Hans Koolmees is of the Rotterdam School of composition. “The composition department here is strongly influenced by Klaas de Vries and Peter-Jan Wagemans, for whom intuition is the guiding thread in composition.” Koolmees tries to strike a balance between detachment and sentiment – something he admires in the music of ...
Biography Hans Koolmees
Hans Koolmees is of the Rotterdam School of composition. “The composition department here is strongly influenced by Klaas de Vries and Peter-Jan Wagemans, for whom intuition is the guiding thread in composition.” Koolmees tries to strike a balance between detachment and sentiment – something he admires in the music of Igor Stravinsky – and leaves room in his work for irony, for the grotesque and the over the top. Regarding the content of his music, he says: “Ultimately, the sole subject of music is time – not human misery or some such thing. The passage of time, all human misery lies concealed in it.” His music has been performed by such conductors as Oliver Knussen, Jurjen Hempel, Daniel Reuss and Lucas Vis, with, among others, the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, The Hague Philarmonic Orchestra, Cappella Amsterdam, the Doelen Ensemble, the Schönberg Quartet, the Schönberg Ensemble, the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra and the Netherlands Ballet Orchestra.
1959 - 1989
Hans Koolmees is born in Abcoude of October 27. At the Rotterdam Conservatory, Koolmees studies the organ with Jet Dubbeldam, ensemble conducting an arranging with Bernard van Beurden, composition with Klaas de Vries, and electronic music with Gilius van Bergeijk.
The 'Cantate' (1993), for large orchestra, wins First prize in a composition competition organized by the 90-year-old Hague Philharmonic Orchestra.
Theater Lantaren/Venster organizes a four-day festival of Koolmees' music. Along with earlier pieces come the premieres of three new works, including 'De Toren van Babel' [The Tower of Babel, 1998].
2002 - 2007
Koolmees is artistic director of the Doelen Ensemble.
The Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra performs his newly completed orchestral piece 'As Time goes by' (2004), a symphonic scherzo which takes as its motto a short poem by Jules Deelder:'Alles blijft/ Alles gaat voorbij/ Alles blijft voorbijgaan' [Everything continues/ Everything passes by/ Everything continues passing by]. Koolmees says of the piece: “My initial idea was that I wanted to make the passage of time palpable, which the poem does with great concision. There is linear time, in which things develop, and there is circular time, which is based on repetition. I attempt to unite the two in this piece.”
2009 - 2010
On April 16 the first performance of Koolmees' opera 'De Waterman' takes place in Dordrecht. Hans Koolmees stays for a year in the Theo van Doesburg House, in the French village of Meudon, near Paris. This former studio of Van Doesburg serves today as a temporary residence for artists.
In the discography you will find all recordings that have been released listed chronologically. We restrict ourselves to the title, the type of audio, year of publication or recording, label, list of guest musicians, plus any comments on the issue.
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