Rick van Veldhuizen (*1994, Tilburg) although reared on pop and folk, discovered classical music at the age of 11. He started composing pretty much at that point.
Education: Starting in 2008, he studied composition and piano at the Fontys Conservatorium’s Young Musicians’ Academy with Kees Schoonenbeek and Jelena Bazova, respectively. After that, he went on to study at the Royal Conservatoire with Martijn Padding and Calliope Tsoupaki, followed by a Bachelor’s degree at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam, studying with Joël Bons and Willem Jeths, which he obtained in 2016 with a cum laude mention. He started a master’s degree in Berlin, but the aesthetic environment turned out to be squarely incompatible. He now resides in the Netherlands again.
Van Veldhuizen is typically concerned with being emotionally immediate. His maximalistic and complex approach serves not to alienate, but rather draw listeners into a very specific inner world, filled with granular feelings and atypical microtonal structures. Although his roots lie in the 20th century music of Ravel, Berg, Berio and Ligeti, he doesn’t eschew influences from electronic dance and pop music, musicals, literature and theatre. Both conventional techniques and extended techniques weave through his colourful instrumental writing, yielding unique sounds, combinations and textures. In some pieces, synthetic sounds or beats are provided as a counterpoint to acoustic instruments.
Van Veldhuizen’s work is quite varied, and extends from piano trios, symphonic wind orchestra and chamber orchestra to a mini-opera for singers, trombones, harp and electronics. He has worked with ensembles such as the Swiss nexus reedquintet and Score Collective, and received commissions from, among others, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Nederlands Studenten Orkest, Stichting Cellosonate Nederland and multiple commissions from Nationale Opera & Ballet.
His piece (un)mensch for symphonic wind band received 1st prize at the International Composition Competition Harelbeke in 2016, the piece …reflections in a breaking glass door for wind ensemble received the 1st prize at the CoMA Maastricht Composition Competition in 2011, and weltjugend U6  was a runner-up in the 2014 Calefax competition.
Throughout 2019, Doris Hochscheid (cello), Frans van Ruth (piano) and Gonny van der Maten (organ) toured the Netherlands with cōnflārī which they recently commissioned. In 2020, the Nederlands Studenten Orkest performed ‘unde imber and ignes’ across the Netherlands, as well as in Luxembourg and Aachen (Germany) to great acclaim. In 2021, the piece ‘mais le corps taché d’ombres’, originally intended for the Mahler Festival 2020, which was cancelled due to the covid-19 pandemic, will be performed by the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.