Events

 

The Embassy of the Free Mind regularly organizes lectures, themed guided tours and concerts. View the upcoming activities here.

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UPCOMING EVENTS

1 and 22 May - 'The Grail of Amsterdam', Special Guided Tour
9 May - Concert by Jason Daskalakis, classical guitar
17 May - Lunch concert by Flora Guichard, cello; Alexandre Prusse, accordion
19, 16 May & 2 June - Course 'The Dream of the Cosmos. History of the Feminine Consciousness’.
31 May - Lecture, Spinoza and the freedom to philosophize


1 AND 22 MAY - The 'Grail of Amsterdam' - Special Guided Tour by Rachel Ritman

For centuries, the stories surrounding the Grail have appealed to the imagination. One of our top items in our collection is the ‘Grail of Amsterdam’, which was commissioned by Joost and Rachel Ritman, and which took the Russian lacquer miniature painter Oleg An ten years to complete. The top half of the Grail visualizes the biblical background of the Grail tradition; the bottom half depicts the Grail legends that originated in the Middle Ages.

On several dates in May from 15.30pm to 16.45h Rachel Ritman will give a special guided Grail tour! This in-depth tour explains the unique Grail art we own and the many Grail stories it holds, with an emphasis on the medieval tradition. Book your ticket in advance, because there is only a limited amount of places available!

Date: 1 and 22 May
Time: 15.30 - 16.45h
Tickets: € 8,50 - excl.. museum ticket (Stadspas Amsterdam and Museumkaart valid)

BOOK YOUR TICKETS 


 

9 May - Concert by Jason Daskalakis, classical guitar

Jason Daskalakis is a versatile classical guitarist and composer. Last year he featured in our lunch concert series with his duo partner Silvan de Smit, performing some of his own compositions. Now he is back with a one-hour solo concert, in which he will perform his own music, in addition to compositions by Erik Satie, Gentil Montana (Colombia) and Angel Villoldo (Argentina).

Programme
Jason Daskalakis - Leaving the Tribe; Popo; Parting Ways; Underwater Sunset; Spirit of the Father; Angel Villoldo - El Choclo; Erik Satie - Gnossienne No.3; Gentil Montana - Porro.

Born in Athens, Greece in 1991, Jason Daskalakis started playing classical guitar at the age of 6 and never stopped. In 2012 he graduated from the National Conservatory of Athens with the prize of Excellence. During this period he also followed classes of Music theory, Harmony, Chamber music, History, Analysis and more. He participated in numerous classical guitar competitions out of which he acquired two 1st prizes, one 2nd prize and one ‘appreciation prize’. In the meantime he attended festivals and masterclasses with great masters of the classical guitar world.

After some turmoil regarding which path to follow and after a series of different studies he decided to apply at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam.
In 2013 he got accepted and started studying at the CvA in the department of classical guitar with teachers Lydia Kennedy and Johannes Moller. During that time he learned to play more instruments, namely piano and percussion, and most importantly he began composing. He graduated in 2017 and since then is working as a performer and teacher in Amsterdam and other parts of the Netherlands. His first album release titled “Leaving the Tribe” is expected to be released before the summer of 2019.

Listen to Jason's performance of 'Parting Ways' here

Date: Thursday 9 May
Time: 19.00-20.30h (concert with intermission) (doors open 18.30h - home made soup awaiting you!)
Tickets: € 7,50 

BOOK YOUR TICKETS 


17 May - Lunch concert in the Embassy of the Free Mind

This concert has been sold out. Tickets at the door are also no longer available. 

Music at the Embassy of the Free Mind

This is a concert series by students from the Conservatorium van Amsterdam at the Embassy of the Free Mind. Every third Friday of the month conservatory students will give a concert in the 'Grote Sael' in the House with the Heads. A very special collaboration, because the House with the Heads, now home of the Embassy of the Free Mind, housed the Amsterdam conservatory from 1909 to 1931. Truly a historical venue for the musicians of today. 

On 17 May Flora Guichard, cello, and Alexandre Prusse, accordion, will play music by Astor Piazzolla, David Popper, Bernard Cavanna, and Graciane Finzi.

In 2012, Flora Guichard started her studies at the Conservatoire à rayonnement régional de Paris, where she had the opportunity to work with musicians such as Marc-Olivier De Nattes and Constantin Bogdanas. She participated in different projects, such as the inauguration of the auditorium of Radio France in November 2014. After having obtained her diploma, she continued her studies at the ESMD of Lille in the class of Guillaume Lafeuille and Jean-Christophe Lannoy. During her studies, she received advice from Emmanuelle Bertrand, Raphaël Perraud, Louis Claret, Nicolas Hartmann and Sonia Wieder-Atherton. She continues her studies in the Conservatoire Royal of Bruxelles in Marie Hallynck’s class.  
 Flora is a member of the ensemble Koechel 440. With this ensemble she performed at the Philharmonie 2 in Paris and the Cherbourg Theater in partnership with the Association Cherbourgeoise de Défense de l’Art Lyrique, and in many other places at home and abroad. Additionally, she plays in several other ensembles and orchestras under the direction of Maxime Pascal, Quentin Hindley, Vahan Mardirossian, Vincent Barte, and Takenori Nemoto. She is also a member of the Douai Orchestra, in partnership with the National Orchestra of Lille.

Alexandre Prusse started to play the accordion in the south of France with Doris Stiegler. Initially interested in varity music of varieties, he switches to classical music. In 2012 he obtained his diploma at the Conservatory of Marseille where he studied with Damien Paradisi. 
In 2017 he obtained his Bachelor’s degree at the ESMD of Lille in the class of Vincent Lhermet. He also took lessons with artists such as Claudio Jacomucci, Jacques Mornet, Matti Rantanen, Geir Draugsvoll, Helka Kymäläinen, Klemen Leben, Sylvain Gargalian, Marko Kassl and Marieke Hopman.
Alexandre distinguished himself in international competitions in New Zealand, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Scotland and won first prizes at the Castelfidardo International Competition (Italy) (2010) in the junior category, and the BACH-Pierre Barbizet Competition of the city of Marseille in 2011.
Alexandre performs widely as a soloist, in chamber music, or in ensembles including the Secession Orchestra, Douai Orchestra, Picardie Orchestra, Ensemble Vocal ADVENTI, and Les Concerts de poche. In 2018 he participated in the creation and tour of the show ”The Soldiers’ by JMR Lenz, staged by Anne-Laure Liégeois. As a result of his interest in contemporary music, he premiered works by Bernard Cavanna, Philippe Lussiaa-Berdou, Julien Tortorat and Denis Levaillant.

Date: Friday 17 May
Time: 13.30 - 14.00h
Tickets: € 12,50 (museum entrance fee, the concert is free). Free entrance with Museumkaart and Stadspas.

BOOK YOUR TICKETS 

Our next concerts will be on:

Fri 21 June 13.30h Josefien de Waele, harp
Fri 19 July 13.30h programme t.b.a.
Fri 16 August 13.30h programme t.b.a.
Fri 20 September 13.30h programme t.b.a.
Fri 18 October 13.30h programme t.b.a.
Fri 15 November 13.30h programme t.b.a.
Fri 20 December 13.30h programme t.b.a.


19, 16 MAY & 2 JUNE - Course The Dream of the Cosmos Cursus History of the Feminine Consciousness

Following our lecture 'Introduction to the History of the Feminine' from 18 April, we now introduce a 3-class COURSE on the same theme: The Dream of the Cosmos: Introduction to the History of the Feminine. Feminine Consciousness and the Rise of a New Story.

Date: 19, 26 May & 2 June
Time: 12.00-13.30 hours
Costs: € 60,-
Language: Engels

Read more


31 MAY - Lecture, Spinoza and the freedom to philosophize

This lecture will be in Dutch

Spinoza’s Theological-Political Treatise (1670), published anonymously in Amsterdam, is more than a radical plea for tolerance and freedom of expression, as the book is often seen. If Spinoza wrote only about a pragmatic defense of freedom of religion, he would not have had to take the risk of publishing a "forbidden book", because 17th-century Amsterdam was already a "free haven for those with a different opinion". Jews, Catholics, Protestants of all kinds, and Socinians lived together here and could rely on protection from the government.

The first part of the lecture will try to show that Spinoza wants to prove "scientifically" that freedom is essential for every religion. In his eyes religion is a general human phenomenon. This means that the outcome of the first sixteen chapters of the Theological-Political Treatise is that no religion can pretend to form the true religion. Spinoza shared this vision of the essential role of freedom of thought for religion with his friends such as the Mennonites Jarig Jelles and Pieter Balling and the radical Cartesians Adriaan Koerbagh and Lodewijk Meijer within the "circle of Spinoza".

In the second part, Henri Krop will discuss the Ethics. Sometimes Spinoza is seen as a secular philosopher, but he also wants to show how we can find a comprehensive wisdom that makes us free.

 

Benedictus de Spinoza. Porttrait added to a copy of 'De nagelate schriften'. [Amsterdam 1677]

H.A. Krop (* 1954) studied philosophy and theology in Leiden. In 1987 he defended a dissertation on the relationship between theology and philosophy according to the medieval philosopher Duns Scotus. Since 1988 he has been a lecturer in the history of thought at the Faculty of Philosophy at Erasmus University Rotterdam. His research has two main points: early modern philosophy in particular in the Republic, and Spinoza. In 2002 he published an annotated translation of Ethics, which is now in its 10th edition and in 2014 Spinoza, a paradoxical icon of the Netherlands. This book describes how Spinoza's philosophy has been an important source of inspiration in their search for wisdom in the last few centuries.

In 2008 Henri Krop contributed to the publication Libertas Philosophandi. Spinoza as a guide for a free world of publishing In the pelican of the Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica. His essay is entitled "Henri Krop, Old and New in the Spinoza Library" and can be read in the book, available in the museum shop and via the webshop.

Date: Friday 31 May
Time: 19.00-20.30h (doors open 18.30h - home made soup awaiting you!)
Tickets: € 12,50 | Students € 10
Language: Dutch

BOOK YOUR TICKETS 


ARCHIVE

1 MAY - Alchemical animal hunt for children

Are you 8+ and would you like to learn more about making gold, the art of alchemy? Join director Esther Ritman on an alchemical beast hunt and discover what the animals symbolize by exploring the images in the museum. What are the black raven or the phoenix, all about? How many images of the ouroboros, the snake that bites in its own tail, can you discover in the museum? What can these animals tell you about alchemy? If you like, you are welcome to draw alchemical animals or other fantasy beasts yourself!

Date: Wednesday 1 May
Time: 15.30-16.30h
Tickets: Tour € 7,50 p.p. (excl. museum ticket) - entrance free for children, for adults €12,50 / free with Museumkaart and Stadspas
Language: Dutch


19 APRIL - Lunch concert in the Embassy of the Free Mind

This concert has been sold out. Tickets at the door are also no longer available. 

Music at the Embassy of the Free Mind

This is a concert series by students from the Conservatorium van Amsterdam at the Embassy of the Free Mind. Every third Friday of the month conservatory students will give a concert in the 'Grote Sael' in the House with the Heads. A very special collaboration, because the House with the Heads, now home of the Embassy of the Free Mind, housed the Amsterdam conservatory from 1909 to 1931. Truly a historical venue for the musicians of today. 

On 19 April Duo Due, formed by Zuzanna Skowrońska, violin, and Lotte Grotholt, viola, will play Béla Bartóks charming Duos for two violins; the romantic and elegant Duo in C major by Jean Sibelius and the first two movements of Bohuslav Martinu’s virtuosic Three Madrigals.

At the age of eleven, Zuzanna Skowrońska (1998) made her debut as a soloist with the school orchestra at the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warschau, performing one of Vivaldi’s violin concertos. In 2015 she received a scholarship and was awarded the distinction ‘specialist violinist’ at the Wells Cathedral School, where she studied with Bridget Kirkland-Wilson and Catherine Lord. She gave many concerts in Great Britain, Germany and Switzerland as a member of the Wells Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Matthew Souter.
Zuzanna took masterclasses with artists including Konstanty Andrzej Kulka, Bartek Nizioł, Tomasz Tomaszewski, Janusz Wawrowski and Magdalena Rezler.
At the moment she studies with Liviu Prunaru in the second year of the bachelor’s degree programme at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam.

Lotte Grotholt (1998) started out as a violinist, but she switched to the viola at the age of 16. She studied at the young talents department of the ARTEZ Conservatory and took masterclasses with Jurgen Kussmaul, Thomas Riebl, Jane Rogers, Pauline Sachse, Bruno Guiranna, Lucy van Dael and Nobuko Imai. At the moment she studies with Marjolein Dispa in the third year of the bachelor’s degree programme at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam. She performs regulalrly with various chamber music ensembles and orchestras.
Additionally, Lotte is a composer: twice she has won an incentive prize at the Prinses Christina Composition Competition (in 2014 and 2016). As a result, her composition was performed by Trio Brulesco in The Hague and Sint Niklaas in 2016.
Lotte plays a Georg Aman viola (1704); she has a baroque viola bow put at her disposal by the Nationaal Muziekinstrumentenfonds.

Date: Friday 19 April
Time: 13.30 - 14.00h
Tickets: € 12,50 (museum entrance fee, the concert is free). Free entrance with Museumkaart and Stadspas.


18 APRIL - Lecture, Dream of the Cosmos: Introduction to the History of the Feminine

Feminine Consciousness and the Rise of a New Story

Who and what is the Goddess? How did the world look like before patriarchy and the rise of science and technology? What price do we pay for the modern life we live, the comfort and technological advances we enjoy every day?
In this introductory talk, we will explore the history of Feminine Consciousness. Jungian researcher Faranak Mirjalili will take us back through reflecting on Anne Baring’s book The Dream of the Cosmos. A Quest for the Soul to a pre-patriarchal time; a time where feminine values were honoured, and her work considered important and essential. A time when the Earth was considered a sacred being that we could relate to, which gave us not only physical recourses but also spiritual nourishment and a deeper meaning to life. What happened to this consciousness and to the Soul of the World, what the ancient alchemists called the ‘Anima Mundi’? Can we redeem this ancient wisdom and what role does mythology, dreamwork and alchemy have in this?

Anne Baring is a pioneer in the historical research of the feminine aspect of the gods… She addresses the real cultural roots of the multifaceted crisis we currently experience globally - spiritually, psychologically, ecologically, socially, politically and economically. Baring derived inspiration from the ideas that are present in the Embassy of the Free Mind, which is also why she personally embraces the initiative. As a young researcher, Faranak Mirjalili will bring these ideas closer to us.

Faranak Mirjalili is a myth- and storyteller and a Jungian Dreamwork teacher. She is a student of the works of C. G. Jung and in training as a Jungian Analyst in The Netherlands. As a research student in the field of Feminine Consciousness and Embodiment, she focuses on the connection of the organs and spiritual centres of the body to the personal and collective unconscious, with an emphasis on the importance of the heart in the transformation of consciousness. Her interest and work are on how the body and wisdom of a new emerging Feminine can be of service in a time of global ecological crisis.


Faranak works in both groups and individually. Her work and research aim to break out of the individual therapy room and make space for group-work by connecting to the collective ‘Mundus Imaginalis’ through the world of Myth and Fairytales. She offers workshops in Europe and teaches myth and dreamwork internationally to students through her Online Program.

More info and online articles: www.faranakmirjalili.net

Date: Thursday 18 April
Time: 19.00-20.30h (doors open 18.30h - home made soup awaiting you!)
Tickets: € 12,50 | Students € 10
Language: English


12 APRIL - Historical 'House with the Heads' Guided Tour

This tour is in Dutch

The Embassy of the Free Mind is located in the 17th-century canal house called Huis met de Hoofden - House with the Heads. Since it was built in 1622, the house has seen many inhabitants. The second owners of the house, the De Geer family, already created a haven for free thinking here in the 17th century. Which elements in the house still date from that time? Which characteristics reveal the influence of subsequent owners of the house? And what is the true story behind the six heads on the facade of the house?

In this guided tour Jozef Ritman, who is in charge of the preservation of this listed building, will give you an insider’s view of this monumental house which is included in the top 100 of Dutch heritage sites.

Date: 12 April
Time: 15.30-16.45h
Tickets: € 8,50 (excl. museum ticket; Stadspas Amsterdam and Museumkaart valid)
Language: Dutch


13, 20, 27 MARCH, 3, 10 and 17 APRIL - Course, Hildegard of Bingens Scivias, pilgrimage of the soul, on its way to its destination

Please note: this course will be in Dutch!

The Embassy of the Free Mind organises its very first course, which consists of six meetings focusing on the work of the medieval visionary Hildegard of Bingen. Every meeting starts with a short introduction, after which one of Hildegard's visions is discussed, together with the accompanying miniature, made by the sisters of Hildegard's own monastery. In this way it is possible to gain insight into the total concept of Hildegard's trilogy and that her visions still have something to say today.

Dates: 13, 20, 27 March, 3, 10 and 17 April
Time: 15: 00-16: 30
Costs: € 120
Language: Dutch

Read more


21 MARCH - Lecture: The emotional DNA: from metaphysics to biochemistry, by Prof. Dr. Pierre Capel

Please note: this lecture will be in Dutch!

In our western culture there is a kind of declining appreciation: at the top is the logic, which is overvalued. Our emotions, on the other hand, are underestimated. Feelings of a supernatural - metaphysical - nature, are mainly neglected. For many people feelings are a kind of fog that floats through our body and people often don't know what to do with esoteric experiences. Recent scientific developments lead to a revaluation of these areas.

Biochemist Pierre Capel connects biochemistry with quantum mechanics and explains how this can contribute to our humanity. He demonstrates how feelings are linked to our biochemistry and thus have a huge impact on our functioning. Not functioning on some vague level, but directly on the cells in our body, even up to the use of our DNA by those cells. In this way, feelings are directly related to our health, including our lifespan.


While current biochemistry can explain a large part of our emotional world, recent developments in quantum mechanics not only prove the existence of information outside space / time, but they also show that the virtual world appears to be very real. These insights are even about to be applied in quantum computers. All these new insights can help to gain a clearer insight into the field of supernatural experiences.

On 21 March, at the Embassy of the Free Mind, which focuses on age-old wisdom with regard to the relationship between nature and man, we want to answer the question: what can these modern insights into biochemistry and quantum mechanics teach us? How can we apply these insights to each of us? 

Pierre Capel is an emeritus professor of experimental immunology, who wants to make his knowledge accessible to a wide audience. He invites you to enjoy the scientific world that extends from quantum mechanics, in which real reality far surpasses all our common logic to the dynamics of molecular genetics. He will amaze you with the biochemistry of feelings, in which the "soft sector" and hard science merge smoothly, making it clear how yoga and meditation can directly influence the use of our DNA.

Time: 19.00-20.30h (doors open 18.30h)
Tickets: € 12,50 | Students € 10
Language: Dutch


15 MARCH - Lunch concert in the Embassy of the Free Mind

Music at the Embassy of the Free Mind

This is a concert series by students from the Conservatorium van Amsterdam at the Embassy of the Free Mind. Every third Friday of the month conservatory students will give a concert in the 'Grote Sael' in the House with the Heads. A very special collaboration, because the House with the Heads, now home of the Embassy of the Free Mind, housed the Amsterdam conservatory from 1909 to 1931. Truly a historical venue for the musicians of today. 

On 15 March, Nuria Canales, traverso, and Yotam Haran, Baroque cello, will take the listener to the 17th and 18th century with J. Hotteterre's Suite III in G major; Jiří Čart’s Sonata in d minor and Jean Daniel Braun’s Sonata III in B minor.

Nuria Canales (Madrid, 1993) studied flute in Spain and graduated from the master programme in flute at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam. Currently she studies with Jed Wentz at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam, having always had a great interest in Early Music. By the age of 10 she made her first appearance as a soloist, and since then she has collaborated with several orchestras as a soloist.

Yotam Haran (Jerusalem, Israel, 1992), completed his bachelor studies in cello in 2015 in Jerusalem and recently completed his master degree in baroque cello at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam with Viola de Hoog. Yotam has prepared a much complimented thesis on Luigi Boccherini's Cello sonata G1, and he is currently a doctoral candidate at Leiden University.

Date: Friday 15 March
Time: 13.30 - 14.00h
Tickets: € 12,50 (museum entrance fee, the concert is free). Free entrance with Museumkaart and Stadspas.


14 MARCH - Lecture | Paganism and European Understanding of Other Cultures by Mgr. Pavel Horák, Ph.D.

As Europeans we have been exploring and trying to understand other cultures for many centuries now. In this pursuit, scholars have always been looking for something in particular. What exactly was it they were looking for, and did they ever find it? Why was it so important? This lecture suggests answers to these questions, and offers a new point of view on our past. Join a fascinating journey exploring our own history…

This lecture will introduce an intriguing story of how our European culture has been trying to understand different cultures. The journey starts in Renaissance Italy, explaining the concept of Prisca Theologia or ‘Ancient Theology’ – the idea that one theological truth can be found in every religion – the role of Hermetic writings and early modern imaginings of our ‘pagan’ past. Moving forward in time to the Enlightenment era and later on through the 19th century to today, we will see whether and how our understanding of different cultures has changed.


Mgr. Pavel Horák, Ph.D. (Přerov, Czech Republic, 1988) is a Czech researcher of religion and currently a visiting scholar at the Centre of History of Hermetic Philosophy and Related Currents, UvA. In his research, he focuses on paganism, history of religion, esotericism and new religious movements.

Time: 19.00-20.30h (doors open 18.30h)
Tickets: € 12,50 | Students € 10
Language: English


 27 FEBRUARY - Alchemical beast hunt for children - spring break

Are you 8+ and would you like to find out more about alchemy? Join Esther Ritman on an alchemical beast hunt and discover what the animals symbolize by exploring the images in the museum. What are the black raven or the phoenix, all about? How many images of the ouroboros, the snake that bites in its own tail, can you discover in the museum? What can these animals tell you about alchemy? If you like, you are welcome to draw alchemical animals or other fantasy beasts yourself!

Dates: Saturday 16 February 15.30-16.30h; Wednesday 27 February 13.30 -14.30h
Language: Dutch
Tickets: Tour € 7,50 per person (excl. museum ticket) - admission for children free, adults €12,50 /Stadspas Amsterdam and Museumkaart valid.


15 FEBRUARY - Lunch concert in the Embassy of the Free Mind

Music at the Embassy of the Free Mind

This is a concert series by students from the Conservatorium van Amsterdam at the Embassy of the Free Mind. Every third Friday of the month conservatory students will give a concert in the 'Grote Sael' in the House with the Heads. A very special collaboration, because the House with the Heads, now home of the Embassy of the Free Mind, housed the Amsterdam conservatory from 1909 to 1931. Truly a historical venue for the musicians of today.

Our next concert is going to be an adventurous journey across time and continents! Samuel Bricault, flute, and Luke Starkey, lute, will perform music by Baroque composer Couperin, Irish folk tunes and Indian ragas. An inspiring blend of diverse styles in only one afternoon concert.

 

Inspired to learn the flute by the popular dances of his native Ariège, Samuel Bricault’s trajectory as musician has led him to embrace a multitude of repertoires and forms of expression. At the Paris Conservatoire, he completed his master’s degree and then the Artist Diploma with highest honors. Currently he studies at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam.
Equally enthusiastic about performing contemporary music and Irish traditional music or jazz, he has explored improvisation as a contemporary practice as well as the tradition of Indian ragas. His artistry has led him to perform extensively in major French and European venues and festivals with leading orchestras (Paris Opera, Orchestre National de France, Orchestre de Chambre de Paris ), contemporary ensembles and collectives (Le Balcon, Multilatérale, ensemble Itinéraire) and chamber music ensembles (Quatuor Van Kuijk, Claire Désert, Emmanuel Strausser, Olivier Charlier). He played with orchestras Katchaturian’s concerto at the Philharmonie de Paris, Mercadante’s concerto at the Teatro Mayor of Bogota, Vivaldi’s concertos at Ekaterinbourg’s Philharmonia (Russia). In 2014 he was finalist in Nicolet Competition in Canton (China). From London’s Royal Albert Hall to Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, from Paris’ Châtelet Theatre to the Shangai Symphony Hall and French National Radio, Samuel is constantly expanding the scope of his instrument and the world of music.

Graduating from Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in 2010, Luke Starkey is an active performer of early music on lute and theorbo based in Utrecht. Luke has received training in his lute studies from Lynda Sayce and Fred Jacobs, and has performed in festivals such as the Oude Muziek Festival in Utrecht and the Brecon Baroque Festival. He has also performed solo recitals and given talks about the history of the lute for The Manchester Literary and Philosophical Society and National Museum of Wales.

Date: Friday 15 February
Time: 13.30 - 14.00h
Tickets: € 12,50 (museum entrance fee, the concert is free). Free entrance with Museumkaart and Stadspas.


31 JANUARY - Historical 'House with the Heads' Guided Tour

The Embassy of the Free Mind is located in the 17th-century canal house called Huis met de Hoofden - House with the Heads. Since it was built in 1622, the house has seen many inhabitants. The second owners of the house, the De Geer family, already created a haven for free thinking here in the 17th century. Which elements in the house still date from that time? Which characteristics reveal the influence of subsequent owners of the house? And what is the true story behind the six heads on the facade of the house?

In this guided tour Jozef Ritman, who is in charge of the preservation of this listed building, will give you an insider’s view of this monumental house which is included in the top 100 of Dutch heritage sites.

Date: 31 January
Time: 15.30-16.45h
Tickets: € 8,50 (excl. museum ticket; Stadspas Amsterdam and Museumkaart valid)
Language: Dutch, or English if requested


24 JANUARY - Realizing Yourself; An Infinite Game, Lecture by Alexander den Heijer

In his talk at the Embassy of the Free Mind, Alexander den Heijer will share his insights on purpose and self-realization. He will take us on an inner journey from the ego to the soul, and on an outer journey about how to find our place in the world as individuals and integrate ourselves fully. Alexander frequently visits the Embassy of the Free Mind to study the works of Hermes Trismegistus, Jacob Böhme and Carl Jung, some of his favourite sources of inspiration.

About Alexander den Heijer
Alexander den Heijer is a Dutch public speaker, trainer, and author of the book Nothing you don’t already know; remarkable reminders about meaning, purpose, and self-realization. With his workshops and talks he reaches thousands of people from all over the world. He is frequently invited by organizations to share his insights on self-realization, purpose, and (organizational) transformation. Alexander has always been fascinated by the question ‘What makes human beings flourish?’ This question sent him on an infinite quest to understand human beings, starting with himself.

Alexander draws inspiration from many disciplines, including physics, biology, psychology, philosophy, spirituality and ancient wisdom traditions. He believes no single discipline can provide the answer the questions that are facing us today. We must continue to draw from different perspectives to be able to understand and develop ourselves.

To learn more about Alexander, visit www.alexanderdenheijer.com

Date: Thursday 24 January
Time: 19.00-21.00h (doors open 18.30h)
Tickets: € 12,50 | Students € 10
Language: English


18 JANUARY - Lunch concert in the Embassy of the Free Mind

Music at the Embassy of the Free Mind

This is a concert series by students from the Conservatorium van Amsterdam at the Embassy of the Free Mind. Every third Friday of the month conservatory students will give a concert in the 'Grote Sael' in the House with the Heads. A very special collaboration, because the House with the Heads, now home of the Embassy of the Free Mind, housed the Amsterdam conservatory from 1909 to 1931. Truly a historical venue for the musicians of today.

On 18 January harpist Miriam Ruf will give a performance.  

Miriam Ruf (1997, Günzburg, Germany,) has been studying at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam (CvA) with Erika Waardenburg and Sandrine Chatron since 2015. Additionally she followed master classes with Masumi Nagasawa, Frederique Cambreling, Gwyneth Wentink, Park Stickney and Giselle Herbet. In 2018 she was accepted into the“excellence programme, which allows her to intensify her orchestral studies. In the season 2018/19 she participates in the NedPho/CvA Orchestra Academy, an exclusive collaboration between the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra and the CvA

Miriam has won several prizes at different competitions in Germany, such as two first prizes at the German national competition Jugend Musiziert, as well as prizes by the Deutsche Stiftung Musikleben and the Zonta-Musikpreis. In 2015 Miriam received the Kulturpreis der Stadt Gersthofen. As a result she was also invited to several concerts, radio and CD-recordings. In 2018 she won the Audition Training for harpists at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam.
With different ensembles and orchestras Miriam has played in concert halls such as the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, the Muziekgebouw Amsterdam, Tivoli Vredenburg Utrecht, Bayerischer Rundfunk in München and the Meistersingerhalle in Nürnberg. As a soloist she has played concertos by Reinecke, Mozart, Händel, Debussy and Glière with various orchestras.

Date: Friday 18 January
Time: 13.30 - 14.00h
Tickets: € 12,50 (museum entrance fee, the concert is free). Free entrance with Museumkaart and Stadspas.


21 DECEMBER - Lunch concert in the Embassy of the Free Mind

Music at the Embassy of the Free Mind

This is a concert series by students from the Conservatorium van Amsterdam at the Embassy of the Free Mind. Every third Friday of the month conservatory students will give a concert in the 'Grote Sael' in the House with the Heads. A very special collaboration, because the House with the Heads, now home of the Embassy of the Free Mind, housed the Amsterdam conservatory from 1909 to 1931. Truly a historical venue for the musicians of today.

On December 21st we will have: 

Joëlle Goercharn, lead vocals, piano
Loïse Campagna, double bass, vocals
Rachid Rejaibi, drums & percussion, vocals

This last lunch concert of 2018 will be something really special! Up to now we have offered a stage to classical musicians from the Conservatorium van Amsterdam, but since there are other styles which would also sound great in our intimate ‘Grote Sael’, this time we will have singer-songwriter Joëlle Goercharn. Together with Loïse Campagna (double bass, vocals) and Rachid Rejaibi (drums & percussion, vocals) Joëlle will perform songs from her recently released debut album Silhouette.

After graduating from the Conservatorium van Amsterdam Joëlle decided to go to New York to immerse herself in songwriting. Supported by a grant from the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds she studied at The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music. After a year in New York she returned to Amsterdam with her suitcase full of beautiful songs, five of which feature on her recently released debut EP Silhouette.
Together with her eclectic band Joëlle presents an attractive blend of dreamy pop songs which echo her Indian roots. In her music she draws inspiration from life in New York and the stories of her Hindustani grandmother. Warm and mellow music for the dark and cold days of winter.

Listen to ‘Stained Glass’, a song in which Joëlle explores religion from her Hindustani and Catholic background. ‘This song is a message of hope,’ says Joëlle. ‘Sometimes it is better to just fall down and start over again, however fragile you are.’

Date: Friday 21 December
Time: 13.30 - 14.00h
Tickets: € 10 (museum entrance fee, the concert is free). Free entrance with Museumkaart and Stadspas.


14 DECEMBER - Mini conference “Nature and the Supernatural”

On Friday 14 December Research MA students from the University of Amsterdam will be holding a mini conference based on their research for the course ‘Nature and the Supernatural’. The conference will be take place in the Grote Sael at the Embassy of the Free Mind. Each student will give a presentation of approximately 15-20 minutes about such themes as ritual magic, myths from various cultures, and virtual beings.

PROGRAMME

09.55 Brief welcome and introduction

10.00 Panel 1: Magic, Virtual Beings, and the Imaginary (Chair - Andrea Franchetto)
Thomas Van Breda - Psychologized, Naturalized,...Pragmatized? Discerning Spirits in Occultist Magic
Margaréta Jurkovičová - Invisible Healing : The Power of Music in a Ritual of Spirit Possession
Stephanie Shea - Virtual Beings, Virtual Worlds: Exploring Imagination and the Internet as Liminal Spaces for the Development of Otherkin Identities

11.15 Coffee Break

11.30 Panel 2: Myths I: Power and Representation (Chair - Jafe Arnold)
Lucy Atkinson - Re-Imagining the Witch Mythology: Power in Nature and Sexuality out of a Disenchanted World
Ivonka Ciepielak - tba (Slavic mythology and female representations)

12.20 Lunch Break [lunch not included]

13.15 Panel 3: Myths II: History and Transformation (Chair - Tom Cowan)
Jafe Arnold - Chariots, Dismemberment, and the Storm-God: Indo-European Myth in the Babylonian Enuma Elis
Hillary Lowell - Yahweh’s Kings and Messiahs: Kingship and Messianism in the Old and New Testaments

14.05 short break

14.30 Panel 4: Accessing the Intermediary: Communication, Perception, and Materiality (Chair - Stephanie Shea)
Thomas Cowan - Geometry and Intermediary Access: a Transcultural Survey 
Andrea Franchetto - Decoding the Almandal: a Material Perspective
Ilja van de Rhoer - Demonic alliances: Affect theory on the threshold

15.35 Panel 5: “To Be Announced” (Chair - Stephanie Shea)
Tarim Flach - tba

16.00 closing and remarks

DATE: Friday 14 December 2018
TIME: 10.00-17.00h 
TICKETS: free upon show of a museum ticket (we accept Museumkaart and Stadspas)
LANGUAGE: English


12 DECEMBER The 'Grail of Amsterdam' - Special Guided Tour by Rachel Ritman

For centuries, the stories surrounding the Grail have appealed to the imagination. One of our top items in our collection is the ‘Grail of Amsterdam’, which was commissioned by Joost and Rachel Ritman, and which took the Russian lacquer miniature painter Oleg An ten years to complete. The top half of the Grail visualizes the biblical background of the Grail tradition; the bottom half depicts the Grail legends that originated in the Middle Ages.

Every Wednesday in October Rachel Ritman will give an in-depth tour of this wonderful object and the many Grail stories it holds, with an emphasis on the medieval tradition.

Date: Wednesday 12 December
Time: 15.30-16.30h 
Tickets: € 7,50 excl. museum ticket


9 NOVEMBER Lecture by Peter Huijs- Jacob Boehme - A very bright morning star has arisen

Lecture on Jacob Böhme and the new Dutch translation based on the autograph of Morgenröthe im Aufgang (Aurora) by Peter Huijs

Jacob Böhme is an unsettling thinker who changes anyone who really reads him. He freely wrote about heaven and hell, the seven source spirits, angels and demons. He entered into dialogue with Lucifer himself and presented a challenge to academics, theologians and ministers. Above all, he wrote about man, that mysterious dual creature able to recognize all these things in himself – and much more, namely the entire godhead and the entire creation. You don’t even have to read a book to find this out for yourself. For, as Böhme put it, ‘You will not find a book that will enable you to explore divine wisdom better than a green and flourishing meadow. There you will see, smell and taste the wonderful power of God.’

The depth of Böhme’ s approach and insights are nothing short of revolutionary. In his Morgenröthe im Aufgang (Aurora)  Böhme offers ‘a description based on nature how everything is’ and provides an explanation of […] ‘how both qualities have become good and evil, in which all things originate and how it works and is now. […].’

Are we still able to understand and follow this Philosophus Teutonicus, this German philosopher from the beginning of the 17th century? If so – can he still mean anything to us?

Peter Huijs, (Tegelen 1951) is an art historian, who has previously published on the sources of the original Rosicrucian movement. In ‘Geroepen door het Wereldhart’ presented the history of the Lectorium Rosicrucianum and its founders. In ‘Gnosis, Stromen van Licht in Europa’ he discussed persons who devoted their lives to the hidden current of esoteric Christianity. ‘Volmaakt Licht’  is a volume of essays on the science of the soul. He is a publisher at Rozenkruis Pers and an editor of the international periodical Pentagram.

Date: Thursday 29 November
Time: 7.00 - 9.00pm (doors open 6.30pm)
Tickets: € 10.00 / student € 8.00
Language: English


7 en 28 NOVEMBER The 'Grail of Amsterdam' - Special Guided Tour by Rachel Ritman

For centuries, the stories surrounding the Grail have appealed to the imagination. One of our top items in our collection is the ‘Grail of Amsterdam’, which was commissioned by Joost and Rachel Ritman, and which took the Russian lacquer miniature painter Oleg An ten years to complete. The top half of the Grail visualizes the biblical background of the Grail tradition; the bottom half depicts the Grail legends that originated in the Middle Ages.

Every Wednesday in October Rachel Ritman will give an in-depth tour of this wonderful object and the many Grail stories it holds, with an emphasis on the medieval tradition.

Date: 7 en 28 November
Time: 3.30pm-4.30pm 
Tickets: € 7,50 excl. museum ticket


16 NOVEMBER - Lunch concert in the Embassy of the Free Mind

Music at the Embassy of the Free Mind

This is a new concert series by students from the Conservatorium van Amsterdam at the Embassy of the Free Mind. Every third Friday of the month conservatory students will give a concert in the 'Grote Sael' in the House with the Heads. A very special collaboration, because the House with the Heads, now home of the Embassy of the Free Mind, housed the Amsterdam conservatory from 1909 to 1931. Truly a historical venue for the musicians of today.

On November 16th the Menuetto Trio is back with: Valle González Martín (oboe), Alejandro Peiteado Brea (clarinet) en Daniel Garrido Iglesias (bassoon)



Programme:
Sándor Veress (1907-1992) - Sonatina (1931) 
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) - Variationen Über das Thema Là ci darem la mano (1795) 
Alexandre Tansman (1897-1986) - Suite pour Trio d'Anches (1949)


15 November - Lecture by director Esther Ritman on Robert Fludd

Presentation by director Esther Ritman on the extraordinary images from 17th-century English scientist and physician Robert Fludd. The lecture will be followed by a guided tour where the original engravings, visualizing the connection between the microcosm and the macrocosm, are on display. What can we learn today from Fludd’s mapping of the human mind?

Date: 15 November
Time: 7.00-9.00pm (doors open 6.30pm)
Tickets: € 15,- including tour
Language: English


1 NOVEMBER Lecture by Lauri Ockenström- Magical images and shaping selfhood: Renaissance readers and users of medieval talismans

In his widespread treatise on astrology, De vita coelitus comparanda (1489), Marsilio Ficino wrote: “Astrologers think that propitious images have a similar power, by which they somehow change the nature and behaviour of the wearer; restore him to a better state, so that he becomes now almost another person.”

The idea to which Ficino refers, the importance of intention and mental disposition in magical experiments, is a well-known fact in studies of the history of magic. The conception of magical images, inherited from medieval sources such as the Latin Picatrix was adapted in current theoretical axioms in the theory of humours, in pneumatology and in Neoplatonic cosmology. In this framework, an image did not just make its bearer subject to a planet, but also provided the bearer with a variety of new properties, making the bearer “another person.”

This lecture has two goals. First, it examines Renaissance authors, such as Ficino, Cornelius Agrippa and Camillo Leonardi, as readers of medieval image magic by exploring, through the example case of the memory talisman, the different ways in which the medieval material was received, adapted and applied in the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries.

Second, it focuses on mental dimensions of magical images in late medieval and early modern discussions. It explores magical images as instruments for shaping selfhood and identity, for contextualizing personal experiences, and for locating oneself in a complex universe of intertwined radiations. In the final section, the use of renaissance talismans is hypothetically compared to modern jewellery and the distinctive marks of cultural subgroups (such as band t-shirts) in the context of theories of collecting and subcultural capital.


Lauri Ockenström is a postdoctoral researcher in the department of Music, Art and Culture studies at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland. He studied history, philosophy and art history in the University of Jyväskylä, specialising in Renaissance Neoplatonism. His licentiate thesis (2011) and doctoral dissertation, completed in 2014, explored Marsilio Ficino’s relations to different branches of Hermetic literature and medieval image magic.
Ockenström has published several articles on Ficino and medieval magic, such as Refined Resemblances: Three Categories of Astromagical Images in Marsilio Ficino’s De vita 3.18 and Their Indebtedness to “Abominable” Books” (Magic, Ritual, and Witchcraft, 2014).

Date: 1 November
Time: 7.00 - 9.00pm (doors open 6.30pm)
Tickets: € 10.00 / student € 8.00


17, 24 and 31 OCTOBER The 'Grail of Amsterdam' - Special Guided Tour by Rachel Ritman

For centuries, the stories surrounding the Grail have appealed to the imagination. One of our top items in our collection is the ‘Grail of Amsterdam’, which was commissioned by Joost and Rachel Ritman, and which took the Russian lacquer miniature painter Oleg An ten years to complete. The top half of the Grail visualizes the biblical background of the Grail tradition; the bottom half depicts the Grail legends that originated in the Middle Ages.

Every Wednesday in October Rachel Ritman will give an in-depth tour of this wonderful object and the many Grail stories it holds, with an emphasis on the medieval tradition.

Date: 17, 24 and 31 October
Time: 3.30pm-4.30pm
Tickets: € 7,50 excl. museum ticket

BOOK YOUR TICKETS


 26 OCTOBER & 9 NOVEMBER Guided Tour by Master Bookbinder Geert van Daal

Master bookbinder Geert van Daal has been making magnificent bookbindings and boxes for the Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica (BPH) since 1984. These objects are the outcome of a close and inspired collaboration between Geert van Daal and Joost Ritman, founder of the BPH. As a result, every object epitomizes the form and content of the books. Many of the bindings were hand-gilded using 22 to 24 carat gold. A retrospective exhibition of Geert van Daal’s magnificent oeuvre is on view in the Embassy of the Free Mind through 24 November.

Geert van Daal will offer a one-hour tour on Friday 26 October and Friday 9 November, highlighting many aspects of his spellbinding work.

Date: Friday 26 October and Friday 9 November
Time: 3.30-4.30pm 
Tickets: € 7,50,- (museum ticket not included)
Language: Dutch, unless there will be non-Dutch speaking guests in which case the tour will be given in English.

BOOK YOUR TICKETS

 


19 OCTOBER - Lunch concert in the Embassy of the Free Mind

Music at the Embassy of the Free Mind

This is a new concert series by students from the Conservatorium van Amsterdam at the Embassy of the Free Mind. Every third Friday of the month conservatory students will give a concert in the 'Grote Sael' in the House with the Heads. A very special collaboration, because the House with the Heads, now home of the Embassy of the Free Mind, housed the Amsterdam conservatory from 1909 to 1931. Truly a historical venue for the musicians of today.

On October 19th there will be a concert by Deborah Witteveen, saxophone, and Max van den Brand, bass trombone
Programme: J. Pz. Sweelinck - Mein junges Leben hat ein End; J.S. Bach - Violin partita no. 2 BWV 1004: Allemande, Courente; J. Naulais - Monologue; D. Schnyder - Tales from another time; J. Burgstaller - Lullaby; D. Schnyder - Schumacher March

 

Deborah Witteveen (1995) studies with Arno Bornkamp at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam. She is winner of may prizes, including third prize at the first international saxophne competition in Wroclaw, Poland. She took masterclasses with artists such as Claude Delangle, Vincent David, Nobuya Sugawa and Johannes Thorell. She participated in the Orlando Festival and the Université Européenne de Saxophone in Gap, France.
Deborah performs at home and abroad. As a soloist she performed with the Orkest van het Oosten and the Gelders Fanfare Orkest. She also gave concerts with the Netherlands Wind Ensemble, including the 2017 New Year’s Concert at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam.
Currently she plays chamber music in various ensembles.

Max van den Brand is a versatile bass trombonist. He played with the Young Netherlands Wind Ensemble and several times with the Netherlands Wind Ensemble. In addition to many trombone, brass and wind ensembles, he is a member of professional orchestras at home and abroad. He graduated with honours form the bachelor’s degree programme at the Rotterdam Conservatory, where he studied with Brandt Attema and Alexander Verbeek. Currently he studies with Ben van Dijk, Jörgen van Rijen, Remko de Jager and Pierre Volders in the master’s degree programme at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam.

Upcoming concerts:
Fri November 16th 13.30h - Menuetto Trio
Fri December 21st 13.30h - programme t.b.a.
Information may be subject to change.

BOOK YOUR TICKETS


10 OCTOBER Working wonders with gold - demonstration workshop on manual gilding

Already since 1984 master bookbinder Geert van Daal has been making magnificent bookbindings and boxes for the Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica (BPH). These objects are the outcome of a close and inspired collaboration between Geert van Daal and Joost Ritman, founder of the BPH. As a result, every object epitomizes the form and content of the books. Many of the bindings were hand-gilded following a time-honoured method using 22 to 24 carat gold.

Are you curious to see how hand gilding is actually done? Join Geert van Daal in the Embassy of the Free Mind on Wednesday 10 October, when he will demonstrate in a half hour workshop how he decorates a book cover using 22-carat gold leaf with a thickness of 1/7000mm (it takes 7,000 gold leaves to obtain a 1mm-thick layer). He will explain about the gold leaf, how it is glued to the cover and which gilding tools he uses. Geert really works wonders with gold.

This demonstration workshop is part of the retrospective exhibition of Geert van Daal’s magnificent oeuvre on view in the Embassy of the Free Mind through 24 November.

Date: Wednesday 10 October
Time: 2.00-2.30pm and 3.00-3.30pm 
Tickets: € 5,- (museum ticket not included)
Language: Dutch, unless there will be non-Dutch speaking guests in which case the demonstration will be given in English.

BOOK YOUR TICKETS 


21 SEPTEMBER - Lunch concert in the Embassy of the Free Mind

Music at the Embassy of the Free Mind

This is a new concert series by students from the Conservatorium van Amsterdam at the Embassy of the Free Mind. Every third Friday of the month conservatory students will give a concert in the 'Grote Sael' in the House with the Heads. A very special collaboration, because the House with the Heads, now home of the Embassy of the Free Mind, housed the Amsterdam conservatory from 1909 to 1931. Truly a historical venue for the musicians of today.

                                                                    

Upcoming concerts:
Fri September 21st 13.30h- Karina Sosnowska, violin
Fri October 19th 13.30h - programme t.b.a.
Fri November 16th 13.30h - programme t.b.a.
Fri December 21st 13.30h - programme t.b.a.

Information may be subject to change.

BOOK YOUR TICKETS


16 SEPTEMBER - a chamber concert by Amsterdam Sinfonietta

On Sunday 16 September the leaders of the renowned string orchestra Amsterdam Sinfonietta will be performing together with the Scottish pianist together with Alasdair Beatson in the Embassy of the Free Mind in Amsterdam. The concert marks the start of the collaboration between the Ambassade Hotel, which previously organised two Musical Salons in its hotel and is a sponsor of the Amsterdam Sinfonietta, and the Embassy of the Free Mind. This afternoon music by Haydn and Korngold will be performed in an intimate setting. After the concert drinks will be offered in the café; the museum will also be open to the public.

The Ambassade Hotel is a beautiful canal hotel that is also well-known for its library and collection of CoBrA art. A sponsor and organiser of literary and musical salons, it is greatly involved in the cultural climate of Amsterdam.
The Embassy of the Free Mind is a museum library with a collection of 25,000 books and is a platform for free thinking. Both the collection and the location of the museum, the House with the Heads, are inseparably linked with Amsterdam’s history of freedom of religion and the press.
Amsterdam Sinfonietta is the only professional string orchestra in the Netherlands for thirty years  running and performs throughout the world. In addition to the 22-strong orchestra’s own programme, the Amsterdam Sinfonietta performs a chamber music programme each year. Artistic director: Candida Thompson.

Concert: J. Haydn, Piano trio No. 39 ‘Gypsy’, and G / E.W. Korngold, Suite, Op. 23, for two violins, cello and piano left hand
Doors open: 3.30pm
Concert:
4.00-5.00pm
Our café will be open from 3.30-6.00pm

Date: Sunday 16 September
Venue: Grote Sael, House with the Heads, 123, Keizersgracht in Amsterdam

BOOK YOUR TICKETS


13 SEPTEMBER - THE RITMAN LIBRARY DOCUMENTARY SCREENING

07.30pm - 09.30om | € 10 | Language: English spoken with English subtitles | Duration: 90 minutes

Thursday 13 September we will be screening a unique film: a documentary about The Ritman Library! Sara Ferro and Chris Weil of Artoldo Pictures visited the library in the spring of 2016, not long before we moved out of the building on Bloemstraat. Their documentary offers a really unique view inside our previous location and the library there. The result is a 90-minutes long sequence of enchanting books, unique interviews, beautiful pearls of wisdom, side by side with a clear and concise history of western Esotericism by Dr. Marco Pasi, Associate Professor at the Chair of History of Hermetic philosophy and related currents at the University of Amsterdam. If you want to be immersed in a wealth of wisdom, history and previously unrecorded stories: you’ve just got to watch this movie!

Doors open: 7pm
Start film: 7.30pm
End: 9.30pm
There will be a twenty minute break in the movie
Our café will be open from 7-9.30pm

Movie description by Artoldo
This documentary shows you how rare old books about the divine essence of things, the hidden reality behind the curtain of visible life, can be the first companions for a soul seeking for an inner spiritual path, and how this path can guide you to the nature of the universe, shedding light on the intimate relationship between Microcosm and Macrocosm. How the rediscovery in early printed books of rejected knowledge and concealed truths can ignite a transcendent spark, help to pass a sort of mystical gate and find access to a circle of initiates. In a symbolical alchemical transmutation of one’s own reality. How some ancient metaphysical traditions can incorporate the Inviolable, Absolute and Permanent. How a certain particular world of bibliophiles ticks, what motivates them and how to come to terms with auctions while you build up your library – and above all why to build up a library. Understanding books as an engine of cultural revolutions and as a heritage of hard-fought theories and determined authors, all of which we can now enjoy freely. The founder of the BPH Joost Ritman, the director of the library Esther Ritman, the curators Cis van Heertum and José Bouman tell us about all this, while Marco Pasi of the University of Amsterdam narrates the wonderful and captivating history of Western Esotericism.

See legendary first editions, rare books and manuscripts like the famous Fama Fraternitatis, the Corpus Hermeticum, Tabula Smaragdina, Atalanta Fugiens, Spaccio della bestia trionfante, Plantin’s Polyglot Bible and discover amazing works of authors like Basilius Valentinus, Marsilio Ficino, Johannes Reuchlin, Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa von Nettesheim, Paracelsus, Giordano Bruno, Heinrich Khunrath, Michael Maier, Jacob Böhme, Lambspring, Robert Fludd, Daniel Mögling, Benedictus de Spinoza, Matthäus Merian and Stephan Michelspacher.

BOOK YOUR TICKETS


8 SEPTEMBER - GUIDED TOUR 'TEACHING BY IMAGES' BY ESTHER RITMAN

Teaching by Images is the trademark of the Embassy of the Free Mind. The inventor of visual education, the Czech philosopher Jan Amos Comenius, was a very welcome guest in the seventeenth century in the Huis met de Hoofden - House with the Heads, home to our museum. In the footsteps of Comenius we like to invite you to become intrigued and enchanted by the wonderful images from our collection, and learn something about the interconnectedness between the universe, nature and humanity. Book your ticket now to join a fascinating tour by director Esther Ritman on 8 September!

Date: 8 September at 11.30 am
Venue: Embassy of the Free Mind, Keizersgracht 123, Amsterdam
Language: English
Costs: € 10 excl. museum admission

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24 AUGUST - SECRET SYMBOLS - ONE HOUR INTRODUCTION & GUIDED TOUR
BY PROF. DR. PETER FORSHAW

On Friday 24th August, the new Head of the Ritman Research Institute, Dr. Peter Forshaw, will give a brief introduction to his fascination, in particular, for the imagery of medieval and early modern alchemy and how this connects with his research project on the eighteenth-century manuscripts and books of the Geheime Figuren der Rosenkreuzer or Secret Symbols of the Rosicrucians. Afterwards he will take you to the Rare Books Room and you will get the chance to look at original works in the collection, including some of Peter’s favourites by the theosophical alchemist Heinrich Khunrath (1560-1605) and the mythoalchemist Michael Maier (1568-1622).

Date: 24 August at 3pm
Venue: Embassy of the Free Mind, Keizersgracht 123, Amsterdam
Language: English | 3-4pm


30 AUGUST - DUTCH GUIDED TOUR ON THE DREAM OF POLIPHILUS

The popular exhibition showcasing the unique Renaissance book Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, translated into French as Songe de Poliphile in 1546, has been prolonged until the end of August. This personal copy of William the Silent, as he was also known, is a well-preserved and pristine copy with 181 woodcuts. It is of immeasurable cultural value and tells a wonderful allegorical story. Don't miss out on this opportunity to see this extraordinary book!

The exhibition was organized by the Boek van Oranje Foundation to mark the launch of a facsimile edition with a new Dutch translation entitled De droom van Poliphile. We expect the translation to be available in our museum and webshop at the end of August again. The exact date will be communicated soon.

Date: 30 august at 3.30 pm
Venue: Embassy of the Free Mind, Keizersgracht 123, Amsterdam
Language: Dutch
Costs: € 5 excl. museum admission


17 AUGUST - Lunch concert in the Embassy of the Free Mind

Music at the Embassy of the Free Mind

This is a new concert series by students from the Conservatorium van Amsterdam at the Embassy of the Free Mind. Every third Friday of the month conservatory students will give a concert in the 'Grote Sael' in the House with the Heads. A very special collaboration, because the House with the Heads, now home of the Embassy of the Free Mind, housed the Amsterdam conservatory from 1909 to 1931. Truly a historical venue for the musicians of today.

Jasper Iturrospe, gitar

Of Basque descent through his grandfather, who came to Belgium as a young man, Jasper Iturrospe grew up in Antwerp and studied with Enno Voorhorst at the Royal Conservatoire of The Hague. Currently he is studying with Johannes Möller in the master’s degree programme at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam.

Jasper performs throughout Belgium and the Netherlands. He has won first prizes at several competitions, including the Belfius Classics Competition and the Antwerp Guitar Festival.

A Classical guitarist, Jasper plays a programme featuring various styles, with a predilection for Spanish and South-American music.

Programme

Garoto (Anibal Augusto Sardinha) - Lamentos do Morro (1915-1955)
Antonio Lauro - Venezuelan Walzes (1917-1986)
Astor Piazzolla - Invierno Porteño (Arr. Sergio Assad) (1921-1992)
Giulio Regondi - Rêveri (1822-1872) 
Roland Dyens - Thème félin (1955-2016)
Antonio Carlos Jobím - Felicidade (Arr. Roland Dyens) (1927-1994)                                                                          


2 AUGUST - THE RITMAN LIBRARY DOCUMENTARY SCREENING

07.30pm - 09.30om | € 10 | Language: English spoken with English subtitles | Duration: 90 minutes

Thursday 2 August we will be screening a unique film: a documentary about The Ritman Library! Sara Ferro and Chris Weil of Artoldo Pictures visited the library in the spring of 2016, not long before we moved out of the building on Bloemstraat. Their documentary offers a really unique view inside our previous location and the library there. The result is a 90-minutes long sequence of enchanting books, unique interviews, beautiful pearls of wisdom, side by side with a clear and concise history of western Esotericism by Dr. Marco Pasi, Associate Professor at the Chair of History of Hermetic philosophy and related currents at the University of Amsterdam. If you want to be immersed in a wealth of wisdom, history and previously unrecorded stories: you’ve just got to watch this movie!

Doors open: 7pm
Start film: 7.30pm
End: 9.30pm
There will be a twenty minute break in the movie
Our café will be open from 7-9.30pm

Movie description by Artoldo
This documentary shows you how rare old books about the divine essence of things, the hidden reality behind the curtain of visible life, can be the first companions for a soul seeking for an inner spiritual path, and how this path can guide you to the nature of the universe, shedding light on the intimate relationship between Microcosm and Macrocosm. How the rediscovery in early printed books of rejected knowledge and concealed truths can ignite a transcendent spark, help to pass a sort of mystical gate and find access to a circle of initiates. In a symbolical alchemical transmutation of one’s own reality. How some ancient metaphysical traditions can incorporate the Inviolable, Absolute and Permanent. How a certain particular world of bibliophiles ticks, what motivates them and how to come to terms with auctions while you build up your library – and above all why to build up a library. Understanding books as an engine of cultural revolutions and as a heritage of hard-fought theories and determined authors, all of which we can now enjoy freely. The founder of the BPH Joost Ritman, the director of the library Esther Ritman, the curators Cis van Heertum and José Bouman tell us about all this, while Marco Pasi of the University of Amsterdam narrates the wonderful and captivating history of Western Esotericism.

See legendary first editions, rare books and manuscripts like the famous Fama Fraternitatis, the Corpus Hermeticum, Tabula Smaragdina, Atalanta Fugiens, Spaccio della bestia trionfante, Plantin’s Polyglot Bible and discover amazing works of authors like Basilius Valentinus, Marsilio Ficino, Johannes Reuchlin, Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa von Nettesheim, Paracelsus, Giordano Bruno, Heinrich Khunrath, Michael Maier, Jacob Böhme, Lambspring, Robert Fludd, Daniel Mögling, Benedictus de Spinoza, Matthäus Merian and Stephan Michelspacher.


3 AUGUST - RARE BOOKS TOUR ON WESTERN ESOTERICISM

3.30 - 4.30 pm | € 20 (including museum ticket) | Language: English | Duration: 60 minutes

Rare Books Tour open to all - Special Price!

Find out about Western Esotericism, the unique collection of The Ritman Library in the Embassy of the Free Mind, and let yourself be enchanted by some of our early printed books and manuscripts in an inspiring tour offered by our curator Cis van Heertum.

A selection of our rare books will be waiting for you! One of the highlights in this tour is a manuscript copy of Zoroaster Clavis Artis, a manuscript of the early eighteenth century of which only a few copies appear to exist, two of which in Italian libraries. The copy of The Ritman Library can now be added to this select list…

You can join this public Rare Books Tour at a special price of €20 instead of the usual €25 (includes admission to the museum). For holders of the Museumkaart, Stadspas Amsterdam or our own annual pass admission for this tour is €10.


7 JUNE - Lecture and guided tour: Alchemy: the art of transformation by our curator Cis van Heertum

An introduction on Alchemy at the Embassy of the Free Mind by our curator Cis van Heertum on the basics of alchemy or the art of transformation, followed by a unique guided tour through the Embassy focusing on alchemical imagery. Cis will explain how the art of alchemy was reflected in 17th-century engravings. 

If you are unable to attend the talk, however, you can also book a Rare Books Tour on alchemy by Cis van Heertum. As of 7 June a self-guided tour on alchemy will be available if you want to discover alchemy in the Embassy of the Free Mind on your own.

PROGRAM
19.30 - 19.45 Doors open
19.45 - 20.10 Welcome and introduction on Alchemy
20.10 - 20.30 Guided Tour Rare Books Group 1
20.30 - 20.50 Guided Tour Rare Books Group 2 


8 & 22 JUNE - Intimate lunch concert in the Embassy of the Free Mind

The Embassy of the Free Mind organizes lunch concerts together with the Conservatorium van Amsterdam. Admission is free on presentation of an admission ticket for the museum.

As of April you cannot only discover images and books created by free thinkers throughout history in the Embassy of the Free Mind, but music as well! Twice a month, on Fridays, students from the Conservatorium will give a concert in the 'Grote Sael' in the House with the Heads. A very special collaboration, because the House with the Heads, now home of the Embassy of the Free Mind, housed the Amsterdam conservatory from 1909 to 1931. Truly a historical venue for the musicians of today.


11 MAY - Intimate lunch concert in the Embassy of the Free Mind

The Embassy of the Free Mind organizes lunch concerts together with the Conservatorium van Amsterdam. Admission is free on presentation of an admission ticket for the museum.

As of April you cannot only discover images and books created by free thinkers throughout history in the Embassy of the Free Mind, but music as well! Twice a month, on Fridays, students from the Conservatorium will give a concert in the 'Grote Sael' in the House with the Heads. A very special collaboration, because the House with the Heads, now home of the Embassy of the Free Mind, housed the Amsterdam conservatory from 1909 to 1931. Truly a historical venue for the musicians of today.

The next concert of the series will be given on the 11th of May by Mirna Ackers and Agnese Lecchi.

Mirna Ackers

At the age of 15, Mirna Ackers (1995) was admitted to the Sweelinck Academy for exceptionally gifted young musicians at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam, where she studied with Marieke Schneemann. Currently she studies in the final year of the bachelor’s programme at the Conservatorium Amsterdam, also with Marieke Schneemann. She receives regular lessons with Kersten McCall and Vincent Cortvrint (both members of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra). She took masterclasses with artists including Emily Beynon, Robert Dick, Peter-Lukas Graf, Jacques Zoon and Susan Milan. Additionally, she studies Musicology at the University of Amsterdam. Over two years, Mirna had the privilege to play first flute in the JeugdOrkest Nederland, conducted by Jurjen Hempel. In september 2016, she was selected to play in the ‘Side by Side’ project in the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra during the RCO Opening Night 2016, which was also Daniele Gatti’s inauguration. Currently, Mirna is a member of the National Youth Orchestra (NJO), conducted by Antony Hermus. In 2014, she won second prize at the Dutch ‘Prinses Christina Concours’ in Haarlem, reaching the national semifinals In 2015 and 2016, she was the only Dutch participant to reach the final of the Dutch International Flute Competition. Besides giving concerts, she enjoys to perform for charities like KIKA and Learn2Learn.

Agnese Lecchi

Born in 1994, Agnese Lecchi graduated from the Luca Marenzio Conservatory of Brescia, where she studied with Mauro Scappini. She attended masterclasses and courses with Philippe Bernold, Denis Bouriakov, Jacques Zoon, Marco Zoni, Andrea Oliva and many others. She is the winner of numerous international and national competitions. Currently Agnese studies at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam with Kersten McCall, where she also has been first flute in various symphonic productions.

 


18 MAY - Intimate lunch concert in the Embassy of the Free Mind

The Embassy of the Free Mind organizes lunch concerts together with the Conservatorium van Amsterdam. Admission is free on presentation of an admission ticket for the museum.

As of April you cannot only discover images and books created by free thinkers throughout history in the Embassy of the Free Mind, but music as well! Twice a month, on Fridays, students from the Conservatorium will give a concert in the 'Grote Sael' in the House with the Heads. A very special collaboration, because the House with the Heads, now home of the Embassy of the Free Mind, housed the Amsterdam conservatory from 1909 to 1931. Truly a historical venue for the musicians of today.

The next concert of the series will be given on the 18th of May by Silvan de Smit and Iasonas Daskalakis.

Silvan de Smit studies classical guitar with Johannes Möller at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam. He took masterclasses with Aniello Desiderio, Irina Kulikova, Paul O'Dette, Thomas Müller-Pering, Mark Eden, Sabrina Vlaskalic, Laura Young, Johannes Monno and others. Some of Silvan's accomplishments include a concert in the famous Gitaarsalon in Enkhuizen and its guitar festival, an opening concert of virtuoso Gabriel Bianco with his guitar quartet and he also was a soloist in a performance of Harmony Orchestra Vleuten in the Beurs van Berlage. He gives concerts regularly with his duo partner guitarist Iasonas Daskalakis. Every year he visits various guitar festivals to gain inspiration and to meet fellow guitar players.

Iasonas Daskalakis (Athene, 1991) graduated in Classical guitar from the National Conservatory of Athens in 2011. He obtained his diploma with honours and a first prize. He performed at many festivals in Greece and won prizes at various competitions. From 2009 to 2013 he taught guitar at the National Conservatory of Athens. Subsequently, he moved to Amsterdam to continue his studies and his teaching practice. During his studies he also studied composition, piano, and music from Indonesia.

 


20 APRIL - Lunch concert in the Embassy of the Free Mind

The Embassy of the Free Mind organizes lunch concerts together with the Conservatorium van Amsterdam. Admission is free on presentation of an admission ticket for the museum.

As of April you cannot only discover images and books created by free thinkers throughout history in the Embassy of the Free Mind, but music as well! Twice a month, on Fridays, students from the Conservatorium will give a concert in the 'Grote Sael' in the House with the Heads. A very special collaboration, because the House with the Heads, now home of the Embassy of the Free Mind, housed the Amsterdam conservatory from 1909 to 1931. Truly a historical venue for the musicians of today.

The first concert of the series was given on the 20th of April by the Menuetto Trio: Valle González Martin, oboe; Francisco José Espinosa Ruiz, clarinet; Daniel Garrido Iglesias, bassoon.

The Menuetto Trio was formed in 2017 by three students, who met during the chamber music classes at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam. Since then, the trio has performed in Amsterdam, Utrecht, Rotterdam and Zwolle. The musicians also participated in various chamber music festivals throughout Europe, and won several prizes. The trio performs music originally written for reed trio, such as works by Tansman and Ibert; but also arrangements of compositions by Beethoven and Mozart. Diverse programmes which show the timbre of a reed trio to full advantage.


12 APRIL 2018 - Prof. Dr. F. Bonardel: Jung and Gnosis

Healer of the soul and man of culture, Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961) became interested in gnosis as early as 1910 when he was conducting research on mythologies, mysteries and popular beliefs. His intuition told him that this strange and difficult literature held a treasure of images, the meaning of which he had to understand. Faced with an internal crisis soon after (1913), which he recounted in The Red Book, Jung came to consider the Gnostics as the first explorers of the unconscious, discovering the world of archetypes which inspired their visions and myths. Like the alchemists later, these visionaries often guided him in the elaboration of analytical psychology, "Gnostic" in that it restores a fullness of meaning to the disoriented life of contemporary man. Judged heretical by the first Christian authors, the Gnostic beliefs whose origin is uncertain (Syria, Iran, Judea?) gave free rein to the creative imagination and had a vision of salvation that was as close to ancient initiations as it was to Christianity. Valuing self-discovery through the personal experience of the divine, their teaching could not leave Jung unaffected. Had he himself become a "Gnostic", as Martin Buber and some Christian theologians alleged? If he was, it is in his own way: in order to answer to the spiritual demands of his time eager to "know" rather than believe.