Jos Zwaanenburg

photo of Jos Zwaanenburg Jos Zwaanenburg (1958) studied at the Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam, flute with Joost Tromp, composition with Wim de Ruiter, and finished his studies with distinction in 1985. He was one of the prize winners of the International Gaudeamus Interpreters Competition 1984. He gave numerous solo concerts in Europe, USA, South-America (solo-recitals, as soloist with various orchestras and as member of different chamber music ensembles like the Barton Workshop, the Gaudeamus Solisten Ensemble, the Xenakis Ensemble, the Cornelius Cardew Ensemble and The Interval Chamber) and made radio and TV recordings. Although he concentrates on present-day music, his repertoire contains works from all style periods.

He teaches at the Amsterdam School of Arts and the Music Department of University College Bretton Hall (Leeds, G.B.), where he is also artistic leader of their ensemble in residence The Cornelius Cardew Ensemble. Furthermore he is guest teacher at the University of Oxford Brookes. His compositions were published by Donemus and Ascolta Music Holland.

A selection of compositions by Jos Zwaanenburg: Solo for prepared flute (1984), Texts for nothing (4 electronic flutes and tape) (1985), Paraphrasen ber Grass (4 acting singers) (1986), Sol (concert for open-hole alto flute and ensemble) (1987), Aphonie (organ) (1990), May be tomorrow (tenor saxophone) (1990), Manamanamania II (open-hole alto flute and life electronics) (1991).
As far as the flute is concerned, the greatest number of playing possibilities is achieved on an "open-key" flute with a "B foot joint". Until now this system was only available on the normal C-flute. Hence the idea for the alto flute - which previously had a covered key system - by giving it similar keywork to the open-key flute, the possibilities became the same as the C-flute. The new alto flute was realised in 1986 by Kuiper-Kingma, flutemaker in Nederhorst den Berg, the Netherlands. Due to this system with keys with small holes, extra keys, and new playing techniques, the alto flute has become a very flexible instrument, possible of creating many tones. The new alto flute has about 192,000 fingering combinations - a dramatic improvement to the 8000 on the old alto flute. The "Zwaanenburg" model alto flute also is in production by Kuiper-Kingma. The alto flute project was made possible due to the support of the Ministerie van WVC/Raad voor de Kunst, The Amsterdam Fonds voor de Kunst, and Foundation Gaudeamus. Special thanks to Dirk Kuiper, Eva Kingma and Henk Heuvelmans.

He composed Cherubs' Chirrup in 1992 by request of Joop van Goozen. The work is composed specifically for 31-tone organ, the aforementioned open-key alto flute (which can faithfully reproduce a 31-tone scale) and live-electronics. It's on the CD 50 jaar Stichting Huygens-Fokker. The 31-tone system is approximated here as an equal tempered scale wherein all 31 tones in the octave are equally important: no tonal principles are used.

Zwaanenburg succeeded Marian Van Dijk in 1998 as director of the Stichting Huygens-Fokker and fulfilled this job until September 2000 after which Ned McGowan became director. He currently teaches at the Conservatory of Amsterdam in "Contemporary Music Through Non-Western Techniques", "Advanced Rhythm" and "Live Electronics". Zwaanenburg is also guest lecturer at the music departments of the University of York and Oxford Brookes University.