23-09-1964 - current
Robert Zuidam has in his early pieces a typically Dutch, somewhat rigid and angular style, but he soon develops into an omnivore, someone who can do anything, and with a great interest in the human voice, which not deter him from composing various large- and small-scale chamber, ensemble and orchestral ...
Mentioned in the biography of
Orkest de Volharding
2005 De Nationale Opera
2008 De Nationale Opera
2009 Lenneke Ruiten
2009 Maarten Engeltjes
2011 Ruysdael Kwartet
2012 The Stolz Quartet
2013 Nederlands Kamerkoor
Biography Robert Zuidam
Robert Zuidam has in his early pieces a typically Dutch, somewhat rigid and angular style, but he soon develops into an omnivore, someone who can do anything, and with a great interest in the human voice, which not deter him from composing various large- and small-scale chamber, ensemble and orchestral pieces. He soon has success abroad, namely with the opera 'Freeze' (1994), written at the request of Hans Werner Henze. “I compose intuitively,” Zuidam says in 2009. “I work intensively with the text and imagine how I would say it. From that, a melodic shape emerges. What I always pay close attention to is that people must feel the necessity of starting to sing.” Zuidam is also a talented writer, as can be seen from articles he publishes with some regularity in NRC/Handelsblad.
1984 - 1988
Robert Zuidam (born September 23, 1964, in Gouda) studies composition with Philippe Boesmans and Klaas de Vries at the Rotterdam Conservatory.
1989 - 1990
Zuidam is a Composition Fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center in Massachusetts, United States, studying with Lukas Foss and Oliver Knussen. His composition 'Fishbone' (1988, later expanded to 'Three Mechanisms', 1990) is awarded the Koussevitsky Composition Prize.
The opera 'Freeze', about the abducted millionaire’s daughter Patricia Hearst, is premiered in Munich and then performed at the Holland Festival. De Volkskrant writes: “The composer, once a post-punker, sprinkles, mixes and stuffs an astonishing arsenal of styles in a jumble, while not avoiding a certain light-heartedness. In the melting pot of twentieth-century music, we encounter George Gershwin, spirituals, shreds of pop and Latin American music, but Zuidam incorporates it all with so much flair that the result never smells of pastiche, but instead tells a tale of its own in which time and again new aromas pass by.”
Zaal de Unie in Rotterdam devotes a three-day festival to Robert Zuidam.
His 'Rage d’amours', an opera about Joanna the Mad of Castile, is premiered to good reviews. “Zuidam dares to be extreme, but he also knows the means of doing so,” Roland de Beer observes in de Volkskrant. Erik Voermans writes in Het Parool: “Zuidam captures the hysteria in Joanna’s heart, placing it in not one, but three sopranos, who each, and often simultaneously, let their full vocal spectra be heard, from raging, icy heights to downtrodden, suppressed mourning.”
The premiere of Zuidam’s opera 'Adam in Ballingschap' [Adam in Exile], after Joost van den Vondel, is given in the Amsterdam Stadsschouwburg on June 5. Roland de Beer writes in de Volkskrant: “Zuidam understands the art of writing for voices. And he knows, browsing through four centuries of music (but principally the post-Romantic), how to suggest tension with the orchestra, even with the God-fearing babbling like Adam and bride’s in the first act.”
Robert Zuidam is the Erasmus visiting professor at Harvard University. At the Saturday Matinee of December 4, his new opera, 'Suster Bertken', is premiered in a concertante performance. On December 12, he receives the 2010 Kees van Baaren Prize from the Johan Wagenaar Foundation for 'Rage d’Amours'.
The CD 'Suster Bertken' is released by Attacca Records.
On March 31, 'Canciones del Alma' is premiered in Amsterdam with Asko|Schönberg, soprano Katrien Baerts and director Reinbert de Leeuw. Robert Zuidam is composer in residence at the Utrechts Conservatorium.
Discography Robert Zuidam
The young generation
|Type and year||CD, 1993|
|Label||Composers Voice, CV 27|
|Type and year||2CD, 1995|
|Label||NM Classics, 92047|
|Type and year||CD, 2011|
|dirigent||Reinbert de Leeuw|
Asko|Schönberg / Pianoduo Post & Mulder / Oliver Knussen / Katrien Baerts - McGonagall-Lieder
|Type and year||CD, 2013|
|Label||Challenge Classics, CC 72608|
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.