Book now

Expression of Art Award

The Expression of Art Award by The Set hotels was launched in 2016, with the first edition issued by the Conservatorium hotel for the Art of Musical Expression.

The Conservatorium hotel has established a strong collaboration with the Conservatorium van Amsterdam, Amsterdam's University of the Arts since the day of it’s opening in 2011. The award emphasized the heritage and history of the building, which has been the house of the former Sweelinck Conservatory of Music from 1983 to 2008. As well as giving the students of the Conservatorium van Amsterdam a podium to perform every weekend in the Lounge of the hotel, the award Conservatorium hotel gave three bands the opportunity to perform on selected dates in the Symphony Room of the hotel.


The first concert on the 21st of February was by Mateusz Pulawski, guitarist and composer of the jazz band the Lunar Quartet. The second concert on the 10th of April was by the Gideon Tazelaar trio, who are inspired by music of John Coltrane and Sonny Rollins. The final concert and day of the award ceremony was held on the 12th of June with the final performer being Tom Ridderbeekx, trumpeter who made his debut at the North Sea Jazz festival in 2011. The award consisted of a €5000 scholarship to be used by the winner to further their musical career. 


The professional jury which was appointed to make the final judgment included: 

  • Jasper Blom, a leading tenor and soprano saxophonist of the young Dutch jazzgeneration and one of the most versatile players in the Benelux. Jasper has performed with the likes of Lee Konitz, Chet Baker, Nat Adderley, Bob Brookmeyer, George Duke, Randy Crawford, David Liebman, Conrad Herwig and many other international reknowned artists.
  • Edoardo Righini, teacher at Conservatorium van Amsterdam and head of Online Learning and Continuing Education. He is also the author of the highly-praised book Guitar Lessons. 
  • ​Juan Martinez, General Artistic Director of the Jazz Orchestra at the Royal Concerthall.

Winner of the award:

On the 12th of June, our judges were proud to hand the Expression of Art Award and the winning prize of a €5000 scholarship to the Gideon Tazelaar trio. The trio consists of Gideon Tazelaar on the saxophone, Wouter Kühne on the drums and Ties Laarakker on the double bass and are inspired by the Sonny Rollins trio and the music of John Coltrane. The group is known for taking a simple repertoire as a starting point to investigate the playfully melodic, harmonic and rhythmic elements.

Gideon Tazelaar (1997) - Started with saxophone lessons at the age of seven and at the age of eight he performed at the Royal Concert building in Amsterdam. When Gideon turned 11, he contributed to the North Sea Jazz Festival with his quartet and has played along side some big names such as Simon Rigter, Peter Beets, Martijn van Iterson and Joost Patocka. Gideon will graduate at the end of 2016 from the Conservatorium van Amsterdam.

Ties Laarakker (1989) - Has been playing the double bass since the age of 14 and got accepted to the Conservatorium van Amsterdam when he was only 16 years old. In his spare time he studies Mathematics at the University of Amsterdam.

Wouter Kühne (1996) - Had his first drum lessons at the age of seven and when he was 16 he entered the North Sea Jazz Festival. He is currently in his second year of his Bachelor degree at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam. 

If you would like more information please email: