Listen and Watch
A small selection of works, more links to be found in the sheet music webshop, connected to specific scores.
Las Noches de Verano I
trumpet, string quartet and piano
Written a long time ago and although not performed very often one of my favourite works…. In the beginning of 2012 I finally found some time to compose and was inspired by my friend André Heuvelman. André asked me to write something ‘simple and beautiful’ and out came Las Noches De Verano I. André in turn was so inspired by this piece that he decided to record a solo CD. André Heuvelman – trumpet, Henry Kelder – piano,
Bosquejos del Bosco
solo clarinet (or bass clarinet)
World premiere recording (10/4/2016) at the Muziekgebouw aan het IJ (Amsterdam, Netherlands) by Arno Piters, clarinettist at the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. ‘Bosquejos’ (sketches of Bosch) was commissioned by the Dutch Clarinet Festival and includes 5 portraits of paintings by this great artist. More info on the score page.
Charlas (nr. 5: feroz)
2 identical saxophones
Charlas (Chats) is a suite of 5 duets for identical saxophones, commissioned by a group of 25 musicians. Premiered by the Mirasol Duo at the 2016 NASA Biennial this recording is by Elissa Kana and John Cummins. Elissa just finished her PhD at Iowa City University on my works for saxophone and recorded a lot of my music, and she did so at a very high level. More info on the score page.
alto saxophone, string quartet and double bass ad lib.
Ties Mellema (for whom I wrote ‘Strong Ties’ in 2008) gave me a call in the summer of 2010 to tell me about a new project he was working on. A tribute to the music of ‘Prince’, one of Ties’ musical heroes. And he asked if I was interested in writing a piece for this project and if this could be based on Sign O Times, a genuine Prince classic. I owe Ties a lot; he has been one of the most important performers of my music. More info on the score page.
O Fado Da Tormenta
voice and wind ensemble
O Fado Da Tormenta was written for Ana Moura and the Netherlands Wind Ensemble for our 2011 Tour. Recorded by NPS radio. Based on the poem ‘Tormenta’ by Fernando Pessoa… For me this poem describes in only eight lines the very nature of Portugal and fado. The low instruments such as bass trombone, contrabassoon, double bass, bass clarinet and timpani represent the depth of the ocean. https://pt.wikisource.org/wiki/Tormenta
bandoneon, piano and saxophone quartet
A piece inspired by my two sons Joep and Toer…. For the ensemble that played a major role in my life: the Aurelia Saxophone Quartet. I was a member of the group from 1982 till 2013. Johan van der Linden – soprano, Niels Bijl – alto, Arno Bornkamp – tenor and Willem van Merwijk – baritone. Plus Ville Hiltula – bandoneon and Juan Pabo Dobal – piano. This was the first piece I ever composed (in 2006) and the start (by accident) of my career as a composer….! More info on the score page.
alto sax (left hand only) and piano
In 2007 dutch saxophonist Ties Mellema severely injured his right hand in a kitchen accident. It was unclear how long it would take for his right hand to recover, and it was even unclear if he would recover fully….
Ties is one of the most dedicated performers/musicians I know and a life without a saxophone is completely unthinkable for him. So instead of focusing on what he could no longer play he decided to investigate what he still could play. Together with his pianist Hans Eijsackers he thus created the program ‘On The Other Hand’, the first concert program ever for left-handed (alto) saxophone. More info on score page.
Las Noches de Verano II
(bass) trombone and harp
A 2nd work in a series of 5 ‘Summer Nights’ for a wonderful musician’s duo; Astrid Haring – harp and Brandt Attema – bass trombone. Dear friends and great storytellers. More info on score page.
Isolario (Book of Islands)
voice and string quartet
Recording of the world premiere (1/10/2021) at the Schiermonnikoog Chamber Music Festival, commissioned by the Festival and performed by Karin Strobos – mezzo soprano and Club Classique: Myrthe Helder, Maren Bosma – violin, Lotus de Vries – viola and Leonard Besseling – violoncello. Poems by Alphonse Beauregard, Alejandra Pizarnik, Fernando Pessoa and Bartollomeo dalli Sonetti. Dedicated to the performers, Caspar Vos and Henrik and Irma Willers. More info on score page.
flute and string orchestra
Recording of the world premiere (1/7/2022) at the Conservatorium of Amsterdam. Flute: Anna May van der Feen, conductor Drummado Wijnhamer and strings: Lisanne Clignett, Vivian de Graaff, Hadewych de Vos, Annah Posthumius, Elin Haver, Lea van der Heijden, Charlotte Brussee, Zala Vidic, Quentin Fournet-Fayas. Dedicated to my dear friend writer Bert Wagendorp and Anna-May. More info on score page.
clarinet (or violin), violoncello and piano
Recording of the world premiere (29/1/2021) at the Vredenburg Concert Hall in Utrecht, the Netherlands, broadcasted by AVROTROS. Performed by and dedicated to the wonderful Chimaera Trio: Annemiek de Bruin – clarinet, Irene Kok – violoncello, Laurens de Man – piano. Danzas Soñadas (Dreamt Songs): music in the twilight zone. First 15 minutes of the YOUTUBE link. More info on score page.
Ciudades (Cities) – Köln
saxophone or clarinet quartet (and combinations)
Ciudades is my most performed work, interpreted and recorded by musicians all over the world. Esteemed quartets like Amstel, MAAT, Fukio, Ferio, Signum, Xenon, NAKK and many others brought this work on stage, included it on their Cd’s and you will find wonderful versions on YOUTUBE, Spotify and other platforms. I chose this version by WHOOP Group from Poland because of the great animation by Marek Sułecki that comes with it (and of course because of their great performance…) Dedicated to Amstel, Elle and Signum Quartets. More info on score page.
Terra et Aqua Tremuerunt
wind orchestra (fanfare)
My friend Jean-Pierre Cnoops (saxophonist and conductor) asked me to write a piece for his final concert as conductor with the Royal Fanfare Eensgezindheid Maasbracht Beek, an amateur orchestra performing at a very high level. I decided (inspired by the musicians of the orchestra) to write about a tragedy that happened in the end of the 2nd WW where in the harbour of Maasbracht 240 ships were sunk by the occupying German troops. Lots of symbolism referring to that tragedy in this piece. More info on score page.
alto saxophone (or clarinet in Bb) and string quartet (or string orchestra)
Another contribution to the repertoire of my own instrument the saxophone; Consecuencias (Consequences). A performance (21-11-2018) by my dear friend Carlos Gimenez Martinez (who premiered my ‘Cinc Poemes’ in 2022) and the Cheng Quartet. Dedicated to Rusne Mikiskaite and Arno Bornkamp, clarinet version to Harmen de Boer. More info on score page.
Visión Apocalíptica III
bass trombone and harp
Visión Apocalíptica III is the third in a series of ‘visions’. The first vision was written for the New Trombone Collective and the Aurelia Saxophone Quartet, the second for pianist Ivo Janssen and this third one for the Haring/Attema duo. I love the trombone and the instrument plays an important role in my oeuvre. Attema is without any doubt one of the best bass- trombone-players in the world. And the harp is the ultimate composers-candy-store for me: a supersized guitar, a whispering piano, a funky bass, all of that in one and much more. Haring is an exemplary performer with a very lyric touch. More info on score page.
Visión Apocalíptica IV
In 1990 I joined the Netherlands Wind Ensemble and that has been a great joy and enormous contribution to my development as arranger, orchestrator and composer. This fourth ‘Apocalyptic Vision’ was written for the famous New Year Concert opening the musical year in the Concertgebouw Amsterdam (the Netherlands), this one for the year 2010… The man with the baritone sax is my alter ego Willem van Merwijk….