ROBIN DE RAAFF
05-12-1968 - current
Robin de Raaff
“A system must never take the place of the creativity of the composer”, according to Robin de Raaff, a composer who stands in the middle of the 20th- and 21st-century tradition of composing, but sets his personal stamp on it. He composes with a craftsman’s attention, creating music full of ...
Biography Robin de Raaff
“A system must never take the place of the creativity of the composer”, according to Robin de Raaff, a composer who stands in the middle of the 20th- and 21st-century tradition of composing, but sets his personal stamp on it. He composes with a craftsman’s attention, creating music full of details with sensitivity to numerical relationships and proportions. Music that seeks out dialogue and presents a clear story. All the while, he never loses touch with the emotion and beauty of the sound. In his later work, De Raaff has increasingly allowed himself more freedom, and he composes virtuoso music, rich in expression and colour, tailored to the soloists or ensembles. Various influences come together in his music, from the Second Viennese School (Alban Berg) and serialism (Pierre Boulez) to the ingenious architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright and Frank Gehry. Their organic, flowing architectural shapes inspire him.
Robin de Raaff is born in Breda on December 5. He has his first piano lessons with his father, and later learns to play the bass guitar.
1991 - 1995
He enrols as a composition student in the Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam, where he studies with Geert van Keulen and Theo Loevendie.
De Raaff participates in a composition master class with Pierre Boulez, who approvingly handles his string quartet 'Athomus' (1993). At BP’s Young European Composers Seminar in Leipzig, he receives a special prize for his three chamber pieces 'Equilibre', for bass clarinet (1994); 'Athomus' (1993); and 'Contradictie I', for flute solo (1994). 'De Vlucht van de Magiër' [The Flight of the Magician], for soprano, flute, mandolin and harp (1995) wins the KNTV Composition Prize, and De Raaff receives the Academic Society Prize for his 'Contradictie I' for flute (1994), Athomus' for string quartet (1993) and 'In Memoriam Dimitri Shostakovich', for two trumpets, two French horns and orchestra (1994).
1997 - 1999
De Raaff graduates cum laude from the Amsterdam Conservatory as a student of Theo Loevendie. He continues his studies at the Royal College of Music in London with George Benjamin and Julian Anderson. He wins first prize for 'Anachronie' for flute and harpsichord (1994) at the 1997 International Competition for Composers of Chamber Music in Winterthur (Switzerland) and the following year, the Bernhard van den Sigtenhorst Meyer Prize for the 'Double Concerto' for clarinet, bass clarinet and orchestra (1997).
Robin de Raaff goes to the Tanglewood Music Center in the United States as a senior composition fellow, which results in a series of commissions and performances of his work there. That same summer, his septet 'Ennea's Domein' is performed as part of The Festival of Contemporary Music at Tanglewood, and is later programmed during the State of the Union concert of the London Sinfonietta.
2001 - 2003
De Raaff becomes a composition teacher and department leader at the Rotterdam Conservatory (Codarts). The premiere of his 'Piano Concerto' at the Tanglewood Festival of Contemporary Music, with Ralph van Raat as soloist, is a great success, and it is subsequently performed in Europe. De Raaff works with the Belgian dance company Rosas and the Ictus Ensemble in the multimedia project 'Counter Phrases'.
His first opera, 'RAAFF' (1995-2004), for six soloists, one actor, choir and orchestra, is completed on a commission from De Nederlandse Opera. It is premiered on June 23 during the Holland Festival. 'Unisono' (2004), for large orchestra, composed on a commission from the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, is premiered.
Robin de Raaff composes the music for director Mirjam van Veelen’s film project 'Megumi'. The film is shown at the Rotterdam Film Festival as well as various other international film festivals. The work is dedicated to his friend the saxophonist William Raaijman.
The Etcetera label releases a CD of the opera 'RAAFF'. The 'Violin Concerto' wins the Buma Toonzetters Prize as the best Dutch composition of 2008.
De Nederlandse Opera commissions a new opera from De Raaff to be performed at the 2012 Holland Festival: 'Waiting for Miss Monroe', on a libretto by Janine Brogt and to be directed by Lotte de Beer.
On January 29, the Raschèr Quartet and the Radio Philharmonic Orchestra premiere the 'Concerto for Saxophone Quartet', commissioned by the Saturday Matinee Series. De Raaff is invited by the conductor Marin Alsop to be the composer-in-residence at the Cabrillo Festival in Santa Cruz, California, where on August 13 'Entangled Tales' (2007) is performed.
On June 9, the Nederlandse Opera premiere the opera 'Waiting for Miss Monroe' during the Holland Festival in Amsterdam.
Discography Robin de Raaff
|Act||Robin de Raaff|
|Type and year||CD, 2006|
|Label||Etcetera, KTC 1309|
|solist||Ralph van Raat|
|Act||Robin de Raaff|
|Type and year||CD, 2009|
|Label||Etcetera, KTC 1370|
Osiris Trio - New piano trios from the Netherlands
|Act||Robin de Raaff|
|Type and year||CD, 2005|
|Label||NM Classics, NM 92132|
|componist||Robin de Raaff|
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.