Govert Valkenburg

Being the secretary, Govert Valkenburg is primarily responsible for the internal provision of information. He holds degrees in philosophy and social sciences, engineering, and classical vocals. He works at Maastricht Univerisity, and regularly performs as a solo vocalist in early music.

Photo: Ruth Mampuys

Thomas Beke

Thomas Beke is the treasurer of the foundation. He works as a consultant in social security.

Marc Altink

Marc Altink is currently not connected in any way to the ISLDC foundation nor to the organization of the competition. He once played quite a crucial role, though! From the establishment of the foundation up to the 2013 edition of the competition, he was the managing director. He is currently employed as the managing director of the renowned Metropole Orchestra, a position he decided in the end was virtually impossible to combine with managing our competition.

Executive Committee

Marien van Nieukerken

The pianist Marien van Nieukerken studied with Thom Bollen. After gaining his diploma as a solo pianist, he specialised as an accompanist for singers. He studied with George van Renesse, Karel Hilsum, Felix de Nobel and Rudolf Jansen, amongst others. In 1986 he was one of four finalists in the First International Contest for Lied accompanists, held in the Hague. 

He has worked with many well-known singers, including Andreas Schmidt, Johannette Zomer, Brian Galliford, Claudia Patacca and the legendary Guus Hoekman. He has accompanied LIeder recitals at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Carnegie Hall in New York and the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, and countless more venues throughout Europe, the United States, Canada and Japan.

Marien has worked on a large number of radio and television recordings. Together with the baritone Charles van Tassel, he recorded 35 Charles Ives songs, as well as the Lieder of Matthijs Vermeulen (Donemus, the Complete Matthijs Vermeulen Edition). Marien van Nieukerken is familiar with both classical and contemporary Lieder repertoires. Several composers dedicated Lieder to him, including Joep Straesser, Adriaan de Wit, Walter Hekster, Gustavo Trujillo and Christina Viola Oorebeek.

Marien has accompanied master classes given by Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Cora Canne Meijer and David Wilson-Johnson, amongst others. He also regularly gives courses as a guest lecturer on Lied interpretation and Lied accompaniment. He was a long-time guest lecturer at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, and more recently he taught at the Hochschule für Musik in Weimar, the State University Montclair (US), the Academia dell’Arte in Osimo, the Conservatoria di Musica in Piacenza and Trapani (Italy), the Faculty of Music of the University in Jyväskyla (Finland) and the Yasar University in Izmir (Turkey). 

Marien van Nieukerken is artistic director and founder of the biennial International Student LiedDuo Competition. It was first held in 2009 in Enschede (The Netherlands) to great acclaim, and its fifth edition will be held in Groningen in 2017. Van Nieukerken is a vocal coach at the ArtEZ Conservatory, where he is also director of the Lieder class and professor of piano and song accompaniment. He also worked as repetiteur and coach for singers at the Amsterdam Conservatory and  the Royal Conservatory in The Hague. 

Photo: Parastoo Shokati