About Jan van de Putte

Jan van de Putte (1959) studied musicology and sonology in Utrecht, the Netherlands. Next to that he studied digital music with Floris van Manen and composition with Joep Straesser and Ton Bruynèl. He finished his course in composition with Klaas de Vries. As Jan van de Putte was selected by the IRCAM institute in Paris to join their course in 1996-1997, he has been commuting between Amsterdam and Paris since 1996. The first version of Dans le Coin was created during that first period in Paris.

From any perspective, Jan van de Putte’s work is extraordinary. His compositions are shaped by Mahler, Debussy, Webern, Varèse, Stockhausen and Rihm; traditional music from Indonesia, China and Japan; film directors Tarkovski and Bergman; artists Beuys, Twombly, Kiefer and primitive art; as well as authors Dostojevski, Beckett, Céline and Artaud. In addition, he has shown great interest in traditional folk and puppet theater, both Western and non-Western in origin, as this is a form of theater wherein music has always played a significant part.

In 1991 In Hora Mortis (1990) was performed during the Project Jonge Componisten (a project for young composers), an initiative by the Balletorkest (a Dutch orchestra devoted to accompany the Dutch ballet companies). It is a musical setting of a text by Thomas Bernhard for soprano and chamber orchestra.

In 1992 the Amsterdam Art Fund granted the work their encouragement prize, and in 1993 it won 3rd prize at the International Rostrum of Composers. Es Schweigt (1993), also with a text by Thomas Bernhard, was written for the Asko Ensemble and soprano Angela Tunstall who premiered the work.

In 1994, Gabe Tarjan premiered the 70-minute mini-opera for timpani solo Om mij mijzelf met mijn aan mezelf en mezelf en mijn eigen in Rotterdam. During the Holland Festival 2004 yet another work was premiered: Wet Snow. This opera is based on the second part of Notes from the Underground by Dostojevksi. In 2005 he was commissioned to write a piece in honour of the inauguration of Het Muziekgebouw aan het IJ in Amsterdam during the Holland Festival 2005: Ee jya nai ka ee jya nai ka ee jya nai ka! for three ensembles.

In 2007 his Arche for ensemble premiered at the ISCM festival in Hongkong and in 2009 his chamber opera I Am Her Mouth in a performance by Gerrie de Vries and the Matangi string quartet with piano. Kangami-Jishi, a concert for piano and orchestra, premiered in the Concertgebouw in 2012. The next year, in 2013, Kangami-Jishi received the Matthijs Vermeulen prize. In 2015 Jan van de Putte started on a grand project for various instruments and electronics. Its first movement was a piece for violin and electronics, dedicated to Joe Puglia: For Joe. Puglia performed the work that same year in the Hague municipal museum and on the November Music festival.

Currently, Van de Putte is working on commission for the STOLZ hobo quartet, for the ensemble Klangforum Wien and on two large solo works: one for cellist Katharina Gross and one for violinist Joe Puglia.

The Pessoa cycles have been work in progress for nearly ten years. The Schönberg Ensemble with conductor Reinbert de Leeuw and soprano Barbara Hannigan premiered the first movement Uma só divina linha in the Muziekgebouw in 2007. As most of the songs, it is a setting of a text by the Portuguese poet Àlvaro de Campos (a heteronym of the poet Pessoa). It was performed again during the Melbourne International Arts Festival 2008, and, by the ensemble Remix in Porto, Amsterdam and Antwerp. The second movement, Addiamento, was commissioned by ASKO | Schönberg Ensemble, as was the entire cycle. Addiamento premiered with mezzo-soprano Katalin Kàrolyi in 2010.

The third movement of the cycle, titled Bamboleamos no mundo, is a composition for a large ensemble, solo soprano and solo alto. It premiered in 2013 with the same set of soloists as on the CD. The cycle’s next movement, Insónia, was also written for a large ensemble, a choir of sixteen voices and two solo sopranos. It premiered in the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam in 2016, juxtaposed by the second and third movements. This concert’s recording forms the heart of this CD. With the addition of Barbara Hannigan’s recording of the first movement with the Schönberg ensemble and Reinbert de Leeuw (the premiere of 2007) the CD was complete.