25-09-1933 - current
“Pianist and composer Polo de Haas is an all-round musician who moves with ease from one genre to the next, be it new music, classical music or jazz” (De Gooi en Eemlander, 2000). He is an advocate of contemporary music and a “musical chameleon” (de Volkskrant, 2005). Many composers have ...
“Pianist and composer Polo de Haas is an all-round musician who moves with ease from one genre to the next, be it new music, classical music or jazz” (De Gooi en Eemlander, 2000). He is an advocate of contemporary music and a “musical chameleon” (de Volkskrant, 2005). Many composers have dedicated works to him. Since the 1960s, De Haas has had a duo with the jazz drummer Pierre Courbois. He also regularly performs with the voice artist Greetje Bijma. Polo de Haas is a specialist in the music of Simeon ten Holt and has participated in many recordings of it. He presents an annual multi-genre concert series (the Polo de Haas Series). De Haas also composes. “My career is a bridge between extremes”. (NRC Handelsblad, “Polo de Haas over de kloof”, 1995). De Haas has performed recitals in Eastern and Western Europe, Japan, Canada, Korea, Cuba and the United States.
Polo de Haas (1933) studies piano at the Amsterdam Conservatory with Jan Odé where he graduates cum laude. He continues his studies with Jacques Février in Paris and Eduardo del Pueyo in Brussels. The Amsterdam Concertgebouw awards him the Zilveren Vriendenkrans.
Polo de Haas wins first prize at the ICC Piano Competition in Amsterdam. He performs Maurice Ravel's 'Piano Concerto in G' with the Concertgebouw Orchestra conducted by Bernard Haitink and tours the Netherlands with most of the major Dutch orchestras. After, he continues his studies with Jacques Fëvrier in Paris and Eduardo del Pueyo in Brussels.
De Haas returns to the Netherlands, and Ramses Shaffy asks him to be the accompanist in a new sort of presentation, Shaffy Chantant. There, De Haas plays the music of (contemporary) Dutch composers such as Léon Orthel, Willem Pijper, and Alphons Stallaert as well as his own music. In addition, he introduces the music of Erik Satie in the Netherlands.
With the singer Dora Jannakopoulou, he performs songs of the resistance by political prisoner and composer Mikis Theodorakis.
De Haas gives a Satie recital in the Amsterdam Concertgebouw. In the following years the music of Erik Satie gains unprecedented popularity.
De Haas and Harry Sparnaay perform under the name Fusion Moderne at the Gaudeamus Competition. They are awarded a special prize and are so well appreciated that composers around the world begin writing for them. With Theo Loevendie, De Haas establishes the Stichting Alternatieve MuziekPraktijk (STAMP) [Foundation for Alternative Musical Practice], which organizes groundbreaking concerts in the Felix Meritis concert hall in Amsterdam.
The music publisher Donemus brings out an edition of De Haas' composition 'Pinoa'.
De Haas reaches a wider audience in the Netherlands by presenting the VARA television programme Spelen met Muziek [Playing with Music].
He composes 'Orgella', for two pianos eight hands, on a commission from the Utrecht Conservatory. The Orgella piano quartet, including De Haas, which was formed to play the piece, stays together for some time. Theo Loevendie, Jacques Bank, Robert Nasveld and others write for the quartet.
After a period of scarcely playing the piano, De Haas experiments with electro-instrumental music in coordination with the Steim Foundation and creates with the composer Peter Schat the piece 'Koenloen', on a poem by Mao Zedong. He often performs in the Netherlands and abroad with the Amsterdams Elektrisch Circus.
De Haas plays with Pierre Courbois and Leo van Oostrom at the North Sea Jazz Festival.
After recording Simeon ten Holt's 'Horizon', the piano quartet of De Haas, Yoko Abe, Margaret Krill and Fred Oldenburg remain together as the Horizon Kwartet.
De Haas tours Canada, performing mostly his own music. He tours in the Netherlands with the (music) theatre company Boulevard of Broken Dreams.
He organizes the first of his annual concert series that presents classical, contemporary, improvised and non-Western music together with poetry, film, dance, the graphic arts and expositions at the Beurs van Berlage in Amsterdam.
He participates in the School der Poëzie Foundation's theatre programme Poëzierevue [Poetry Revue], an upbeat theatrical presentation for youths with poetry, breakdance, rap, and music.
He begins working on a series presenting music and poetry, Poëzie in Groeneveld at the Groeneveld Castle in Baarn. The poets who participate include Remco Campert, J. Bernlef, and Jan Wolkers.
In recognition of his contribution to Dutch music, De Haas is made a Knight of the Order of the Netherlands Lion.
Jazz Nu writes about De Haas en Courbois' CD 'Gong': “This is jazz: two musicians who along the musical path flirt, love, spark, reject, and embrace each other. (…) De Haas is a master of suggestion and mood, and Courbois' drum rolls add to the intensity”.
De Haas' CD with Kees Wieringa of Simeon ten Holt's 'Canto Ostinato' wins gold.
A German musicologist discovers a previously unknown work by J.S. Bach in a birthday poem: the aria 'Alles mit Gott und nichts ohn' Ihn', from 1713. De Haas records the music with the soprano Claron McFadden.
He makes programmes titled 'Muziek en Poëzie' with Pierre Courbois and actress Kitty Courbois.
De Haas returns to the North Sea Jazz Festival with Pierre Courbois. Steinway honours him as a Steinway Artist. His yearly concert series is now held in the Amsterdam Concertgebouw.
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.
|Act||Polo de Haas|
|Type and year||2CD, 1994|
|gastmuzikant||Thijs van Leer|
|producer||Gerrit den Braber|
|gastmuzikant||Nico van der Linden|
|gastmuzikant||Louis van Dijk|
|producer||Evert de Vries|
|gastmuzikant||Polo de Haas|
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