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OTTO KETTING

Summary | Biography | Discography | Photos | Audio/Video

Otto Ketting

Period

03-09-1935 - 13-12-2012

Genre

componist, contemporary classical music, dirigent

Otto Ketting

Since he composed 'Due canzoni per orchestra' (1957) at age 20, Otto Ketting has been one of the most prominent Dutch composers. In every sense, he is involved in musical practice: In addition to composing, he was long active as a trumpeter, music journalist, and (still today) a conductor. According ...
Full biography

Instruments

componist, dirigent

Mentioned in the biography of

1965   Klaas de Vries
1967   Leo van Oostrom
1984   De Nationale Opera
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Biography Otto Ketting

Since he composed 'Due canzoni per orchestra' (1957) at age 20, Otto Ketting has been one of the most prominent Dutch composers. In every sense, he is involved in musical practice: In addition to composing, he was long active as a trumpeter, music journalist, and (still today) a conductor. According to Jan Zekveld, artistic director of the Saturday Matinee concert series: “If composition means ordering sound in time, Ketting does that in an inimitable way. That sound is always recognizable. His work area, his material covers centuries of music history. His way of working is of our time, like that of Stravinsky: ordering, commentating, manipulating, sometimes winking.” Ketting describes himself as a “block composer” (something he says he inherited from jazz), but also a true Romantic: “I strive for a certain emotion. I can’t bear pieces that have nothing to say but notes.” His opera Ithaka (1986) introduced the theme of “the journey” to his music, and it has remained a dominant factor in nearly all of his subsequent compositions.

1935 - 1953

On September 3, Otto Ketting is born in Amsterdam, the son of the composer and musician Piet Ketting. He studies composition with his father and, later, the trumpet at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague.

Piet Ketting

1954 - 1961

Otto Ketting plays the trumpet in The Hague Philharmonic. At the first Gaudeamus Music Week, he wins second prize for 'Passacaglia' (1957), for orchestra, and in 1958, first prize for 'Due canzoni per orchestra' (1957).

1961 - 1966

Otto Ketting studies composition with Karl Amadeus Hartmann in Munich. He writes music for ballet and film such as Bert Haanstra's 'Alleman' (1963).

1967 - 1974

Ketting teaches composition at the Rotterdam Conservatory (until 1971) and at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague (1971-1974). ). 'Time Machine', written for the Nederlands Blazers Ensemble is premiered on May 5, 1972 in Rotterdam. In 1973, Otto Ketting receives the Kees van Baaren Prize for 'Time Machine'. It is performed 180 times in the Netherlands and abroad, it is the most frequently played Dutch orchestral piece. Ketting is also active as a conductor of contemporary music.

Nederlands Blazers Ensemble

1974 - 1977

Otto Ketting writes two chamber operas: 'Dummies' (libretto Bert Schierbeek) is premiered on November 14 1974 at the Circustheater in Scheveningen, and 'O, gij, rhinoceros' (1977) is premiered on June 8, 1977 in Rotterdam.

1978 - 1991

Otto Ketting leads various contemporary music ensembles at the Rotterdam Conservatory.

1980 - 1986

For the 'Symphony for Saxophones and Orchestra' (1978), Otto Ketting wins the Matthijs Vermeulen Prize and second prize at the 1980 International Rostrum of Composers of UNESCO’s International Music Council. In 1981, he is a co-founder of the Vermeulen Foundation, an organisation that promotes Matthijs Vermeulen’s music. The book 'De Ongeruste Parapluie: Notities over Muziek 1970-1980' [The Uneasy Umbrella: Notes on Music 1970-1980] is published in 1981 by Ulysses in The Hague. In 1986, the new Muziektheater in Amsterdam opens with his third opera 'Ithaka'.

Matthijs Vermeulen

1990

On October 6, Otto Ketting himself conducts the première of the 'Symphony No. 3' with the Radio Philharmonisch Orkest in the Amsterdam Concertgebouw on the occasion of the 30th concert of the series Vara Matinee.

1992 - 1994

Otto Ketting wins the 1992 Barlow Prize for his 'Symphony No. 3'. He completes a cycle of four orchestral pieces – commissioned by various entities – consisting of 'De Overtocht' [The Passage] (1992), 'Het Oponthoud' [The Delay] (1993), 'De Aankomst' [The Arrival] (1993), and 'Kom, Over de Zeeën' [Come, Over the Seas] (1994).

1997

Otto Ketting is the central composer of the biennial Festival in de Branding in The Hague. The book 'Time Machine', by and about Ketting (eds. Maarten Brandt and Ton Hartsuiker) is published by Donemus.

2007

Otto Ketting Otto Ketting finishes the 'Fourth Symphony'. The premiere is on April 14 with the Radio Filharmonisch Orkest and conductor Jaap van Zweden at the ZaterdagMatinee in Amsterdam.

2010

The Brabant Orchestra honours the 75-year-old composer with a 'Ketting Driedaagse' [Three Days of Ketting], focusing on his work in various concerts in Eindhoven from November 12 to 14.

2012

The '6th Symphony' is premiered on February 4, with the Radio Filharmonisch Orkest and conductor James Gaffigan at the ZaterdagMatinee in Amsterdam. Otto Ketting dies on December 13, in The Hague.

Discography Otto Ketting

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 Otto Ketting

Audio/Video Otto Ketting

Video Otto Ketting

Otto Ketting - De overtocht
Otto Ketting - De overtocht
Otto Ketting - componist
Otto Ketting - componist
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Otto Ketting - De overtocht

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