Kolkata Classics

THE TELEGRAPH
Happenings - Music with a cause - July 22, 2017

Bringing people together with the power of music were pianist Jennifer Heemstra and vocalist Chelsea Coyne as an initiative of Kolkata Classics.  The trust was founded to promote gender equality, education and ight human trafficking through western classical music. ​
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THE TELEGRAPH
Review - Favorite Tunes - July 23, 2017

The Kolkata Classics Club, Heemstra and her generous musical collaborators proved once again that music makes the world go round. ​
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THE TELEGRAPH
Review - Many Surprises - May 13, 2017

Family feuds rarely play out as pleasingly as the one at the Goethe Institut on March 24 did. The Kolkata Classics Club's Jennifer Heemstra brought together three noted musicians to recreate, through one of Brahms's finest chamber works, the ' classic family feud' between the piano on the one hand and the cello, violin and viola on the other. The concert, titled Three Strings and a Hammer , featured Heemstra on the piano, Wendy Case on the violin, Amir Eldan on the cello and Kirsten Docter on the viola; they performed the Quartet for Piano and Strings in G minor, Op. 25 . This is a sprawling four- movement work of many surprises. Heemstra began with the first theme for piano; soon, the other instruments joined in. The opening allegro is notably complex; its seemingly irregular framework makes it distinctive. ​
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SERENADE MAGAZINE
Travel Diaries - February 7, 2017

American Soprano and Assistant Professor of Voice at The University of Alabama, Susan Williams, made her second trip to Kolkata, India to perform a series of concerts with pianist Jennifer Heemstra, founder of Kolkata Classics. ​
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THE TELEGRAPH
Review - A fitting and powerful finish - January 21, 2017

In the last concert of the series in the year 2016, the Kolkata Classics Club, in the hands of Jennifer Heemstra, presented the petite soprano with a powerful voice, Susan Williams.... ​
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THE TELEGRAPH
Review - Bound together by music - December 3, 2016

I never fail to be amazed at the spirit of generosity in sharing their art displayed by the many brilliant professional musicians who visit this little oasis of culture - the city of Calcutta. In recent years, we have encountered the unstinting kindness of people such as the flautist, Uberto Orlando, and, lately, the gifted and charismatic Panos Karan and his musicians from Keys of Change. ​
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FOX 17
Live TV Interview - November 18. 2016


Kolkata Classics and local hospitals and NGOs in Michigan are teaming up to raise money for charity through music.  

Kolkata Classics provides health services for trafficked women, educates children, and exposes the citizens of Kolkata, India to high quality, western classical music.

Jennifer Heemstra, professional pianist, entrepreneur, and founder of Kolkata Classics, along with singer Susan Williams will be performing at these charity concerts over the weekend. ​
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WGVU RADIO
Live radio interview - October 11, 2016

Jennifer Heemstra joins The Morning Show to talk about the Kolkata Classic Club, exposing India's community to classical music. A Grand Rapids native, Heemstra will accept and award in D.C. She talks about her experience today on the Morning Show. ​
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THE TELEGRAPH
Review - A stirring voice that heals the soul - August 20, 2016

There is no better way to get anything done than to just get started - no preamble, just action. And that is how things began on July 8 at the South City International School concert for young children, with the pianist, Jennifer Heemstra, and the soprano, Chelsea Coyne. The musicians introduced the show with brief explanations of Western parallels to Bollywood and the use of singing and dancing, illustrated with songs from the The Sound of Music, Les Misérables and The Phantom of The Opera. There was the " Habanera" from Carmen, the " O Mio Babbino Caro" and the delightful "The Girl in 14G", among many others. The format was informative, interactive and tremendously enjoyable. ​
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MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY TODAY
Interview - Lifting spirits with music and more - August 17, 2016

Concert pianist and MSU College of Music alumna Jennifer Heemstra was working as a music instructor in Rome a couple of years ago when her husband’s job with the U.S. State Department moved them to India. ​
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MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY NEWS
Article - Lifting spirits with music: College of Music alumna bridges socio-economic divides in India through music -

August 1, 2016
Jenny Heemstra believes that beauty, joy and music can exist despite mind-crushing misery. She’s seen that from the singing and dancing and smiles she’s witnessed in some of the largest slums in India. Since 2014, the honors graduate in music performance from the MSU College of Music (BMUS ’00) has been performing classical music in an iconic city in India, often in settings of immeasurable poverty. Her performances are part of a concert series and trust she organized with artists, city leaders and non-government organizations shortly after she and her husband moved to Kolkata. Now in its second season, Kolkata Classics represents a movement to empower women, inspire underprivileged youth, and build cross-cultural bridges through western classical music and fundraising. See concert video below. - See more at: 
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THE TELEGRAPH
Review - Fingers laden with magic - May 7, 2016

Named the Hathor series after the Egyptian goddess of love, this year's set of six musical presentations by the Kolkata Classics Club kicked off with an exciting programme on March 29 at the Park Hotel's Galaxy Room. The Kolkata Classics Club goes from strength to strength, motivated by its dynamic founder, the pianist, Jennifer Heemstra. This was the club's first public concert of 2016, and it featured Heemstra and Chanda VanderHart in a programme of musical works for four hands at one piano.
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THE TELEGRAPH
Review - Tunes and tales of summer - April 30, 2016

Strains of Debussy, Rachmaninoff and Khachaturian filled the Max Mueller Bhavan auditorium on a late March evening as the Kolkata Classics Club presented Dreams of Summer, partnered by t2. There were four hands and one piano, and a surprise act for the little ones. 
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THE TELEGRAPH
Review - Perfect Harmony - January 23, 2016

The latest concerts in a series of recitals presented by the Kolkata Classics Club featured the cellist, Carrie Pierce, and the pianist, Jennifer Heemstra, in brilliant performances, first at the Oberoi Grand on January 11 - this event was attended by an elite audience of members and prospective donors - and on January 18 and 19 at Kala Mandir, for school children and a wider, appreciative audience. Pierce holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Michigan among her many other qualifications. Her presentation was named Tango, and it showed her listeners that a concert of 'classical' music in present times need not necessarily feature only the works of composers from long ago - contemporary musicians, the classical musicians of the future, can also be featured. The programme consisted of works by Astor Piazzolla and Carter Pann alongside Rachmaninoff and Brahms. The diversity of the music was scintillating. ​
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CLEVELAND INSTITUTE OF MUSIC NOTES
Article -How an Alum Brought Western Classical Music (and a lot of Clevelanders) to the Eastern World - November 2, 2015

Imagine you’re a classically trained pianist about to perform in front of a crowd that can’t wait to hear your first note. But instead of seats, your audience sits on the floor. Instead of a Steinway, you’re playing on a keyboard you’ve brought with you. And out of the corner of your eye, you can see a heard of water buffalo saunter by. This was reality for alumna Jennifer Heemstra, who has spent the last year performing classical music all over India. She and her colleagues have performed in everything from the slums and poverty-stricken villages to ballrooms and 1,500-seat theaters packed to the brim. The one thing that these concerts have in common? Her audiences can’t get enough. ​
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THE TELEGRAPH
Review - October 17, 2015

What makes a concert memorable is the quality it offers - the excellence of the artists' performances, the surprise of hearing something new, and a certain charisma of the performers themselves. Then there is the dramatic element of presentation and choreography. All these were present in abundance at both venues of the most recent concerts presented by the Kolkata Classics Club. ​
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THE TELEGRAPH
Review - Unusual combination - October 14, 2015

The Oxford dictionary describes the word ‘baroque’ as ‘the grand and highly decorated style used in European architecture, art and music in the 17th and early 18th centuries’. On September 29, pianist Jennifer Heemstra came together with Cynthia Watson on the oboe and George Pope on the flute to present a musical evening — The Kolkata Classics Club and Swar Sangam present The Whirlwind, in association with t2 — at Kala Mandir, treating listeners to a musical selection ranging from the Baroque period to mid-20th century compositions. The sounds of piano, oboe and flute swirled in the air. ​
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THE TELEGRAPH
Review - A memorable visit - July 18, 2015

As always, a great deal of meticulous planning went into the recent series of concerts by Marla Berg, a renowned opera and concert soprano from the United States of America, brought to perform in Calcutta by the Kolkata Classics Club. Berg's repertoire stems from her experience in the prominent and lead roles of the great classical operas as well as the famous Broadway musicals. As always, the chief organizer of these presentations, Jennifer Heemstra, was the accompanist and fellow artist.
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THE TELEGRAPH
Review - It poured broadway and opera at Monsoon Melodies, with t2 - July 19, 2015

There’s nothing like some cheerful old-fashioned music to brighten up a damp monsoon evening. Jennifer Heemstra and Marla Berg knew exactly how to do that at The Kolkata Classics Club & Swar Sangam presents Monsoon Melodies, in association with t2, at Kala Mandir. ​
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THE TELEGRAPH
Review - The joyful spirit of making music - June 6, 2015

The Kolkata Classics Club keeps going from strength to strength. In spite of the sweltering heat, the shows just go on. The third set of recitals, this time featuring the American cellist, Brian Thornton, was first presented to children who may have never had the chance to witness a cello being played. In a concert at Kalamandir on Wednesday afternoon, Thornton, accompanied by Jennifer Heemstra, performed for a hall full of school children. There was an exciting interactive exchange as well. The programme included the music of Brahms, Massenet, Popper and Puccini. Two more recitals followed to packed halls on April 30 and a finale at the Oberoi Grand on May 1.

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THE TELEGRAPH
Review - How one piano and four hands made music magic - March 20, 2015

Compositions by Gershwin, Debussy, Piazzolla and Brahms jumped off the ebony and ivory of pianists Jennifer Heemstra and Douglas Jurs to fill Kala Mandir as Kolkata Classics Club, in association with Swar Sangam and t2, presented Music Unlocked on March 12. 
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THE TELEGRAPH
Review - Soul sounds for Xmas, with t2 - December 23, 2014

Christmas came early for many at St. Paul’s Cathedral presents A Classical Yuletide, partnered by t2. Soprano Susan Williams (right), with Jennifer Heemstra on the piano, performed Christmas classics such as Ave Maria, O Holy Night, Jesu, Thou Art Watching Ever and many more at St. Paul’s Cathedral on the evening of December 17. Before the programme began, a moment’s silence was observed in memory of the schoolchildren who lost their lives in Peshawar. “Around this time of the year, we celebrate the birth of Christ, the child. He brings us hope and that’s exactly what we need now because of what happened in Pakistan,” said Father James, assistant presbyter of St. Paul’s Cathedral. ​
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