I was born in Utrecht, in the
Netherlands. Countless walks through its largely medieval city
center during my high school years have contributed to my
feeling that the past is never distant, but included in the
My main interests have always been music and philosophy. In
music, a historical and theoretical orientation has kept
competing with the urge to make music, as a composer and
performer. After graduating in musicology at the University of
Utrecht, I have studied at the Royal Conservatoire of The Hague
with pianists Geoffrey Madge and Stanley Hoogland. As a pianist,
I have been active as an accompanist and vocal coach mainly
between 1990 and 2010.
Periodically I have turned to composition, producing a few short
works in a non-tonal (or allusively-tonal) idiom.
Botón, a chamber opera for an audience of children and adults,
is my only extensive work in a tonal idiom. It has been inspired
in part by working with Latin American popular repertoire, in
part by the musical childhood worlds created by composers such
as Debussy and Ravel.
After some teaching at Utrecht University (historical seminars),
at the Royal Conservatoire (research skills), and work at the
Netherlands Music Institute in The Hague, musicological research has become
my primary activity in the past few years. The main result at
present is my dissertation Classical Music and the Language
Analogy (Humboldt University, Berlin, 2014). The chosen
problem – how does classical music relate to or depend on
language – calls for a synthetic approach, involving music
history and theory, linguistics, and aesthetics.