Alzheimer's, music & the brain

Tricks of the Mind

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Tricks of the Mind Tricks of the Mind

The background

Tricks of the Mind

How does Alzheimer’s affect an artist’s brain? Through his self-portraits, painter William Utermohlen gives a glimpse of his past life.

music, in particular, appears to stimulate the brain“

In Tricks of the Mind, singer, actor and director Marc Pantus takes on the role of this artist. He is visited by his doctor, Dr Philip Scheltens, professor of neurology and director of the VUmc Alzheimer Center. The Netherlands Bach Society also pays a visit to the artist’s studio. Together, they investigate the tricks of the mind: the disruptions to communication, the failings of dialogue and the wonders of music. Music, in particular, appears to stimulate the brain – especially in the later stages of Alzheimer’s. Our ensemble illustrates this fact through compositions (ranging from Baroque to contemporary) in which a role is played by echoes. Tricks of the Mind thus sheds a unique light on a theme that will be familiar to many.

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The concert

Works and Performance


John Eccles
Find me a lonely cave

György Ligeti
Passacaglia Ungherese (1978) (klavecimbel solo)

Giovanni Antonio Pandolfi Mealli
Sonate ‘La Biancuccia’, op. 4 nr. 4

Johann Sebastian Bach
aria ‘Flösst mein Heiland‘ uit Weihnachts-Oratorium
koraal ‘Jesu bleibet meine Freude‘ uit cantate BWV 147

Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach
Allegro non troppo uit Sanguineus et Melancholicus, Wq 161 nr. 4


Netherlands Bach Society
Marc Pantus, acting, singing & direction

Dr Philip Scheltens, professor of neurology and director of the VUmc Alzheimer Center


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