Like most kids in the Netherlands, I started playing the recorder when I was in primary school. Just like my mother, I was taught the basics of recorder playing by a religious sister, Zr. Laurentine. After a few years, it was time to choose a 'real' instrument. Since the nearest panflute teacher lived more than twenty miles away, I chose the oboe. Although I don't have very fond memories of the lessons I received for three years and really hated practicing for 15 minutes every day, I'm very glad that my parents have always stimulated me to make music. If it wasn't for their support, I would have missed out on a lot of great experiences.
During my mathematics study in Enschede, I started playing oboe again. With the help of some befriended oboists, I also managed to master the art of English horn playing to an acceptable amateur level. Orchestras I have played in include:
- Dutch Student Orchestra (tours in January 2003, 2004 and 2005);
- Youth Orchestra of the Netherlands (summer tour in 2003);
- Muziekvereniging Wilhelmina Glanerbrug (symphonic wind orchestra);
- Studenten Harmonie Orkest Twente (symphonic wind orchestra).
As a member of the Dutch Student Orchestra, I got the opportunity to play in all the important concert halls in the Netherlands. Playing in the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam certainly is an unforgettable experience. Taking part in several international concert tours, I have also had the pleasure of playing in Austria (Vienna, Graz, Schladming), Scotland (Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen), England (in the very impressive Symphony Hall in Birmingham), Germany (Berlin, Regensburg, Straubing), Finland (Seinäjoki), Switzerland (Interlaken) and Hungary (Budapest).
In Durham, I played English horn in DUOS (Durham University Orchestral Society) in 2006-2007. I'm very glad I did, because I got the opportunity to play some great pieces, for example Ravel's Piano Concerto ("Ravel's greatest gift to the cor anglais"), Mahler's 4th symphony, and Dvorak's 9th Symphony ("From a New World", the one with the famous cor anglais solo), in some great venues (Durham Cathedral and the great hall of Durham Castle).
As a son of a choir conductor, I couldn't escape singing in one of my father's choirs. I inherited the love for choir music, in particular the music by John Rutter, from him. Although I haven't been actively singing in a choir for almost a decade now, it seems that I am unable to ride a bike without making some kind of noise.