23-10-1918 - 06-05-1989
Matty Niël decides at an early age to devote his life to music. His time as a student of Anton Webern is the most important period of his education. He composes an extensive body of works. Many of these are written on commission or funded by grants from the Dutch ...
Biography Matty Niël
Matty Niël decides at an early age to devote his life to music. His time as a student of Anton Webern is the most important period of his education. He composes an extensive body of works. Many of these are written on commission or funded by grants from the Dutch government, the Regionale Omroep Zuid [Regional Southern Broadcasting Company] and the BRT [Belgian Radio and Television]. His list of works shows a wide variety of instrumental and vocal settings: piano, organ and guitar, solo sonatas for violin, viola and cello, chamber music, many songs, cantatas, Masses, choral works, orchestral works, a piano concerto, and an opera on Georg Buchner's Leonce and Lena. Niël sought in his music to return to the source - the Middle Ages - to discover in looking back from that starting point what was actual and permanent through the ages. According to Niël, the technique a composer chose was immaterial; what was important was how one made it one's own. In his words: “Music must become dialect. Only then can one speak of style”. During his lifetime Niël often run into miscomprehension of his music. He dies before many of his works are performed or published.
1918 - 1939
Matty Niël is born in Maastricht on October 23. After studying the piano and music theory in Maastricht with Henri Hermans and the piano with Louis Closson in Liège Matty Niël goes to Amsterdam in 1939 where he studies the piano with Alexander Borovsky and composition with Henk Badings.
1940 - 1945
Niël goes to Vienna and has lessons with Anton Webern. In 1944 he stays for several months in Paris and takes counterpoint lessons with Jean-Yves Daniel-Lesur and composition lessons with Olivier Messiaen.
1945 - 1953
After World War II, Niël makes a career as a teacher in Limburg. He works for a brief time at the Lemmens Institute in Leuven, is a frequent jury member, and lectures on Anton Webern. Until 1951 he works for the Regionale Omroep Zuid in Maastricht. From 1953 he teaches music theory at the music school in Heerlen and in Sittard the piano.
Wouter Paap writes about Niël's difficult life as a composer in the Netherlands. When, by way of a great exception, Niël accompanies several songs outside Limburg, Paap writes: “Matty Niël seems to care little about penetrating the musical life of [the provinces of North and South] Holland. If you want to hear his music, then you must go to South Limburg”.
1964 - 1977
Niël teaches music theory and composition at the conservatory in Maastricht. He is awarded the Cultural Prize of Limburg 1965. In the 1970s he is a member of the International Webern Society, takes part in the fifth Webern Festival in Vienna, and participates in the making of a film about Webern.
He resigns from his various traching jobs to spend time abroad and concentrate exclusively on composition.
Matty Niël dies in Sittard on May 6.
Discography Matty Niël
|Type and year||CD, 1995|
|Label||Stichting Matty Niël, MNL 23101918|
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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