George van Dam

The Namibian-born violinist George Alexander van Dam has been a committed performer of contemporary music since the early stages of his career. He has worked with leading composers of today — Adès, Aperghis, Benjamin, Chin, Eötvos, Francesconi, Goeyvaerts, Harvey, Hosokawa, Kagel, Kurtàg, Ligeti, Mamiya, Reich, Saariaho, Stockhausen, Joji Yuasa, amongst others — as a soloist or within the context of contemporary-music ensembles such as Ensemble Modern Frankfurt, MusikFabrik, or Ictus, of which he is a founding member.

Through close collaboration with the younger generation of composers — Cassol, De Mey, Harada, Hus, Vermeersch, and others — several new works have been written specially for him, e.g. Homeobox by Mochizuki, premièred with the Junge Deutsche Philharmonie. He took master classes with Dorothy DeLay, Z. Gilels, A. Markov, A. Rosand, Rainer Kussmaul and studied at the Brussels Conservatory with Georges Octors and Arie van Lysebeth. In 2012 he resumed studying the harpsichord — with Robert Kohnen – rekindling his childhood fascination for early keyboard music.

His own work as a composer includes chamber music, the song cycles Engel-Lieder for James Bowman, Lorca Songs, Melanchotopia Songs (written together with Claron McFadden) for Witte de With, Rotterdam 2011, a violin concerto with timbila orchestra for Drumming Grupo Percussão Porto, music for (silent) film, for theatre and dance performances — Ballet de Marseille, Needcompany, Ultima Vez i.a. — and works with visual artists such as Manon de Boer, Angela Bulloch, Trudo Engels, Ana Torfs and Jorge Léon. Recent projects include new music for a production of Escorial by Michel de Ghelderode/Josse De Pauw for Collegium Vocale Gent/Transparant and the film sequenza — on Sequenza VIII by Luciano Berio — in collaboration with Manon de Boer in May 2014.

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