Guillermo Lago


Guillermo Lago (1960) is musician Willem van Merwijk’s composing alter ego. The first pieces Lago wrote were two tangos for the concert program ‘Tangón’. In this program the Aurelia Saxophone Quartet investigated together with Ville Hiltula (bandoneon) and Juan Pablo Dobal (piano) how the concert-tango is developing after the death of its inventor Astor Piazzolla. In the process of finding composers and repertoire for this tour van Merwijk discovered that he himself had very distinct musical ideas and decided to write two pieces (Pequeñitos/Tonto del Pueblo) under a spanish pseudonym: Guillermo Lago. When continuing to compose he decided to stick to this name, because it suited his music perfectly.

In the course of a few years Lago has written over 50 compositions of which around a fourth has been recorded on CD/DVD. Pieces dedicated to musicians such as pianist Ivo Janssen, saxophonist Ties Mellema, tromboneplayers Jörgen van Rijen, Brandt Attema and André Heuvelman and to groups such as the Netherlands Wind Ensemble, the Aurelia & Amstel Saxophone Quartets, the National Dutch Youth Choir, the New Trombone Collective, the NDR Big Band, JONG Ensemble, Winds of Change and the EnAccord String Quartet.

In 2011 Lago was invited to write the yearly composition at National Memorial Day in the Netherlands that was performed before an audience including HRH Queen Beatrix and broadcasted live on national TV and radio.

In 2013 Lago wrote “l’Entrata del Re” for the coronation of HRH King Willem Alexander of the Netherlands, live broadcasted and watched by over 50 million viewers world-wide.

Van Merwijk/Lago’s work is being performed all over the world. Recents work for wind orchestra (dedicated to and commissioned by the Marine’s Band of the Royal Dutch Navy), the series ‘Ciudades’ for saxophone quartet and his pieces for bass trombone and harp rank among the most performed of his works.