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Bart Spaan

Composer between acoustic environments and an electronic shadow universe

Bart Spaan (born 1963) studied musicology and history at the Universities of Nijmegen and Amsterdam. In the early eighties he played in the Dutch experimental rock group Bazooka. As a result of his musical studies he became interested in contemporary classical music, but he never lost his affinity with modern pop music. In 1992, for example, he worked together with the formation Gore.

 After graduating he made contemporary music programs for - among others - radio station De Concertzender. Later he had private composition lessons with Daan Manneke and in 1999 he attended the International Young Composers Meeting in Apeldoorn.  

At first he mainly wrote piano works, but in more recent years he also composed for ensembles, such as The Barton Workshop and Ensemble ’88. His electro-acoustic pieces were performed at the Gergiev Festival and November Music 2012. In 2010 another electro-acoustic piece - Sur place: Interior - was selected by the Dutch ISCM section to submit for the ISCM World New Music Days 2011.

For a long time he wrote compositions for piano and tape that were inspired by works of the Spanish painter Alberto Reguera. Five of these works have been included on his CD Silencios (Erasmus 2001). His second solo CD Ellips (Etcetera 2009) includes Kringen, a five part piano cycle written for the Dutch pianist Ralph van Raat. This piece was nominated in 2010 for the Buma Toonzetters prize, as one of the best ten works of the previous year.

In 2016 his work for piano solo Stasis - also composed for Ralph van Raat - was nominated for the Risuonanze Festival in Italy, Friuli Venezia Giulia region. The second part of Stasis was also nominated for 24 fingerprints, a project that was part of the Buma Classical Convention 2015. This part from Stasis won the first prize at the online 12th Fidelio Piano Composition Competition 2021 (category: contemporary atonal).

The Etcetera label released Bart Spaan’s third solo CD Inland in 2017, with two electro acoustic pieces (Quicksand and Interior) and three compositions for wind instruments and (live) electronics (Long, Thread and Four Gardens). He collaborated on this album with trombonist James Fulkerson, flautist Jos Zwaanenburg, clarinetist Igor Urruchi Salas and composer Hans van Eck.

He completed his most recent work - Oever - in 2021, written for (bass) clarinet, cello and piano. He composed this piece for Trio Arti (Fie Schouten, Eva van de Poll and Keiko Shichijo), with financial support from the Performing Arts Fund NL.