On 25 October, composer Jan Boerman died at the age of 97. He was a pioneer in the field of electronic music, a man who experimented with endless patience in the music studio, and who over the decades built up an impressive oeuvre of mainly so-called ‘tape music’. Donemus will treasure his musical legacy…
Jan Boerman had been a student at the Hague Conservatoire with Léon Orthel (with whom he studied piano – he himself continued to teach a minor in piano until his retirement) and Hendrik Andriessen (from whom he received composition lessons). He was attracted to electronic music because it was precisely in this area that there was so much to discover. He worked in the first electronic music studio in our country (in Delft) and was also a teacher at the Royal Conservatoire until the end of the 1980s.
In an in memoriam in De Volkskrant, Frits van der Waa describes him as “one of the very greatest” in his field. With Dick Raaijmakers and Ton Bruynèl, he was, according to Van der Waa, one of “the pioneers of Dutch electronic music, but of the three of them he was the only one who focused mainly on ‘tape music’ and ‘entirely taped compositions’.”
In 1982 he was awarded the Matthijs Vermeulen Prize for his oeuvre. For his electronic composition Vocalise 1994, he was awarded the Willem Pijper Prize in 1997. The CD box The Complete Tape Music of Jan Boerman, which appeared in 1998, got an Edison Award.
Listen to his Complete Tape Music on Spotify: