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HENRIETTE BOSMANS

Summary | Biography | Discography | Photos | Audio/Video

Henriëtte Bosmans

Period

06-12-1895 - 02-07-1952

Genre

classical, componist, contemporary classical music, impressionist music, piano

Henriëtte Bosmans

Henriëtte Bosmans is considered one of the most important Dutch composers of the first half of the 20th century. As a pianist and composer, she was affiliated with various chamber music ensembles in Amsterdam, with among others the violinists Louis Zimmerman and Francis Koene and the cellist Marix Loevensohn. She ...
Full biography

Instruments

componist, piano

Biography Henriëtte Bosmans

Henriëtte Bosmans is considered one of the most important Dutch composers of the first half of the 20th century. As a pianist and composer, she was affiliated with various chamber music ensembles in Amsterdam, with among others the violinists Louis Zimmerman and Francis Koene and the cellist Marix Loevensohn. She performed in the major concert halls in the Netherlands with such internationally renowned conductors as Pierre Monteux, Willem Mengelberg, Eduard van Beinum, Sir Adrian Boult and George Szell. She was also a teacher. A composition prize is named after her.

1895 - 1913

Henriëtte Hilda Bosmans is born in Amsterdam on December 6. Her father, the cellist Henri Bosmans, dies when she is barely 8 months old. She is educated by her mother, the pianist and teacher Sarah Benedicts.

1913 - 1914

Bosmans is awarded the piano diploma cum laude by the Society for the Advancement of Music in Utrecht. She then studies music theory with J.W. Kersbergen.

1915 - 1917

In November, Henriëtte Bosmans makes her debut as a concert pianist with the Utrecht Municipal Orchestra, conducted by Wouter Hutschenruyter, performing Mozart’s 'Piano Concerto' KV 450 (1784). Her first compositions are written in a German-Romantic style.

1920 - 1923

Henriëtte Bosmans takes lessons in orchestration with Cornelis Dopper. In 1922, she begins teaching the piano at the Toonkunst Music School in Amsterdam. She writes her first orchestral piece: 'Poème' (1923), for cello and orchestra, dedicated to Marix Loevensohn.

Cornelis Dopper

1927 - 1930

Bosmans “works with Willem Pijper”, as she describes her studies with him. She performs as soloist in her 'Concertino' (1928) with the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, conducted by Ernest Ansermet, during the 1929 ISCM Festival. That year, she is also the soloist in Pijper’s 'Piano Concerto' (1927) with the Haarlem Orchestra Society, conducted by Eduard van Beinum.

Willem Pijper

1932

Bosmans enters her 'Concertstuk' for flute and chamber orchestra (1929) in a Concertgebouw Orchestra competition and wins second prize. However, the piece is not premiered until 1955, conducted by Eduard van Beinum, with Hubert Barwahser as soloist.

1934 - 1937

On January 18, Bosmans and her fiancé, the violinist Francis Koene, perform as soloists in the Dutch premiere of Alban Berg’s 'Chamber Concerto' (1925). On October 31, 1935, Louis Zimmermann and the Concertgebouw Orchestra, conducted by Willem Mengelberg, premiere the 'Concertstuk' for violin and orchestra (1934). This work had been written for Francis Koene, who died at the beginning of the year. The ballade 'Belsazar' (1936), on a text by Heinrich Heine, is premiered in the MANETO concerts. The performance is given by contralto Jo van der Meent-Walter with the Concertgebouw Orchestra, conducted by Eduard van Beinum.

Eduard van Beinum

1940 - 1945

World War II puts her career on hold. Henriëtte Bosmans refuses to become a member of the Nazi’s Chamber of Culture and can perform only secretly. During the war, she develops a friendship with the reciter Charlotte Köhler.

1946

After a lengthy period in which Bosmans regularly performs but does not compose, because of the premature death of Francis Koene in 1935 and the war, she writes the 'Doodenmarsch' [Death March, 1945], on text by Clara Eggink. Marius Flothuis regards this as one of her best works.

1948 - 1950

At the repeated request of Benjamin Britten, Henriëtte Bosmans sets Olive Schreiner’s poem 'Dreams' to music and dedicates it to Peter Pears, Britten’s partner. That same year, she also meets the singer Noémie Perugia. In the last years of her life, while she is tormented by illness, comes a new creative period. The songs she writes, and performs with her friend Perugia, are among the best of that period.

1951

Bosmans is admitted to hospital at various times over the course of the year and undergoes surgery. She is made a Knight in the Order of Orange-Nassau, and she composes several songs. At the 40th anniversary of GENECO she performs as soloist in her 'Concertino' for piano (1928).

1952

Together with Noémie Perugia, Henriëtte Bosmans premieres five new songs. On March 12, she performs for the last time with orchestra, and on April 30 gives her last recital with Noémie Perugia. After the recital, she collapses. Henriëtte Bosmans dies in the Prinsengracht Hospital in Amsterdam on July 2.

1953

A commemorative concert is held in the Holland Festival on the anniversary of her death. The text in the programme booklet is written by Bertus van Lier.

Bertus van Lier

1983

For a concert commemorating Bosmans, Willem Strietman arranges the 'Dix mélodies' (1948), which were dedicated to Noémie Perugia, for voice and orchestra. On December 14, the VPRO broadcasts the film portrait 'Uit een nabij verleden, [From a Near Past], made by Sieuwert Verster and Ad ’s-Gravesande.

Willem Strietman

1986

Joep Straesser arranges Henriëtte Bosmans' 'Three Songs on German Texts' (1927) for mezzo-soprano and ensemble.

Joep Straesser

1994

The Henriëtte Bosmansprijs is created. It is an encouragement prize for new compositions which is awarded during the Netherlands Music Days by GeNeCo [Society of Dutch Composers]. Since 2003, the prize is presented after a composition competition.

Discography Henriëtte Bosmans

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.

Photos Henriëtte Bosmans

Audio/Video Henriëtte Bosmans

Video Henriëtte Bosmans

GeNeCo concert
GeNeCo concert
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GeNeCo concert

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