Gerard Beljon

Gerard Beljon
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General
Gerard Beljon was born on April 16, in 1952 in Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Education
Beljon studied lute and guitar at the conservatories of Utrecht and The Hague with Hans Verzijl and Toyohiko Satoh, respectively. He also studied composition with Carlos Michàns and Daan Manneke.

Compositions
Many of Beljon’s compositions were written for ensembles and soloists such as the Nieuw Ensemble, the Nederlands Kamerkoor, Orkest De Volharding, the Amsterdam Quintet, pianist Ralph van Raat, and Duo Subiaco. Beljon’s works were performed in Holland as well as in Germany, Austria, the United States, Russia, and Australia.

“Being interested in the clear form and structure that is so evident in many medieval, renaissance and baroque compositions, I try to translate some of these qualities into my own music. I also combine techniques of 20th century notated music with influences of pop-music. In this way I can create a new music that appears to sound interesting to many people.” – Gerard Beljon.

The Bronson Piano Studio described his work, Beats, as follows: “The other work by a Dutch rock/classical musician, Gerard Beljon’s ‘Beat‘ turned out to be the virtuoso event of the evening. It was receiving its U.S. premiere, and deserves to give San Jose a spot in musical history on this account. Described as a Toccata with funk sections, it was full of the repeated notes and rhythmic drive typical of a toccata, with extreme rapidity and dynamic extremes and episodes of orchestral grandeur, leading to a climax that carried the excitement of the finale of Prokofiev’s 7th Sonata to the next level, which would previously have seemed inconceivable.”

Some other popular works of Beljon include: ‘De tuin sneeuwt langzaam vol‘ for chamber choir a cappella (2000), ‘Nachtzien‘ for chamber choir a cappella (2000), ‘Something Wicked‘ for flute, piano and samples (2002), ‘The cry of the peacocks‘ for mixed choir (2005) with a poem by Wallace Stevens (1879-1955), ‘De Noordewind‘ for mezzo-soprano, choir and 2 accordions (2012), and ‘Rat race‘ for clarinet, violin, cello, and piano (2012). In addition to this, Beljon worked on several theater productions and wrote the children’s opera, ‘Hansel and Gretel‘(2001). This opera has received many positive reviews in for example De Volkskrant, Het Parool, Algemeen Dagblad, NRC and the Twentse Courant.

Awards
Aroma‘ (1997), for guitar and mandolin, was awarded the First Prize for Composition in the competition for contemporary music in Vienna.

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