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Guus Janssen

Guus Janssen - foto Francesca Patella
Guus Janssen - foto Francesca Patella

(Heiloo, NL 1951) is a composer, pianist an harpsichordist. He studied at the Amsterdam Sweelinck Conservatory. Janssen attempts to find the relationship between classical music and jazz and has a predilection for improvisation. His compositions were performed by the ASKO Ensemble, the Mondriaankwartet, the Nieuw Ensemble, the Radio Kamerorkest, the Concertgebouw Orkest and the Ebony Band. As a pianist and harpsidorchist he performed in numerous formations, performing with John Zorn and Gidon Kremer, among others. Since the early 1980s he has conducted his own ensembles, ranging from (piano)trio to orchestra. In the 1980s he was recipient of the Boy Edgar Prize for his jazz and improvised music and the Matthijs Vermeulen Prize for his compositions. In 2008 his Verstelwerk, performed the Riverside Orchestra, received tumultuous applause in Carnegie Hall, New York. In that same year Janssen was composer in residence with the Brabants Orkest and released a solo piano cd: Out of frame. With Friso Haverkamp he wrote four operas.

(WU 2013 GR)

Archive available for: Guus Janssen

  • Winternachten 2013

    Writers' Fest 2013

    With: Bart Moeyaert, Denise Jannah, Ellen Deckwitz, Guus Janssen, Jaap Cohen, Joke van Leeuwen, Lucas Hüsgen, Marja Pruis, Nico Dijkshoorn, Pieter Steinz, Roland Colastica, Ronald Giphart, Stephan Enter, Wouter Godijn

    The festival closes with a Writers' Fest in the Koninklijke Schouwburg. A programme around Dutch literature, with performances by among others Joke van Leeuwen, Nico Dijkshoorn, Ronald Giphart, Bart Moeyaert, jazz singer Denise Jannah and pianist and composer Guus Janssen. 

    What is the state of affairs in Dutch letters? At the beginning of the year we take stock. Writer and critic Marja Pruis gives her vision on how Dutch literature fares. With music and readings we honour three great writers and poets who passed away in 2012. Queen of jazz and singer Denise Jannah, accompanied by guitarist Robby Alberga, sings a poem by Gerrit Komrij, Holland's foremost poet and promotor of Dutch poets and poetry. Composer and pianist Guus Janssen honours the prolific Dutch writer  Bernlef with a composition for voice and piano. And we'll listen to a recording of poet Rutger Kopland, the grand old man of Dutch poetry. Curaçaoan writer and actor Roland Colastica, who made his debut last year with the children's novel Vuurwerk in mijn hoofd (Fireworks in my Head), tells us a story about his mother tongue, Papiamento, how as a child he got to know Dutch literature, on the importance of reading and telling stories. 

    Presentation of the The Hague literary prizes
    Four writers are awarded with a prize today: Stephan Enter is recipient of the F. Bordewijk Prize for his novel Grip, Wouter Godijn receives the Jan Campert Prize for his book of poetry Hoe H.H. de wereld redde (How H.H. Saved the World), and Lucas Hüsgen receives the J. Greshoff Prize for contemplative prose for his book Nazi te Venlo (Nazi in Venlo). Multitalent Joke van Leeuwen is recipient of the Constantijn Huygens Prize for her entire oeuvre. The afternoon closes with her theatrical word of thanks: a unique performance by Van Leeuwen,  this writer, poet,  illustrator and comedian. In cooperation with the Nederlands Letterenfonds, Stichting Lezen and the Jan Campert Stichting. The prizes are given by the alderman for culture of The Hague, Marjolein de Jong.