conductor and trombonist. His passion for music and broad experience contribute to the growth and development of the orchestra.

As a conductor, Dominic has been active with various orchestras and projects since the age of 18. In addition to his role as a conductor, Dominic is also a talented trombonist. He works as a freelancer with various orchestras and ensembles in the Netherlands and Belgium.

Dominic is creative and enthusiastic and strives for innovation. He likes to use his experience from professional practice as a classical musician for the further development of the ZSO.

Sander C. Lekkerkerk

Sander C. Lekkerkerk began piano lessons at the age of nine with Miroslav Dimitrov. In 2008 and 2009 he participated in the play “Glenn Gould,” a theater production of the Nationale Toneel with Stefan de Walle, among others. He also received piano lessons from Marcel Baudet, Dorien Leidelmeyer and Martin Lekkerkerk. He then studied at the Conservatory of Rotterdam with Stéphane de May. He received master classes throughout Europe; for his solo playing from Hakon Austbo, Riko Fukuda, Andreas Haefliger and Jean-Bernard Pommier, among others, and for chamber music from Sander Sittig, Bart van de Roer, Eva Stegeman, Gijs Kramers, Gordan Nikolic, Herre-Jan Stegenga, Vesna Grupman, Diemut Poppen, Lawrence Power and Ulrich Koella.

Being a laureate in several competitions, he was awarded the first prize at the FestiVal d’Anniviers in 2014, and as a result he has played on the radio program Opium on 4, among others, and in venues such as the Jurriaanse and Great Hall of the Doelen in Rotterdam, both as a soloist and in chamber music settings. Since then, he has also played as a soloist (with orchestra) and in ensembles throughout Europe, including France, Spain, Switzerland and Belgium. In the summer of 2021, Sander (who now lives and studies in Switzerland) studied with renowned Dutch piano pedagogue Jan Wijn and began studying in Switzerland with Konstantin Scherbakov, where he graduated cum laude in 2023 with an average of 9.6. He is studying for one last Master’s with the same teacher to put the final dots on the “i” in piano.