there is a musical project going on, called "De Rotterdamse
School", which tries to advance new music from Rotterdam
in all its aspects. The focus is on composers from Rotterdam,
who write new music for ensembles and soloists from Rotterdam
or present music in Rotterdam, which was not heard there before.
The definition of what a Rotterdam composer is, is relatively
broad: if you live in Rotterdam, you surely are a Rotterdam composer,
but if you studied at the Rotterdam Conservatory, but live elsewhere,
you are considered a composer with roots in Rotterdam and that
is good enough for us".
This was stated in
2003 by Willem Kniknie, programmer of new music at the venue 'Lantaren/Venster'
What started in the
nineties within a small circle of composition-students at the
Rotterdam Conservatorium with a manifesto by Rotterdam composer
Oscar van Dillen, has been taken serious now in a larger group
of music-lovers nationwide. Many Rotterdam composers are now successful
in the contemporary or theatre-musiclife of the Netherlands and
It is impossible
to accomodate all Rotterdam composers together in one kind of
style or musical esthetic, therefore one could not really speak
of a school in the traditional sense (like for instance the second
Viennese School). It is merely a group of people that has been
closely in contact, discussing mainly their music's differences.
One thing is for sure, the important role of the group-lessons
(called practicums) which were led by always stimulating
and inspiring teachers at the RC, Peter-Jan Wagemans and Klaas
Most of the composers,
as well as performing musicians with whom a close relationship
is maintained, live outside Rotterdam. Yet, this city seems to
always be a point where special things happen, maybe because of
the rare and focussed moments when certain people meet.
Sevenheaded Dragon of the Tradition of Music
Marcel Minderhout, Thorkell
Marlijn Helder, Oscar van Dillen, Astrid
Kruisselbrink, Felipe Perez, Edward Top
and Gustavo Trujillo
face: Peter-Jan Wagemans, Right face: Klaas de
Wagner, Mahler, B.A.Zimmermann,
Bach, Schoenberg, Stravinsky and
Last updated: August