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Jan Vriend (1938-); NLD

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Jan Vriend

Jan Vriend was born in Benningbroek, Netherlands, in 1938, and began his musical education at the age of 5, studying piano with his father. Soon he expanded his interest to include the clarinet, the violin, and the organ. Throughout childhood, Vriend was heavily involved in local amateur music making, particularly with the choirs and bands led by his father. Formal training began at the Amsterdam Conservatory, where he studied composition with Ton de Leeuw, as well as piano and music theory. During this period he attended a few courses of importance to his later development, namely a percussion course at the Utrecht Conservatory and an introductory course on electronic music at the Institute for Sonology. In 1967, Vriend received a grant to study in Paris, where he attended classes by Xenakis at the Schola Cantorum, as well as workshops at the Groupe de Recherches Musicales (ORTF). Further studies in mathematics and related sciences were begun in 1970, primarily in view of their application in musical composition.

Among the awards won for his works include the Composition Prize of the Amsterdam Conservatory (1967), Schnittger Organ prize (1966) for his organ work Herfst, and First Prize at the Gaudeamus International Music Week (1970), for Huantan, for organ and wind ensemble. Beyond these compositions, Vriend has written a large number of works in various mediums - including keyboard, chamber, orchestral, and vocal music, as well as works for instruments and electronics. We are pleased that a good number of these works are featured here at the Classical Archives.

Outside of his activities as a composer, moreover, Vriend has also led an active career as a conductor and music director. From 1961 to 1970, he worked as a choral and instrumental conductor in musical repertories ranging from the Renaissance to the 20th century avant-garde. In 1965, he founded ASKO, a contemporary music ensemble focusing especially on the music of Webern, Xenakis, and Varèse - which later developed into the well-known ASKO Ensemble, which operated under Vriend's artistic direction until 1971. In 1971 he presented a series on Dutch radio on "different ways of listening to music", together with fellow composer Jos Kunst. Between 1984 and 1994, he was conductor of New Stroud Orchestra in Gloucestershire, England, where he now lives and works. Finally, Vriend has increasingly begun performing and recording as a pianist, including making a group of recordings of works by Albeniz.

Jan Vriend

Jan Jan Vriend was born in Benningbroek, Netherlands, in 1938, and began his musical education at the age of 5, studying... More
Below are works by J.Vriend that every music lover should explore:
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