Biography

Willem van Merwijk was born in 1960 in the village of Bemmel in the east of the Netherlands. At the age of 17 he decided to make a career in music and started out as a musician; playing the saxophone. At the age of 25 he started arranging, first mainly for amateurs and the Aurelia Saxophone Quartet (his own chamber music ensemble) and then more and more for other professionals. At the age of 46 he started composing and choose the name Guillermo Lago as a pseudonym. And also in the full course of his professional life until this day has he been a dedicated teacher, both at an amateur and a professional level.

Extended Bio:

Musician

List of ensembles

Aurelia Saxofoon Kwartet (1982 – 2013) (co-founder)
Netherlands Wind Ensemble (1990 – present)
De Ereprijs (1982-1985)
Salsaya Big Band (1985-1986)
Big Band Guus Tangelder (incidentally previous century)
Winds of Change (2006-2009) (co-founder and artistic leader)


List of orchestras

Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra
Radio Philharmonic Orchestra
Residentie Orchestra
Radio Symphony Orchestra
Radio Chamber Orchestra
Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra
Orkest van het Oosten
Musikkollegium Winterthur
Limburg Symphony Orchestra
Royal Military Band (Koninklijke Militaire Kapel)
Amsterdam Police Band
Netherlands Fanfare Orchestra
National Youth Orchestra

 List of countries where van Merwijk performed

Albania, Aruba, Austria
Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Canada, Curaçao, Czech Republic
Denmark
France
Germany, Great-Britain
Hungary
India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy
Japan, Jordan
Kroatia
Luxemburg
Montenegro
The Netherlands
Palestine, Poland, Portugal
Roumania, Russia
Slovakia, Spain, Surinam, Switzerland
Thailand, Turkey
USA

Composer    

composed for:

(in alphabetical order)

Adnan Cico
Alexander Verbeek
Amstel Kwartet
Ana Moura
André Heuvelman
Arno Bornkamp
Aurelia Saxophone Quartet
Banda da Armada (Portugal)
Bart Schneemann
Belma Kahrović
Codarts Brass
Dorian Cooke
Duo Haring/Attema
Duo Sax & Stix
Elle Quartet
En Accord String Quartet
Esma Sulejmanagić
Femke IJlstra
Hans van Eijsackers
Hans-Erik Dijkstra
Iris Groot
Ivo Janssen
Jaume Gavilán Agulló
JONG (now TenToonEnsemble)
JongJongNBE
JongNBE
Jörgen van Rijen
Juan Pablo Dobal
Julian Schneemann
Kim Hoogvliet
Manon Vermeer
The Marine Band of the Royal Netherlands Navy
NAKK (New Amsterdam Clarinet Quartet)
National Children’s Choir (of the Netherlands)
NDR Big Band
Netherlands Wind Ensemble
New Trombone Collective
Niels Bijl
Otto Mani Saxophone Quartet Competition
Peter Prommel
Pieternel Berkers
SAX2014
Sax & Stix
Signum Quartet
Syrène Quartet
Tanja van den Eijnden
Ties Mellema
Ville Hiltula
Wilmar de Visser
Winds Of Change
Yvon Arts

 Commissioning compositions

Amstel Quartet
Codarts Brass
Chamber Music Festival Schiermonnikoog
The Marine Band of the Royal Netherlands Navy
Musicians Without Borders Bosnia Herzegovina
National Comittee 4 / 5 May
Netherlands Wind Ensemble
NFPK
OttoMani Competitie voor saxofoonkwartetten
SAX2014
Foundation Coronation HRH Willem Alexander
and others

Countries where Lago/van Merwijk's work has been performed

Argentine, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbeidzjan
Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil
Canada, Chili, Croatia, China
Denmark
Estonia
Georgia, Germany, Great-Britain
France
Ireland, Italy
Japan
Kosovo
Lithuania, Latvia, Luxemburg
Macedonia, Montenegro
the Netherlands, New-Zealand, Norway
Poland, Portugal
Russia
Serbia, Spain, Slovenia, South-Korea, Sweden, Switzerland
Taiwan
USA
Arranger for:

(alphabetical order)

Achilla Orru
Alain Clarke
Amsterdam Brass
Ana Moura
André Heuvelman
Artez University of Arts
Ashton Brothers
Aurelia Saxophone Quartet
AVRO Prinsengracht Concert
Bart Schneemann
Brandt Attema
Branford Marsalis
Breeze
Cameleon
Carmen Linares
Cello Biennial
Chantal Janzen
Claudia de Breij
Conservatory of Amsterdam
De Nederlandse Reisopera
Doña Rosa
Flip Noorman
Grachtenfestival
Izaline Callister
Janine Jansen
Johanette Zomer
JONG (nu TenToon Ensemble)
Jong NBE
JongJong NBE
Jörgen van Rijen
Jungle By Night
Karsu Dönmez
Lavinia Meijer
Maria Fiselier
The Marine Band of the Royal Dutch Navy
Marit Berends
Minyeshu Kiflé
Miranda van Kralingen
Netherlands Wind Ensemble
NEOS Brass
New Trombone Collective
Niels Bijl
New Amsterdam Children Choir
Orlando Festival
Paul de Leeuw
Paul Witteman
Pier-K
Pim Muda
Psaradonis
Revival Okapi
SAX2014
Staff Benda Bilili
The Staff Band of the Norwegian Armed Forces
Trompetten van Oranje
U & I
Wouter Hamel


Commissioning arrangements

Goodbye Concert Koningin Beatrix ‘Met Hart en Ziel’
ArteZ
AVRO
CvA
Amsterdam Canal Festival
Amsterdam Royal Concertgebouw
Royal Dutch Hockey Federation (World Ch. Hockey 2014)
NBE
Orlando Festival
Paul de Leeuw
SAX2014
VARA
and many others

Education

Amsterdam Conservatory CVA (the Netherlands) (2010 – present) Classical department
Professor of saxophone/saxophone methodics (assistant to Mr. Arno Bornkamp)
Utrecht Conservatory HKU (the Netherlands) (2011 – present) Classical department
Professor of arranging (previously also composing/songwriting)
Pier-K Haarlemmermeer (the Netherlands) (1986 – present)
Teacher of saxophone/ensemble
with the Aurelia Saxophone Quartet (1982 – 2013)
Masterclasses world-wide
in collaboration with Musicians without Borders (2006 – 2007)
Masterclasses in Bosnia and Herzegovina
with the Netherlands Wind Ensemble (2000 – present)
Numerous educational activities such as workshops, high school projects and coaching of young talent, both in the Netherlands and abroad
with Johan van der Linden and André Arends (1999 – 2003)
Co-author of the Aurelia Saxophone Method (in 4 volumes)
with the Dutch National Opera (2013 – 2015)
High school projects

at Stichting Huismuziek (2015 – present)
Courses in arranging