Wiek Hijmans (Netherlands, 1967) is an acknowledged pioneer on the electric guitar. Renown composers including Christian Wolff and Tristan Murail have written works for him. Wiek has performed solo and as a chamber musician in Europe, Russia, Indonesia, the U.S. with ensembles including the L.A. Chamber Orchestra, Kammerensemble Neue Musik Berlin, the Nieuw Ensemble and the BBC Symphony Orchestra. His solo CDs have received international critical acclaim. Wiek formed the CATCH electric guitar quartet at the request of American composer Steven Mackey. CATCH made its debut with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra in 2014.
Wiek studied with David Starobin at the Manhattan School of Music (New York) where he was the first ever electric guitarist in the classical guitar department. Wiek's groundbreaking work at the Manhattan School was awarded the prestigious Andrés Segovia prize. As a composer, he has written over 150 solo pieces for electric guitar, and a number of works for chamber- and theatre ensembles. Hijmans has done many (international) masterclasses and holds a position as artistic coach and guitar professor at the Utrecht Conservatory's Musican 3.0 department.
Wiek Hijmans (Netherlands, 1967) has played the electric guitar since the age of eleven. His interest in both contemporary classical as well as in popular music gave him a task for life: integrating the electric guitar in the classical tradition, thus adding a new world of sounds to that tradition. Influences from jazz, rock and an attitude stemming from extensive experience as an improviser make Hijmans both as a performer and as a composer a typical exponent from the current state of music. Wiek Hijmans´ first solo cd drew attention in the Dutch media: a TV appearance with Louis Andriessen, three major newspapers publishing interviews and/or reviews of the cd.
A few comments from a review: "WH virtuosically performs the piece with typical Dutch clarity and with the warmth of a gypsy..this is a cd that every composer in the world should have..his Gretsch sounds so beautiful" but it can also sound like "an axe with brains". Hijmans has been featured at the Holland Festival´s Night of the Electric Guitar, at the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, as 'the specialist in contemporary composed music for electric guitar'. A few dosins of (solo) compositions have been written for him, by Christian Wolff, Derek Bermel, Theo Loevendie, Arthur Kampela, Allison Cameron a.o. Hijmans initiated and co-directs the OUTPUT Festival, now evolved to Amsterdam Electric Guitar Heaven.This was the first international festival dedicated to the electric guitar in classical music and now covers a wide range of musical styles. Wiek is also the author of a composers guide to the electric guitar.
Wiek is currently a member of the following ensembles:
and performs regularly with the ASKO/Schönberg Ensemble
Musical education: Performing Musician´s Diplome, Sweelinck Conservatory of Amsterdam(1991), Professional Studies Certificate Manhattan School of Music, New York City(1997). Studies with David Starobin. Music School of Zeeland, Middelburg: percussion lessons (1976-1984), guitar lessons, music theory/eartraining.
Awards, commissions: Andrés Segovia Award (New York), Jur Naessens Muziekprijs, Fulbright Scholarship, various commissions by the Fonds voor de Scheppende Toonkunst (Dutch Fund for Compositions) and private organisations.
Solo recitals: Colorado New Music Festival(Denver), Dartmouth College (Hanover, NH), Guitarévolutions Montreal, Music Gallery Toronto, Warsaw Autumn(Poland), Copenhagen Guitar Festival, Segovia New Music festival, Contrechamps/Archipel 2000 (Geneva), Barcelona New Music Cycle, Xiamen University (China), various New Music Podia in Holland, several venues in NYC.
Appearances as a soloist with ensembles: Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Albany Symphony Orchestra, Neue Kammermusik Berlin (at ISCM and Ultraschall), BBC Symphony Orchestra, Deutsches Rundfunk Orkester, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Orchestre de la Monnaie (Brussels), Nieuw Ensemble, Orkest De Volharding, Noord-Nederlands Orkest, Orchestre de Lorraine, the Ricciotti Ensemble, Zephyr quartet a.o.
Various projects with: Brooklyn Phylharmonic Orchestra, Calefax, John Zorn, the Giovanni Sollima Band (including members of Phillip Glass´and Steve Reich´s ensembles), David Starobin, Butch Morris, Derek Bermel, Anthony Braxton, Ernst Reijseger, Peter van Bergen, Maarten Altena, Roscoe Mitchell, Sinfoniëtta Amsterdam, the Ebony Band, Nick Didkovsky, Peter Kowald, the Mondrian String Quartet, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Big Band a.o.
Masterclasses at: New England Conservatory (Boston), University of Colorado (Boulder, CO), Barcelona University for Electronic Music, Odensee Conservatory(Denmark), Xiamen University (China), Conservatory of Amsterdam (Netherlands), Dartmouth College (Hanover, NH)
Other activities in the past: Co-artistic director of New York-Amsterdam Arts Collective TONK, co-director of X-OR record company, advisor for Dutch Fund for the Performing Arts.
Solo recordings: ‘Electric Solo!’ (X-OR CD 012) (2002) ‘Classic Electric’ (X-OR CD 018) (2004), 'One Hour' (X-OR CD 022) (2012)
'Electric Language' (2018)
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