At Amsterdam Conservatory, I studied Conducting with Lucas Vis, Sam ten Velde and Jos Vermunt. My conducting practice encompasses all the different choirs of St Bavo Cathedral, a number of chamber choirs, three Gregorian chant groups, orchestra projects, music theatre projects and guest conducting with ensembles.
Working as a church musician is one of the most rewarding professions. I've worked as conductor/organist of the parish choir Maria ter Zee in Noordwijk, the ecumenical Iona choir, the Schola Cantorum Oegstgeest. Together with colleague Sanne Nieuwenhuijsen, I currently work at St Bavo's Cathedral and Cathedral School in Haarlem. The video shows an interview (in Dutch) on church music at St Peter's Square in Rome, at the end of the Italian tour of our cathedral choir.
I studied Gregorian chant at the conservatories of Amsterdam and The Hague and the well-known International Summer and Winter Courses of Gregorian chant at Essen, Germany; after this, I completed PhD studies in Musicology at the Folkwang University in Essen. As a chant conductor, I lead the the Schola Cantorum Amsterdam (having been cantor for seven years) and the two ensembles of the Schola Gregoriana Noordwijk. From 2013-17, I also led the Schola Cantorum Oegstgeest (one of the oldest chant groups in the Netherlands).
My performance practice encompasses: Masses, the Divine Office (Sunday vespers and matins for all the major celebrations with the Schola Cantorum Amsterdam), newly arranged liturgies (such as 'Our Lady of Sorrows' and 'Rosary services'), concerts (Gregorian Christmas Concerts, Codex Calixtinus, Hildegard of Bingen), courses, lectures and publications (particularly on Low Countries chant, such as the Oegstgeest Chant Book).
The experience of different kinds of chant groups and repertoires has lent me a deep insight in the full range of chant, both in research and practice.
Orchestration & Arranging
An important part of my composition practice is orchestrating and arranging existing works. In this, all thinkable genres of music have passed: Schubert's Winterreise; Debussy's Préludes and Children's Corner; piano pieces by Shostakovich and Berio; songs by Poulenc, Glinka, Ravel, Weill, Villa-Lobos and Brahms; carols and other Christmas songs, fados, jazz standards, klezmer, folk and cabaret music.
Since my own studies, I taught to students from all age groups, preparing a wide range of performers for their own studies. Besides a private practice (piano, theory, and preparing students for conservatory admission), I teach almost daily at Haarlem's famous Cathedral School (one of only two of such schools in the Netherlands). Before that, I taught Solfege, Music Theory and Harmony for three years at Nieuw Vocaal Amsterdam (formerly Nieuw Amsterdams Kinderkoor) and at the Kleynkoor Academy Noordwijk.
I have also been a guest lecturer and teacher at the International Summer and Winter Courses on Gregorian Chant in Essen-Werden, Germany.
After additional musicological minors at Amsterdam Conservatory, I first studied Musicology at Birmingham University with Dr Ben Earle, graduating with a thesis on the late choral works of Dutch composer Ton de Leeuw. My PhD in Musicology at the Folkwang University in Essen was rounded off with an extensive study on melodic variation in Low Countries chant manuscripts.
Further publications include studies on the liturgical music of Bernstein, Reger and Bartolucci, the medieval saint Jeroen of Noordwijk and particular manuscripts such as the Oegstgeest Chantbook. I contribute to the Dutch journal on liturgical music, the Gregoriusblad, on a regular basis. See 'Publications' for an overview.
Related to my teaching activities, I participated in a number of educational projects and methods. These include the Dutch children's operas Kinderen van de Zaan in the Zaans Museum (2013; see the video) and Help, mijn stem is weg! (2017); contributions to the Nachtegaal method for solfege; a method of (classical) Harmony for the advanced students of Nieuw Vocaal Amsterdam; lessons in Gregorian chant for children for the Choir School St Bavo, and a curriculum of Music (including Solfege exercises and tests) for the aforementioned school.
Since 2012, I regularly give lectures on Gregorian chant, most recently also at the yearly Dag van het Gregoriaans ('Day of Gregorian Chant') in Utrecht.
I regularly create concert and liturgical programs, either for my own ensembles or at request. My programming is characterised by a more reflective (and, also in concert, somewhat liturgical) nature, making use of the entire span of music history. As composer, conductor, church musician, musicologist and teacher, I benefit from an extensive knowledge of repertoire.
Recurrent programming - next to the yearly performances that are part of cathedral practice - is that of the Requiem concerts and Festivals of Lessons & Carols in the beautiful Old Willibrord's church in Oegstgeest.
From 2010-2020, I was ensemble programmer at the concert series Muziek in Jeroen for Noordwijk's majestic Old Jeroen's church.
For many years I've worked with the KunstKlank Foundation (Noordwijk) on all sorts of musical projects, most notably music theatre on unconventional locations. My functions per project have always been manifold: arranger, (assistant to the) conductor, performer - and sometimes even actor.
I've composed a number of theatrical pieces for specific occassions, such as the Marco Polo project on the well-known Zeedijk street in Amsterdam (2008) and Grensgevallen for the 20-year celebrations of the Fall of the Berlin Wall (2009).
The video gives an impression of Purcell's opera Dido and Aeneas, performed at the Noordwijk beach in 2017, including an excerpt of my arrangement of the fado Ao Longe o Mar.
I sometimes give historic tours, either in my home town or abroad. The video shows a 'culture trip' made with the Kleynkoor Noordwijk to Venice, with me functioning as guide and tour organiser.
Christmas at the cathedral
Interview (in Dutch) from the NOS Jeugdjournaal ('Children's News' of Dutch National Television) with the children from St Bavo Cathedral Choir, during rehearsals for Christmas 2017.