25-11-1929 - 08-01-1993
As a pianist, Theo Bruins is from 1960 an enthusiastic advocate of 20th-century music. His repertoire – about 30 piano concertos and a selection of solo pieces – reaches from Sweelinck to contemporary music. Kees van Baaren, Jan van Vlijmen and Tristan Keuris each dedicate piano concertos to him. Bruins ...
Biography Theo Bruins
As a pianist, Theo Bruins is from 1960 an enthusiastic advocate of 20th-century music. His repertoire – about 30 piano concertos and a selection of solo pieces – reaches from Sweelinck to contemporary music. Kees van Baaren, Jan van Vlijmen and Tristan Keuris each dedicate piano concertos to him. Bruins is also a talented composer, though he writes only seven pieces. The Johan Wagenaar Foundation names a prize after him that is awarded to people such as publicists and organisers who make an exceptional contribution to Dutch musical life.
1946 - 1948
After taking piano lessons from his mother, Theo Bruins (born November 25, 1929, in Arnhem) studies the piano at the Amsterdam Muzieklyceum with Jaap Spaanderman. He soon makes his concert debut. In 1947, he performs with the Utrecht City Orchestra, conducted by Willem van Otterloo, and the following year he debuts with the Concertgebouw Orchestra.
1948 - 1952
Theo Bruins studies in Paris with the legendary pianist Yves Nat. In his last year, he composes as part of his studies the 'Six pièces brèves', his first composition. He then studies composition with Kees van Baaren in The Hague. Theo Bruins writes the 'Concerto per pianoforte ed orchestra' (1952) for the J. Pzn. Sweelinck Student Orchestra. It is his first official composition and one of the first twelve-tone pieces in The Netherlands.
After a recital in London Theo Bruins is awarded the Harriet Cohen Beethoven Medal.
1963 - 1983
In addition to the standard Classical-Romantic repertoire, Bruins performs increasingly more avant-garde music. He writes the 'Sei Studi', etudes intended especially for pianists who play modern music. He says of these pieces: “In 'Sei Studi', the emphasis lies principally on purely pianistic, especially rhythmical-metrical difficulties inherent in new music”. After, he publishes no new music for a long time because of “the laborious nature of the composer’s work”. He teaches at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague.
Theo Bruins writes his first composition after the 'Sei Studi'; 'Quartet ’84' is inspired by 'Octet ’61' by Cornelius Cardew.
1992 - 1993
His final composition, 'Sincope' (1992), is for the harpsichord, rather than the piano. Bruins writes the piece – in a “lightened serial style” – for his wife, the harpsichordist Liesbeth Hoppen. Theo Bruins dies in Haarlem on January 8.
Discography Theo Bruins
Ludwig van Beethoven - Variations
|Type and year||CD, 1993|
|Label||Canal Grande, CG 6071|
Theo Bruins (1929-1993)
|Type and year||CD, 1993|
|Label||Globe Records, GLO 6017|
Theo Bruyns plays Béla Bartók
|Type and year||CD, 1996|
|Label||Arsis Classics, 95005|
Theo Bruins plays Debussy
|Type and year||CD, 1997|
|Label||Arsis Classics, 97012|
|Type and year||CD, 2004|
|Label||Q Disc, Q 97045|
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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