Bram Kortekaas was born in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, in 1989.
Kortekaas studied composition with Willem Jeths and Wim Henderickx at the Conservatory of Amsterdam, and political science at the University of Amsterdam and the University of Copenhagen. Kortekaas also studied conducting privately with Daan Admiraal.
Several of Kortekaas’ compositions have been influenced by his background as a political scientist. In Notenkrakers’ notulen (Nutcraker’s minutes, 2020), a work for Soprano and orchestra commissioned by the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, he brings the minutes of the tumultuous 1970 public discussion between the so-called ‘Nutcrackers’ protestors and the board of the Concertgebouw Orchestra to life. The composition was premiered by soprano Katharine Dain, the Concertgebouw Orchestra and conductor Antony Hermus.
Voetnoten bij de menselijke komedie (Footnotes to the human comedy), a commission by the NTR ZaterdagMatinee concert series, is based on columns written for the Dutch newspaper de Volkskrant by Arnon Grunberg. This work was premiered by the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and the Netherlands Radio Choir under the baton of Karel Mark Chichon in October 2017, and reprised in the 2019-2020 season with the same choir, the Residentie Orchestra and conductor Nicholas Collon.
Earlier in 2017, commissioned by the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, he wrote Leonard Bernstein, Security Matter – C for wind quintet and singer Carina Vinke, in which parts of Bernstein’s FBI-dossier were set to music.
Over the last decade, Kortekaas wrote ten symphonic works, including a percussion concerto, Balance of Power (2016), that have gained attention for their detailed orchestration. His composition The Pillars of Creation won the first prize in the Euregio Youth Orchestra Composition Competition 2015. In the summer of 2014, Foreign Body, commissioned by the VU-Orchestra Amsterdam, was included in the Järvi International Academy for Conductors (Estonia) and the International Music Festival of the Greater Hermitage (Saint-Petersburg, Russia).
For his composition Gamut Kortekaas collaborated on the interactive musical labyrinth ‘Luistermutant 2021’ with director Arlon Luijten, composer Micha Hamel and researchers from Delft University of Technology and Erasmus University Rotterdam. ‘Luistermutant 2021’ is scheduled for the Holland Festival 2021 and aims to enrich the audience with better listening skills. At the end of the performance, Gamut will be premiered by Philharmonie ZuidNederland and conductor Jonathon Heyward.
During his studies in Copenhagen, he was conductor of the orchestras Plenum and SymfUni, the student orchestra of the University of Copenhagen.