Chiel Meijering

Meijering-Chiel
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Chiel Meijering was born in Amsterdam. He studied composition with Ton de Leeuw, percussion under Jan Labordus and Jan Pustjens and piano at the Amsterdam Conservatory of Music. He is one of the most performed Dutch composers.
Meijering has an enormous output of works. He has written over 900 compositions so far, for almost any instrumentation imaginable. A main focus has been on various small ensemble settings. Many of these pieces are performed regularly in the Netherlands and abroad and were written for renowned chamber music ensembles, such as the Aurelia Saxophone Quartet, the Amsterdam Loeki Stardust Quartet, the Mondriaan String Quartet, the Matangi String Quartet, the Sinfonietta Amsterdam, the Amsterdam Guitar Trio, the Asko|Schönberg Ensemble or German newcomer ensemble Spark.

General
Chiel Meijering was born in Amsterdam on June 15, 1954.

Education
He studied composition with Ton de Leeuw, percussion under Jan Labordus and Jan Pustjens, and piano at the Amsterdam Conservatory.

Compositions
Meijering has an enormous output of works. He has written over 1,000 compositions so far, for almost any instrumentation imaginable. A main focus has been on various small ensemble pieces. Many of these pieces are performed regularly in the Netherlands and abroad and were written for renowned chamber music ensembles, such as the Aurelia Saxophone Quartet, the Amsterdam Loeki Stardust Quartet, the Mondriaan String Quartet, the Matangi String Quartet, the Sinfonietta Amsterdam, the Amsterdam Guitar Trio, Cello8ctet Amsterdam, The 12 Cellists of the Berlin Philharmonic, Asko|Schönberg Ensemble, and the new German ensemble and winner of the ECHO-Klassik 2011, Spark (der klassischen Band). In addition to having a large output of works, he also reworks existing pieces of his into different arrangements. One of the best examples of this is the hit piece ‘Candybox/Caixa de dolços‘, which he has arranged for Spark, the Matangi Quartet, Ricciotti Ensemble, and for saxophone quartet.

The overwhelming success of his ‘Alzheimer‘ opera, which was premiered in January 2006 at the Muziekgebouw aan ’t IJ marked his breakthrough with a larger theater audience.

A very strong characteristic of Meijering’s works is a large variety of styles. Without any difficulty, he seems to move between different musical worlds and genres and thus creates a different texture for each of his works. Some of them are reminiscent of pop, jazz, or world music, while others are written in the classical tradition or have avant-garde elements. Meijering is driven by spontaneity. All kinds of emotions and experiences that arise during a day may directly flow into the composition he is working on. Sometimes he even uses accidents as a method and throws the dice for creating clusters. Meijering’s works always have programmatic titles, sometimes funny or provocative or fooling around with toilet or sex humor. Examples include ‘I Hate Mozart‘ (for flute, alto saxophone, harp and violin), ‘I’ve Never Seen a Straight Banana‘ (for alto saxophone, marimba, piano, harp, and violin) and ‘When the Cock Crowed His Warning‘ (for two recorders, viola, cello and piano). This philosophy goes back to the 1970s, when he tried to separate himself from the all-too pragmatic and dry practice of most of his colleagues, naming their pieces ‘Sonata No. 33‘ or ‘Symphony No. 15‘. Now that he has reached his mid-fifties, Meijering’s titles – as well as his music – are experiencing a shift to the more romantic and poetic side, for example his ‘NightbeastCry‘ (for toy piano) or ‘The house with paper walls‘ (for viola and harp).

His music shows high artistry and still remains catchy and accessible for a broad audience. This is a very rare combination in the contemporary music scene and has helped Meijering to establish himself not only within the serious music circle, but also and foremost in the international classical music scene. Well-known musicians play his music regularly, an example of which is the recent CD recording of Meijering’s music, ‘Rock that Flute‘, for Eagle recorder and strings, by recorder player Dan Laurin. Even Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands made it known that she admires Meijering’s music, when she ordered one of his compositions for a celebratory concert on the occasion of her 60th birthday. Without any doubt, Meijering can be described as one of the most popular and famous voices of contemporary Dutch music.

His operas are also performed regularly, with his opera ‘Blauwbaard‘ by the Holland Opera in 2013, and with the recent performance of his new opera, ‘Who’s afraid of Orfeo: The hellfaire from As‘, by the Ereprijs in June 2016.

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