Ivo van Emmerik (Amsterdam, 1961) studied composition with Robert Heppener in Amsterdam and Brian Ferneyhough, Frederic Rzewski and Walter Zimmermann in The Hague.
An incentivising experience were the analysis classes and concerts Karlheinz Stockhausen gave during his stay in The Hague in 1982. The summer courses given by Morton Feldman and John Cage in Middelburg were also formative. In 1988, he assisted Cage in the production of a full-length theatrical performance of his "Song Books".
After graduating (with distinction, 1989), commissions followed from, among others, pianist John Snijders (Polyphon gefasstes Weiss, 1989), the Holland Festival (Thought, 1990, for two orchestral groups and three soloists, performed by the Residentieorkest conducted by Hans Vonk and Alexandru Lascae with Harry Sparnaay, Harrie Starreveld and René Eckhardt as soloists), the Festival “But What About The Noise…” (WinterSilence, 1992, performed by the Noord Nederlands Orkest conducted by Jacek Kaspszyk) and the Nederlands Kamerorkest (Ventriloquist, 1996).
Photo: Mariavi Molina
After Brian Ferneyhough drew his attention to the work of Raymond Roussel, a number of compositions were created in which references are made to this writer's work, such as the instrumental cycle Documents pour servir de canevas (1992, written for the Ives Ensemble) and the multimedia performance De Leesmachine (The Reading Machine, in collaboration with Frank Zweers and Ellie van der Meer for the Festival “Visual Minds” commissioned by Stichting Prime Groningen, 1994).
Together with Abel Derks, Van Emmerik made the interactive audiovisual work “Als een gelaat van zand bij de grens der zee” (CD-ROM, 1999), commissioned by the Prime Foundation, that made a nationwide presentation tour along Groningen, Amsterdam, Utrecht, 's Hertogenbosch, Middelburg, Maastricht, Nijmegen.
In collaboration with the poet Antoine de Kom he wrote the radio play Tahafut al-tahafut (first integral broadcast by KRO Radio, 2001) and (on the occasion of Mozart's 250th birthday) amadé (2006) for soprano and pianoforte, later orchestrated under the title tempel (2008), for which De Kom wrote a poem.
In 2004, De page en page was premiered in Evian (France), a commission from the Alter Ego Project by pianist Victoria Harmandjieva, a theatrical concert which, in addition to four new compositions (Zettel, Mots premiers, Feuilles écrites & J'ai oublié) included films and dance.
Ersilia, a work for solo piano written in 2008, was the first work in a series based on Calvino's "Invisible Cities" for varying instrumentations. The last work in this series, Isidora for women's choir, was presented during the IJssel Biennale 2021.
Another piano work, Wiesengrund was written in 2015 for the internationally acclaimed project “250 piano pieces for Beethoven” by Bonn-based pianist Susanne Kessel. A twelve-part cycle of character pieces called scrAps from a traCe for piano four hands was written 2021 for the piano duo RabbiT & HaaS.
Since 1998 Ivo van Emmerik teaches at the ArtEZ conservatory in Zwolle, the Netherlands. His music has been performed at many international festivals, such as Ferienkurse für Neue Musik Darmstadt (1990), Holland Festival (1991), Biennale Zagreb (1991), Festival SpatioMusica (1998) and Transit Festival Leuven (2004), performed by Residentie Orkest (Hans Vonk conductor), Nederlands Kamerorkest (Lucas Vis conductor), Nieuw Ensemble (Ed Spanjaard conductor), Slagwerkgroep Den Haag, Ives Ensemble, Trio Dolce, muziekgroep de ereprijs, Het Trio, Anthony de Mare and many others.
For an overview of published scores: Donemus
For scores (except those published at Donemus) and other information: email@example.com
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