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THEO LOEVENDIE

Summary | Biography | Discography | Photos | Audio/Video

Period

17-09-1930 - current

Genre

componist, contemporary classical music, jazz, klarinet, saxofoon, world

Online

Officiële website

Theo Loevendie

Loevendie calls himself a “latecomer as a composer”. Until the 1970s, he was known only as a jazz saxophonist. He gained international fame with his quartet (with Hans Dulfer, Arjen Gorter, and Martijn van Duynhoven), as a member of Boy Edgars Big Band, and with the Theo Loevendie Consort. Only ...
Full biography

Instruments

componist, klarinet, saxofoon

Mentioned in the biography of

1944   Willem Breuker
1950   Nedly Elstak
1956   Ado Broodboom
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Biography Theo Loevendie

Loevendie calls himself a “latecomer as a composer”. Until the 1970s, he was known only as a jazz saxophonist. He gained international fame with his quartet (with Hans Dulfer, Arjen Gorter, and Martijn van Duynhoven), as a member of Boy Edgars Big Band, and with the Theo Loevendie Consort. Only later did he switch to contemporary music. Typically, his compostions give room to improvisation and non-Western elements, particularly from the Middle East.

Played in

Orkest de Volharding   saxofoon
Ziggurat   sopraansaxofoon

1930 - 1950

Theo Loevendie (born September 17, 1930, in Amsterdam) studies the clarinet with Ru Otto, music theory with Ernest Mulder, and composition with Leon Orthel at the Amsterdam Conservatory.

1960 - 1968

Until now, he has been active exclusively as a jazz musician. His first orchestral composition, Scaramuccia (1969), commissioned by the Johan Wagenaar Foundation, is premiered. Loevendie begins teaching composition at the Rotterdam Conservatory.

1969 - 1979

He is awarded the Wessel-Ilcken Prize for his jazz activities.

1980 - 1984

The Nieuw Ensemble comes into being with the performance of Loevendie's Venus & Adonis. The LP with the fairy tale De Nachtegaal [The Nightingale], for narrator and ensemble (1979), wins the 1982 Edison Classical award, and the TV production wins a prize from Italy's RAI broadcast company. Loevendie wins (jointly with Pierre Boulez) the United States' Koussevitsky Award (1984) for his orchestral piece Flexio (1979).

1985 - 1986

His opera Naima is premiered at the Holland Festival, a work for which he receives the 1986 Matthijs Vermeulen Prize.

1988 - 1991

Loevendie teaches at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague. In 1988, he is the first composer to receive the prestigious 3M Award, for his oeuvre and many accomplishments. In May 1991, the chamber opera Gassir, the Hero (1990), based on his own libretto, is premiered in Boston.

1995 - 1997

He begins teaching at the Amsterdam Conservatory. His opera Esmée (1994) is premiered at the Holland Festival. It is performed in Berlin in 1997, and a new production is mounted in Bielefeld, Germany.

2001 - 2002

His opera Johnny & Jones (2001) is premiered at the Holland Festival, and Seyir (2001), for 25 Western and non-Western instruments, is premiered at the 2002 Berlin Festival. Asked to choose his “most beautiful note”, he selects one from this piece, but: “Music has no need of written notes to be beautiful, they're just tools. A composer is merely an initiator.”

2003 - 2006

The chamber opera Johnny & Jones is repeated in Dresden. Loevendie begins the multicultural ensemble Ziggurat, which plays Western and non-Western instruments, such as the Turkish-Armenian duduk and the Chinese erhu. Of the influence world music has on his work he says: “Now I want to continue composing for non-Western instruments. You give up a lot, because it takes time and the performance capabilities are limited, but I think this is where the future lies. Inevitably, the music of all cultures is going to merge.”

2007

He invents the “operina”, a short music-theatre piece with few decors and costumes. Babylon draws the following reaction from the music critic Frits van der Waa: “Loevendie [tests] the expressive capabilities of the duduk, an oboe-like instrument from Armenia with a nasal but velvety sound and a tantalizing dynamic range. The cantilena then scatters itself over the Chinese erhu violin and the pan flute. All of this was embedded in a programme in which composition and improvisation effortlessly transform into one another.”

2008

The Liberator, a mini opera about the life of the American abolitionist William L. Garrison, is premiered in Boston on October 4. Kees van Kooten writes a new text for De Nachtegaal, a version that is premiered by the North Netherlands Orchestra and released on CD and DVD.

2009

During a tour in March the Netherlands Wind Ensemble presents the premiere of Fatum, for soloists, choir and winds. The piece is a pendant to Mozart's Requiem. The Theo Loevendie Quartet, with Martin van Duynhoven, Hans Dulfer, and Arjen Gorter, has a reunion in September.

2010

For Loevendie's 80th birthday in September, concerts are organised in the Bimhuis, Amsterdam Concertgebouw (with the premiere of the Concerto for Prepared Piano performed by Ralph van Raat) and Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ. Loevendie is currently working on an opera-oratorio about the philosopher Spinoza. The premiere is planned for 2013.

Discography Theo Loevendie

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 Theo Loevendie

Audio/Video Theo Loevendie

Video Theo Loevendie

2009 Theo Loevendie over ...
2009 Theo Loevendie over De Nachtegaal
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2009 Theo Loevendie over De Nachtegaal

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