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Ernst Glerum


20-04-1955 - current


basgitaar, contrabas, improvised, jazz, piano


Ernst Glerum

Ernst Glerum

Ernst Glerum (Deventer, 20 April 1955) studies classical double bass at the Amsterdam Sweelinck Conservatory. In addition to his studies he dedicates himself to the performing practice of both improvised and composed music. The winner of the Boy Edgar Prijs (the major Dutch jazz award) is considered to be the ...
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basgitaar, contrabas, piano

Mentioned in the biography of

1977   Jan Cees Tans
1981   Sean Bergin
1984   Maurice Horsthuis
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Concerts & Festivals

by Podiuminfo / Festivalinfo

5/19/22, Muziekgebouw Eindhoven, Eindhoven
5/22/22, Theaterkerk Hemels, Twisk

Biography Ernst Glerum

Ernst Glerum (Deventer, 20 April 1955) studies classical double bass at the Amsterdam Sweelinck Conservatory. In addition to his studies he dedicates himself to the performing practice of both improvised and composed music. The winner of the Boy Edgar Prijs (the major Dutch jazz award) is considered to be the ideal sideman. Many leading Dutch jazz groups, both present and past, employ his services as bassist, from the Instant Composers Pool to saxophonist Benjamin Herman's quartet. Besides double bass he also plays piano in his own group Glerum Omnibus

Played in

Available Jelly   basgitaar
Boi Akih   contrabas
Gravitones   contrabas
Instant Composers Pool   contrabas
Lazybones   basgitaar

1955 - 1971

Ernst Glerum grows up in the town of Deventer. His father is an agricultural engineer and has his own laboratory in a cannery. His mother is originally from Switzerland. In her son's experience she played piano during his entire childhood: Bach, Mozart, Chopin and sometimes things like Heinzelmännchens Wachtparade by Kurt Noack, a Swiss composer. He himself starts playing piano and guitar, and soon makes his stage debut. 'At the age of 16 I played piano at an evening of varied entertainment at the Deventer Theater. I can tell you, that was an incredible experience. I felt totally at ease.' (interview in the Volkskrant). Glerum enjoys all instruments. He starts playing clarinet, the violin and the trumpet. One day he takes a rickety old double bass home from the Deventer music school. He hammers a few nails into it and starts playing. 'When I could more or less play it, a whole new world opened up for me. I was able to play in all kinds of bands and orchestras. And that never stopped.'

1973 - 1974

He plays in local Dixieland bands, and in various orchestras, including the Deventer Youth Orchestra and the National Youth Orchestra, conducted by Roelof van Driesten.

1975 - 1983

At the Amsterdam Sweelinck Conservatory Glerum takes the classical course for double bass; a jazz department doesn't exist yet. He is taught by Henk Guldemond. The young bassist is initiated into jazz by tenor saxophonist J.C. Tans, who lives around the corner from his flat in Amsterdam, and drummer Han Bennink. He also plays modern classical music with the ASKO Ensemble and the Ricciotti Ensemble.

Han Bennink Jan Cees Tans Ricciotti Ensemble

1980 - 1988

In the late seventies the Amsterdam alternative jazz scene flourishes. Glerum starts playing in J.C. Tans + Rockets, thus establishing his name. 'I was really skinny then, hollow-cheeked. It gave people the impression that this was a really heavy cat playing there,' is what he tells the Volkskrant. Soon Glerum is playing in all avant-garde groups that matter, including the ICP, Sean Bergin's Mob and the Curtis Clark Quartet or Quintet. In 1985 he forms the Amsterdam String Trio with violist Maurice Horsthuis and cellist Ernst Reijseger. The group tours both Europe and the US. The bassist not only stands out because of his knowledge of classical music, but also because of his virtuoso bowing technique. Glerum also develops as a composer with a good feeling for harmony. In 1987 he receives a commission for a composition to be performed at the NOS Jazz Festival.

Ernst Reijseger Instant Composers Pool Maurice Horsthuis Sean Bergin

1988 - 1992

Glerum is a member of the Trio Janssen/Glerum/Janssen. With pianist Guus and drummer Wim Janssen the bassist tours China, and he participates in Guus Janssen's opera Noach, a large-scale project about the argument between 'Mr' en 'Mrs' Noah on the eve of the Flood.

Guus Janssen Wim Janssen


Glerum starts teaching the double bass at the Sweelinck Conservatory


The Bennink, Borstlap, Glerum Trio release the CD 3. Glerum also produces his first album as a leader: Elbow Room. 'I've waited so long in recording it because I'm a perfectionist, who is taking things far too seriously,' he says. 'First the bass playing should be all right. The past few years I've felt an extra strong connection to my instrument. For a number of compositions I had specific voicings and chords in mind, in a particular register. You can write these out, but another jazz musician may not feel comfortable with this. That's why I've played the piano and organ parts myself, because I knew: When I do it like this, there is ample room for bass solos.'

Michiel Borstlap

2004 - 2007

Ernst Glerum In 2004 Glerum starts his own record label, Favorite, on which he releases recordings by his own Glerum Omnibus, by Curtis Clark and the Bennink, Borstlap, Glerum Trio. In 2005 he produces a multimedia spectacle for double bass, sampled drums and film, together with his girlfriend, film maker Annegien Haselager, entitled Glerum Ex Machina.


Glerum is awarded the Boy Edgar Prijs (the major Dutch jazz award). According to the jury he represents 'all of the virtues of the improvising jazz musician in a very special way. In an inimitable way he thus manages to productively balance out the ensembles he plays in.' The jury also remarks that Glerum 'has played an exemplary role as a bridging figure in Dutch jazz for the past three decades.' Some colleagues are astounded that the bassist, who has participated in the recording of over thirty albums, wasn't awarded the prize earlier. But for Glerum himself the timing is perfect. 'Everything seems to fall into place in my career at this moment. Through all collaborations I've gained so much knowledge that I now have a realistic sound image of what I would like to create and research.' The Bennink, Borstlap, Glerum Trio is awarded an Edison (Dutch Grammy) in the Jazz Nationaal category for the CD Monk, Vol. 1.


Simultanously Glerum releases two CDs: one by Glerum Omnibus (Paper Models) and another called Movie Music, a compilation of music he wrote for various films.

Discography Ernst Glerum

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 Ernst Glerum

Audio/Video Ernst Glerum

Video Ernst Glerum

Trio Janssen, Glerum, Jan...
Trio Janssen, Glerum, Janssen speelt One Bar
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Trio Janssen, Glerum, Janssen speelt One Bar

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