Micha Hamel was born on July 8, 1970.
In 1994, Hamel graduated in the majors composition (with Diderik Wagenaar) and conducting (with Ed Spanjaard) at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague. After completing these courses, he participated in the composition class at the Tanglewood Music Center (USA), where he studied with Mario Davidovsky and Louis Andriessen.
As a conductor, Hamel profiled himself in the Netherlands with mainly contemporary music. He has performed with orchestras in Italy, the UK, Luxembourg, Russia and Austria. In addition, from 2013 he was conductor-coach in the AVROTROS television program, Maestro. As his writing and composing activities continued to expand, he decided to close his conducting career in 2016. However, he is still regularly reciting poems on stage.
Currently, literature for the digital space has his special attention. Together with Demian Albers, Hamel developed the poetic experience, ‘Zonder Handen‘ and ‘Lokroep‘. Furthermore, he is active as a lecturer and guest speaker. He is particularly committed for pushing the boundaries of classical music practice and the development of new genres. To this end, he gives workshops for young composers and regularly participates in debates and think tanks about the developments in the performing arts.
From 2010-2016, Hamel was a lecturer in “New Performance Practice” at Codarts University, Rotterdam, and he is a member of the Akademie van Kusten (KNAW) since 2015. His research report, “Speelruimte voor klassieke muziek in de 21ste eeuw,” was published in February 2016.
Hamel’s participation in the International Dance Course for Composers and Choreographers led to commissions for the London-based modern dance groups VOLTaire and the Mark Baldwin Dance Company. He wrote his first orchestral work for a new choreography by Toer van Schayk for the National Ballet.
In 2008, the tragic opera ‘Snow White‘, produced by the Dutch Touring Opera, toured with great success throughout the country. He was the “composer in focus” at the Holland Festival in June 2012, for which he composed two feature pieces. For season 2014-2015, he composed the full-length melodrama ‘Een Pure Formaliteit‘ for the theater Orkater.
Currently, Hamel mainly composes music theater, mostly in interdisciplinary context. His music has been performed by the Residentie Orkest, Schönberg Ensemble, Ives Ensemble, and the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra (where he also worked as assistant conductor).
In 1994, Hamel was awarded by the Amsterdam Fund for Art Encouragement Prize for Composition, and in 1998 he received the Elisabeth Everts Prize. He was also awarded the Kersjes-of Groenekan Scholarship in 1999, which enabled him to go on a study tour.
His first collection of poetry “Alle enen opgeteld” (2004) was nominated for the Cees Buddingh Prize and awarded the Lucy B. van der Hoogt Prize. In November 2006, his second collection of poems, “Luchtwortels” appeared, which was nominated for the J.C. Bloem Prize. His collection “Bewegend Doel” (January 2013) was awarded the Jan Campert Prize and nominated for the VSB Poetry Prize.