Jan Koetsier was born in Amsterdam on August 14, 1911. He died on April 28, 2006 in Munich (Germany).
From 1927 to 1934 he studied piano and direction with Walther Gmeindl, and composition with Julius Prüwer at the Musikhochschule in Berlin.
In 1936 and 1937, Jan Koetsier worked as an arranger, pianist and conductor for, a.o. the music department of the Kurzwellensender Berlin, the shortwave radio station in Berlin, where he realized broadcasts of his own folk music arrangements, including South American and African songs.
He was a conductor in Lübeck and Berlin before he became assistant conductor of the Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra in 1942. In 1949 he was conductor of the Residentie Orkest in The Hague and he also taught at the Royal Conservatory. In 1950 he settled in Munich (Germany) as a conductor of the symphony orchestra of the Bayerische Rundfunk. In 1966 he was appointed professor (direction) at the Musikhochschule in Munich. He founded the Jan Koetsier-Stiftung for promotion of brass chamber music.
In 1937, Jan Koetsier debuted at the Concertgebouw Orchestra with his first orchestral work, ‘Barock-Suite, opus 10’.
From 1940-1942, he traveled as a pianist / accompanist with dancer Ilse Meudtner.
Koetsier’s work with instrumental soloists and ensembles led to numerous commissions. Musicians he frequently worked with included the “Philip Jones Brass Ensemble”, the “Trio Armin Rosin” and the “Brass Philharmonie” founded by Armin Rosin, the “Slokar Quartet”, the “Rennquintett”, the “Leipziger Hornquartett” and the “Münchner Blechbläsersolisten”, as well as numerous string soloists and pianists. For many of these groups, his works have become an established part of their repertoire.
The fact that in his composing, Koetsier always bore practical musical considerations and requirements in mind is also a basic reason for his choice of instrumental combinations and scorings. As well as chamber music for wind and strings in various combinations, Koetsier also composed solo concerti (e.g. the ‘Concerto for Brass Quintet and Orchestra, Op. 133‘) and numerous orchestral works including symphonies and serenades. Then there is piano and organ music, a few songs, choral works and an opera (‘Frans Hals, Op. 39‘).
Apart from performances in concert halls all over the world, Koetsiers’ compositions, chamber music and music for brass in particular, are regularly broadcasted on radio. The Philadelphia Orchestra played his ‘Third Symphony‘ in Philadelphia and New York. Rafael Kubelik and the orchestra of the Bayerische Rundfunk premiered the ‘Konzert für Trompete, Posaune und Orchester‘ as well as ‘Der Mann Lot‘ for men’s choir, baritone, recitation and orchestra.
In 1994, Koetsier was awarded the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany.
On the occasion of his 100th birthday, on October 28, 2011, Koetsiers work ‘Concert for Blechbläserquintett und Orchester Op. 133’ was performed in Munich, conducted by the Hochschulsymphonieorchester and French brass ensemble Smart. This ensemble has won the third prize of the Internationals Jan Koetsier-Wettbewerb für Blechbläserquintett last year.