Robert de Roos was born on March 10, 1907 in the Hague and died there on March 18, 1976.
He studied piano, violin and viola at the Royal Conservatory and received composition lessons from Johan Wagenaar. After his graduation, he travelled to Paris and studied privately with Darius Milhaud (composition), Isidor Philipp (piano), Charles Koechlin and Roland Manuel (canons) and Pierre Monteux (conducting). Later, he studied with Hermann Scherchen (conducting) and Sem Dresden (orchestration).
From 1946 to 1956, he was the Cultural Attaché at the Dutch Embassy in Paris and in 1957 he was named Frist Secretary for Press and Cultural Affairs at the Embassy in Caracas, Venezuela.
In 1961, he was accredited with this same function in Bogotá, Quito, La Paz en Lima; after this, he was part of the Embassy council for Press and Cultural Affairs and head of the information department and Cultural Affairs in Londen.
From 1967 to 1973, he was part of the Embassy council form Press and Cultural Affairs in Buenos Aires, also accredited to Asunción (Paraguay) and head of the Dutch Information Bureau for Latin America. In 1973, he returned to the Netherlands.
As a composer, Robert de Roos originally searched for a style that was influence by the German and French schools, but later he freed himself and found a personal style that was characterized by canon composition techinque. During this period he wrote a number of work which he later withdrew from circulation.
He felt that no single element could go by unnoticed when composing, a belief that led him to a more rich and colorful manner of composing. Clear examples of this are the ‘Variations sérieuses sur un thème ingénu‘, which he composed in 1947 and dedicated to the Residentie Orkest are from this last style period.
Next to the many orchestra pieces and concertos, De Roos also composed an opera in one act, ‘Die Vision‘ and chamber music ‘Sextuor‘ for piano and wind instruments, art songs, theater music and a number of choral works.
Kees Wieringa recorded a ‘Sonatine’ by Robert de Roos. (DO Records 004). On the Q-Disc label a double cd was released: Robert de Roos Historical Recordings (Q 97013).
The biography of Robert de Roos “Wanhoop Niet!”, written by Jurjen Vis, is published by Van Gruting, together with 2 Qdisc.
His String Quartets 2,3,5 and 7 can be heard on this CD by the Utrecht String Orchestra.