The Clarinet….

Three days after we ended up in Kerkrade with the whole family from Blackpool, England, I started clarinet lessons in 1971 at the age of 9 with Matthijs van Oosten, conductor of the Harmony Ste.Marie,Gracht-Kerkrade. My real love went out to the saxophone, but because the young harmonie needed clarinets, I gave in and took up the clarinet.
It soon became clear that I had a talent and I went to the music school in Kerkrade and followed lessons with successively good old Harry Senden and his teacher Martin Mulleneers, solo clarinettist of the Limburg Symphony Orchestra.
Within a few years I passed all my six degree exams and the four Hafa exams with distinction. In the meantime I became a member of the infamous Royal Philharmonic Bocholtz, trained clarinet players and played Solo and Eb clarinet for 12 years under the inspiring direction of Maestro Heinz Friesen.
I took part in numerous soloist competitions and achieved many successes. I even managed to win a brand new Leblanc Bb clarinet once.
An invitation followed to participate in the Euregio Meuse-Rhine Youth Symphony Orchestra conducted by Guido van den Bosch, where my love for music was further stimulated. The Euregio Maas Rijn wind quintet was founded together with 4 other fantastic musicians (John and Paul Theunissen, Gottfried Cranen and Harry Bosch). I decided to follow Preparatory Vocational Training at the music school of Kerkrade and was taught in a.o. solfège, piano, music history, harmony and music theory.
After my secondary school education at the Gymnasium in Rolduc, Kerkrade I took entrance exams at the conservatories of Maastricht and Amsterdam in 1982. I was accepted at both conservatories, but I finally chose Maastricht for the time being. There I followed the main subjects clarinet (1 year with Ru Otto and 5 years with Willem van der Vuurst, Eb clarinettist of the Royal Concertgebouworkest) and HaFa band conducting with Martin Koekelkoren, Sef Pijpers sr. and Pierre Kuijpers respectively. During my studies in Maastricht I was accepted as a solo clarinettist/clarinettist with the National Youth Symphony Orchestra. For three years I experienced fantastic times there in Amsterdam and gave many wonderful concerts in the most beautiful halls of the Netherlands. There were also tours to France, Italy and Greece. Also an LP was recorded with a.o. Ein Heldenleben by Richard Strauss, Petrouchka by Stravinsky and Three Places in New England by Ives. Meanwhile I had obtained my brand new set of Herbert Wurlitzers (built in 1984) and I still play them up to this day!
After obtaining my Bachelor in Maastricht in 1988 I decided to study in Amsterdam with George Pieterson, solo clarinettist of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and I am very grateful for inspiring lessons. In 1990 I obtained my Master degree with top merits. Meanwhile, as a substitute, I gained the necessary experience a.o. with the Limburg Symphony Orchestra, Opera Forum Philharmonic in Enschede and the Noord-Hollands Philharmonic Orchestra in Haarlem.
In 2007 I founded “The New Clarinet Symphonics”, a top clarinet choir, together with several top clarinettists from Dutch and Belgian Limburg. It was a top clarinet choir that played at the highest level for five years. For th 13 clarinettists of this fine ensemble I wrote numerous arrangements, most of which can be heard on YouTube. On this site you can find the links. Hopefully TNCS can pick up the thread again in the future…In 2009 I arranged Artie Shaw’s “Concerto for Clarinet” and performed as a soloist myself during the annual band contest participation of the Koninklijke Harmonie van Horst, a great experience!

In 2017 I repeated this but then with BläserPhilharmonie Aachen!

Conducting…. be continued…   😉