Jan-Peter de Graaff was born in 1992, in Papendrecht (The Netherlands). Raised on the isle of Terschelling, Jan-Peter started composing at the age of 15.
After two years of private lessons in composition with Klaas ten Holt, he was admitted to the Bachelor studies in Musical Composition at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague in 2010, where he studied with Guus Janssen, Calliope Tsoupaki and Diderik Wagenaar (BMus 2014, MMus 2016). During his final year he took part in an Erasmus+ exchange programme which allowed him to study at the Royal College of music with prof. Kenneth Hesketh. During his composition studies, he studied orchestral conducting with Alex Schillings and Jos Vermunt as a minor subject.
Many of his compositions are recognised by a great amount of transparency and use of colour in harmony, structure and orchestration, with an important focus on form and melodic development, often paired with theatrical or non-musical elements. De Graaff’s works are influenced by a great range of composers both from mostly Russian and French music traditions including Rameau, Tchaikovsky, Debussy, Stravinsky, Ravel, Prokofiev, Dutilleux and Grisey, but also influences from various other music traditions ranging from (contemporary) jazz, tango and folk music traditions; including music from South/Eastern Europe, Scotland and South America.
De Graaff’s oeuvre includes now about 30 works for various instrumentations, from solo and chamber music (both instrumental and vocal) to pieces for orchestra and Music Theatre. His music has now been performed by a great variety in orchestras and ensembles, including the Dutch Radio Philharmonic, the Residentie Orchestra (The Hague Philharmonic), the David Kweksilber Big Band, The Netherlands Wind Ensemble, memebers of the BBC Philharmonic, the Ruysdael Quartet, Johan van der Linden and Pierre Woudenberg. Performances took place in venues including the Concertgebouw, TivoliVredenburg and Het Bimhuis.
Recently his first opera ‘All Rise!’ premiered in The Hague, a production fully organised and staged by young professionals from The Hague and Utrecht. For the current season (2016-2017), De Graaff has been commissioned by Asko|Schönberg Ensemble, ensemble Kluster5 and Salone dell’Opera.
“Jan-Peter de Graaff played on an old typewriter virtuosely together with the ensemble. With an air as if he strung took place behind a harpsichord (…) he stretched his fingers and touched the keys rhythmically.” (Trouw, January 5, 2011)