Willem Wander van Nieuwkerk composer

nederlands · english

New music in the Classical-Romantic tradition

Latest news

Vocaal Ensemble TIEN
Couleur Vocale Vocal Ensemble TIEN will sing the première of my new Divine Meditations for SATB, on texts by John Donne, in the concert series Couleur Vocale of the Waalse Kerk.

UtregsRequiem-TivoliVredenburg The Utregs Requiem 2019, featuring my Introïtus & In Paradisum, presented an impressive collaboration of musicians and principal characters. Wonderful outreach tour of ten concerts in local venues!

Klassiek-op-Zuid My Christmas Quartet has been baptised by the musicians of Klassiek op Zuid!

ZMD-Lenteweekeind2018The Bennewitz Quartet and Harry-Imre Dijkstra played the Super Suite at the Spring weekend of the Zeist Music Days. Wonderful recording on Dutch Classical Radio.

Nederlands Kamerkoor-logo Insomnio-logo STUT-logo The new Utrecht Requiem, played by the Dutch Chamber Choir, Insomnio and Stut Theatre, met with great enthusiasm.

Victoria House
The wonderful Victoria House in Lyme Regis (UK) recently witnessed the première of my ‘Look o’er yander’ for two recorder quintets and soloist. Score to appear soon at Tre Fontane, Münster.

Aan de Bruid
Highly successful première of my song cycle Aan de bruid (To the Bride) to poems of Ingmar Heytze.

Marcel Worms Marcel Worms presents in the BIM-huis: the last of 20 years of New Blues for Piano - including my He is not here

Globe-logoIssued on Globe: Kadanza, the cd containing 17 of my best recorder works played by the best performers in the Low Countries.
Do have a look at the tracks and the performers here.

Avondconcert Wednesday March 25 2015: the Škampa Kwartet played my string quartet ‘Moravian Souls’ on Dutch Classical Radio4.

Rosanne Philippens in the 2nd round of the Internationaler Violin Wettbewerb Freiburg Freiburg_Violin_Wettbewerb-Logoplayed the première of my new Zarabande for violin solo (and was later awarded first price)!

Very nice to hear that Jean Dube Liszt-competition winner Jean Dubé played my Fantasque in his Dutch concert!

At the opening of its academic year, the Faculty of the Humanities at Klassiek anno 2013
the University of Amsterdam heard a new piece of mine…

The Bridal Kiss The Bridal Kiss, recently published at Tre-Fontane, was premiered at the 400 Years Amsterdam Canal District Celebration.

Published: Ludwig was here (wasn’t he)… Ludwig was here-frontfor alto recorder and piano. Order at Tre Fontane. A minus-one of the piano part is available here.

A new cd has sprouted from the Flanders Recorder Quartet Flanders Recorder Quartet, feauturing three works of mine.

Stamping Ground

Stamping Ground (for Angels) voor blokfluitkwartet SAAT.Latest Angelic piece for recorder quartet: Stamping Ground (for Angels), just out at Edition Tre Fontane and recorded even before that

Finally published: Catch (An Angel) for recorder quartet!
Catch (An Angel) for recorder quartet SAATOrder now!

Kamermuziekfestival HoornMy piano trio was played in the Hoorn Chamber Music Festival by the beautifully Romantic Atlantic Trio of pianist Bas Verheijden.


Damon and the International School of Philosophy have more to say about the book Welke taal spreekt de muziek? —- muziekfilosofische beschouwingen; see also News and Text

Credits & Contacts

To the colophon
Last update: 28-05-2019

NTR-avondconcertNeon Choir, Ensemble Insomnio and the children of the Zangschool Utrecht played and sung the Utregs Requiem, wonderfully recorded by national Dutch radio NTR in the Evening Concerts.

Kamermuziekvereeniging The Bennewitz Kwartet & Harry-Imre Dijkstra played 15 januari 2019 my Super Suite in De Doelen chamber music series to great acclaim.

2Doc The Utrecht Requiem and Ellen Blom’s impressive interviews that precede it are now on 2Doc.

Edesche ConcertzaalThe Bennewitzes & Harry-Imre Dijkstra played the Super Suite in the Edesche Concertzaal string quartet series.

Super Suite was solemnly baptised at Wonderfeel at a crowded yet intimate concert amidst hail and thunder…

Bennewitz QuartetDuring the 2017 and 2018 seasons, the Bennewitz Quartet and Harry-Imre Dijkstra will play my ‘Super’ Suite in a number of venues, most notably at the Wonderfeel Festival, the Edesche Concertzaal, Alexander Pavlovsky’s Zeist Music Days and several others.

Marcel Worms
My He is not here (funk meets Gregorian chant) has been recorded on Marcel Worms’ beautiful double album, at Zefir Records.


Kadanza received highest accolades and heartfelt critical acclaim in Dutch cd-glossy Luister!

“Funny,moving and swinging” - Kadanza was cd of the week on Muziekweb.nl!

Bennewitz Quartet Tiny première: Super Stella by (and for) the Bennewitz Quartet and Harry-Imre Dijkstra.


During the Mechelen Recorder Days we presented my new cd Kadanza!

Nora Fischer and Fuse cheer up the turkey Fuse-FusionStringEnsembleTracks-ConcertgebouwConcertgebouwfor a
Thanksgiving 2014 concert in the Concertgebouw Tracks Series with my Deep River - funk version

Summer 2014: in two big festivals, Concentus_Moraviae-Logo the Concentus Moraviae Festival Maggio_Musicale_Fiorentino-Logoand the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino music of mine was played.

Brisk Recorder Quartet Amsterdam opens its new children’s theatre Druk Werk Brisk-Drukwerk(Printed Matter) with my Catch (an Angel).

Sonata ‘Deep River’: after the wonderful première in March, the recording has been issued this summer.

Encore, FRQ’s new cd diapason (with three pieces of mine) has received a rare maximum of 5 diapasons of the famous Diapason Magazine and was very positively reviewed by BR Klassik and Tibia Magazin.

Yuri en RosannePhilippens & van Nieuwkerk played the première of the Scherzo from my new duosonata for violin and piano in the Festival Kamerklanken

Deep River Dancing was
Fuse_Day_Night_Liveperformed in Club 8 at Confuse 2, a programme about America and the elections by Fuse.

New work on historical CD

Globe Records has just issuedInspired by the Bells a cd with beautiful historical music from 17th century France and England including one new work of a single Dutch composer (it’s only me).

festival-nederlandse-kamermuziek. The Festival of Dutch Chamber Music featured my Dance Capriccios in a concert programme with that same title…

Bergidylle on tour

Trio_Amare Trio Amare will play a series of concerts featuring my recently finished Bergidylle, a narrative song cycle for soprano, clarinet and piano on three poems by Heine. A video impression of the 2nd movement is here.

Listen -

Bennewitz Quartet
…how intensely the Bennewitz Quartet and Harry-Imre Dijkstra perform my Super Suite at the privately sponsored first performance. They will perform the Super Suite in numerous venues in 2017-2018.

NPORadio4Škampa Quartet… to the wonderful Škampa Quartet playing Moravian Souls, my ‘first’ string quartet, a piece based on a typical European heritage both musical and spiritual. The Škampa’s performance was recorded and broadcast by Dutch classical NPO Radio4’s Evening Concerts.

…or maybe to

…rising star violinist Rosanne PhilippensRosanne_Philippens who plays my Deep River sonata with pianist Yuri van Nieuwkerk. On Dutch classical NPORadio4 she talks to presenter Hans Haffmans about the Freiburg International Violin Competition, that she gloriously won, and about the Zarabanda for violin solo that I wrote in the summer of 2014, with her help, for her to play in this competition.

Listen here (Part 2 from 6’25”).

A Third Viennese School After All?

One wonders what the music will be of Niall Ferguson’s new ‘Wholly German Empire’
It might resemble its famous ancestor much in the way my recent violin sonata resembles (or rather fails to resemble) its illustrious classical prototypes

Who is he?

Dutch composer Willem Wander van NieuwkerkWillem Wander van Nieuwkerk is a Dutch composer of a new classical music, rich in lyricism and full of rhythmic vitality, that makes the 21st century resonate with the musical traditions of the 19th. Recent examples are his piano trio De tout mon coeur, Over the Water for guitar and string quartet and the songcycle Bergidylle.
Born in Amsterdam in 1955 of Indo-Dutch parents, he started as an improvising musician and only took to written composition while studying musicology at the University of Utrecht. Although he became a specialist in Modern Classical music, his work is marked by the expressive lyricism and formal richness of the Classical-Romantic tradition, while at the same time comprising Pop and Early Music idioms.

He has a mixed background in classic piano, jazz and percussion, and initially worked with self-styled ensembles that combined pop music and pop musicians with classical players and classical forms. His strong interest in Early Music resulted in a number of pieces for Early Music ensembles that successfully apply the sound quality of Early Music to Africa-derived rhythms and a contemporary, highly melodious and polyphonic idiom.

In his new chamber music for traditional chamber music ensembles the extremes of contemporary vernaculars, World Music and Early Music meet. Often having historical melodies as a starting point, sometimes taken from a specifically Dutch background (like the Antwerp Songbook), sometimes from a wider European one (like troubadour song or Protestant church music), these chamber music works combine contemporary rhythms and expression with the polyphony, ensemble playing and lyricism of Classical-romantic forms.

Van Nieuwkerk is a lecturer in 20th century Music History and New Music at the Conservatory of Amsterdam. He is married and has two children, Yuri and Mascha.

There is a more extended bio here.
An overview of my works is here.
Some 14 cd’s with a work of mine on it can be found here.