Rudi Martinus van Dijk

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Rudi Martinus van Dijk

1 performance.

Forthcoming Performances
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Past Performances

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List of Works
This list of works is taken from the records of concert details listed in our concerts section. It is not intended to be comprehensive, but serves as a useful link to recent performances of this composer's work.

Rudi Martinus van Dijk Biography

The composer Rudi Martinus van Dijk was born in Culemborg, the Netherlands, on 27th of March 1932. He studied with Hendrik Andriessen and Leon Orthel at the Royal Conservatory of Music in The Hague and first came to the fore as a composer at the age of 19 when his Sonatine for piano was performed at the International Gaudeamus Music Week. Van Dijk emigrated to Canada in 1953 and two years later became a pupil of the American composer Roy Harris. The Canada Council of Arts enabled Van Dijk to further his studies in Paris with Max Deutsch, a pupil of Schoenberg, while concluding his piano studies with Kendall Taylor in London. During the 1950s and 1960s Van Dijk on a regular basis wrote music for and performed as pianist for radio and television for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). Between 1964 and 1966 Van Dijk was active at the BBC in London involved particularly in educational television programs broadcast in many corners of the world including Australia. In 1966 Rudi van Dijk was appointed teacher of composition and piano at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. From that moment onward teaching became a part of his music life. In 1972 he was appointed teacher of composition and orchestration at Indiana University (USA), and in that same year took a similar post at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. It was not until 1985 that Van Dijk returned to Europe and after spending a year in Spain writing music he became composer in residence at Dartington Hall in Devon (UK). He now resides in both England and the Netherlands alternately and now devotes his time to writing music. Van Dijk has created an impressive oeuvre. His music has become increasingly popular throughout England and Europe. His Concertante for flute, percussion, harp and string orchestra (1963) was first performed in the Netherlands in 1965 by Koos Verheul, solo flautist with The Hague Philarmonic Orchestra along with members of the Radio Chamber Orchestra, and since then the Concertante has been performed numerous times throughout Canada and the United States. One of the highlights of Van Dijk's vocal music is The Shadowmaker (1977) commissioned and sung by the famous baritone Victor Braun in a performance with The Toronto Symphony under the baton of Mario Bernardi. Rudi van Dijk and Victor Braun's collaborations included concerts of music for voice and piano. September 1991 saw the Dutch premiere of the Violin Concerto (1984) at the Zeeuws Vlaanderen Festival with Polish-Dutch solo violinist Robert Szreder and the Radio Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Jan Stulen. The national premiere of the Four Epigrams from 1961 occurred in September of 1993 with The Hague Philarmonic conducted by Jac van Steen. The Piano Concerto completed in 1994 was premiered in May of 1996 to acclaim with Geoffrey Douglas Madge as soloist and the North Netherlands Philarmonic with conductor Viktor Liberman.

Rudi van Dijk's music has drawn the attention of musicians and listeners in Great Britain. Hyperion recording artists The Raphael Ensemble, commissioned and performed the Sextet in England in 1998 and his Sonata for Violin and Piano was performed in recital at the Wigmore Hall and broadcast on BBC3 with Anthony Marwood and pianist Aleksander Madzar. London's Angika Dance Company for which he wrote Triple Hymn for soprano, cello, mridangam, tam-tam and tubular bell and based on a mantra from the Vedic Literature, received a highly successful premiere at the prestigious Spring Loaded Festival 2000 in London with the well known American soprano Lucy Shelton. The Angika Dance Company has since toured England performing Triple Hymn. As part of the International Chamber Series 2001 at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Hyperion recording artists the Florestan Trio performed the premiere of Van Dijk's Piano Trio.

The number of compositions written as a result of the horrors of the Second World War is exceptionally large. Well known examples are Ein Ueberlebender aus Warschau (1947-1948) by Arnold Schoenberg,The War Requiem (1961) by Benjamin Britten, The First Symphony also named Versuch eines Requiems (1936-1945) by Karl Amadeus Hartmann, Message to the Living by Hans Henkemans,and last but not least, The Anna Frank Cantata (1984) by Hans Kox. In the early part of 2003, Rudi Martinus Van Dijk (1932–2003) finished his imposing 55 minute Kreiten’s Passion for Baritone Solo, Choir, Symphony Orchestra with text by Heinrich Riemenschneider (1924). The work was given its World Premiere on September 19, 2003, at the Tonhalle of Duesseldorf in performance with the internationally famous Baritone Andreas Schmidt, the Staedtischen Musikverein of Duesseldorf (rehearsed by Marieddy Rossetto) and the Duesseldorf Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Music Director John Fiore. Not only this concert, but also the next two performances of September 21 and 22 were sold out.

Bernard Jacobson writes:

I have been fortunate to hear a recording made on that occasion: the work exerts a mighty emotional impact, in a superb performance followed on the disc by more than five minutes of sustained and sober applause. For Rudi van Dijk’s surviving family and friends, it is some consolation that he was strong enough in September to travel to Germany for the premiere of Kreiten's Passion and to enjoy the greatest triumph of his career.



orchestra/large ensemble
Sinfonia concertante (1960)

for piano and orchestra

pf-solo 3222 4330 3timp

perc str

duration: 15 min

commissioned by Walter Susskind


Four Epigrams for orchestra


3222 4331 3timp perc hp pf


duration: ca. 9 min

commissioned by the

Canadian Broadcasting


Concertante (1963)

for flute, percussion and string


fl-solo timp perc hp str

duration: ca. 12 min

commissioned by the

Toronto Chamber Orchestra


Irish symphony (1990)

for orchestra

4343 4331 timp 4perc cel hp

pf str duration: 25 min

FCM, commissioned by the

National Orchestra of the

Republic of Ireland and

Colman Pearce (conductor)

Concerto for violin and

orchestra (1984)

vl-solo 3232 4231 perc hp pf


duration: 30 min

dedicated to Robert Szreder

Concerto for piano and

orchestra (1994)

pf-solo 3333 4331 timp

7perc hp str

duration: 24 min

FCM, commissioned by Han

Reiziger (VPRO)

dedicated to Bernard and Laura


Chamber music
Sonatina for piano (1951)

duration: 4 min

dedicated to Harry Holtman

Elegy (1954)

for violin and piano

duration: 7 min

commissioned by Carolyn

Gundy (Toronto, Canada)


Ballad (1957)

for piano

duration: 8 min

commissioned by the

Confederation Life

Insurance Co. (Toronto,



Sonata (1957)

written in Toronto, Canada

for clarinet and piano

duration: 10 min


Movement (1961)

for alto-saxophone and piano

duration: 6 min

written for Paul Brodie

(Toronto, Canada)

Le tombeau de Francis

Poulenc (1965)

for piano 4-hands or 2


duration: 6 min

3 Pieces (1969)

for piano

duration: 6 min


Lament of a dying bird


for clarinet

duration: 11 min 30 sec

dedicated to Maarten Brandt

Little dance (1977)

for piano

duration: 2 min

dedicated to his son Walter


Incantation (1982)

for flute

duration: 5 min 53 sec

for Ann Fudge (Boston,


Sonata for violin and piano


duration: 20 min

FCM, for Anthony Marwood

Sextet for strings (1997)

for 2 violins, 2 violas and 2 'cellos

Duration: 17 min

FCM, for The Raphael Ensemble ( London, England)

String Quartet (1998)

duration: 20 min

FCM, dedicated to his sons Felix and Walter

A touch of the blues (1998)

for piano

duration: 5 min

FCM, for Marcel Worms

Piano Trio (2001)

for piano, violin and 'cello

duration: 20 min

FCM, for the Florestan Trio

Pastorale for Violin and Piano (1955)

duration: 7'

for Carolyn Gundy

Bagatella for Piano (1969)

duration: 2'

Movement for Cello and Piano


3 Pieces for Piano (1992)

duration: 6'




for Jeanne

Sound Scape: 'To Break the

Silence of the Night' (1997)

for piano (left hand)

duration: 3'

In Old Dutch Style (1999)

for piano

duration: 20'

Vocal music

'A Dream' (1976)

for soprano, Flute and Piano

duration: 3'

Two Lieder (1957)

for soprano and piano

text: D, von Liliencron

duration: 5 min

for Teresa Stratas (Toronto,



I died for beauty (1965)

for soprano and piano

text: Emily Dickinson

duration: 3 min


Christmas cantata 'Now is

the prophet's time'

for tenor, children's voices,

mixed choir and orchestra

2222 4220 timp perc 2pf org


text: George Johnston

duration: 20 min

commissioned by the

Canadian Broadcasting

Corporation - Radio


Immobile Eden (1972)

for soprano, flute and piano

duration: 8 min 51 sec

commissioned by the Toronto

Lyric Arts Trio


The Shadowmaker (1978)

for baritone and orchestra

bar-solo 322 4331 6perc pf

str tape

text: Gwendolyn MacEwen

duration: 28 min

dedicated to Victor Braun

commissioned by the Canada Council of the Arts

Lied (1979)

for soprano, flute and piano

text: William Blake

duration: 3 min


From the Book of Tao Te Ching


for tenor and piano

duration: 10 min

for Peter Pears

Three Lieder (1980)

for soprano (or tenor)

duration: 10 min


Two pieces with interlude


for soprano, flute (piccolo and bass

flute) and piano

text: Percy Bysshe Shelley and

William Butler Yeats

duration: 12 min

FCM, for Trio Il Castello

Triple Hymn

for soprano, 'cello, midrangam,

tam-tam, tubular bell

duration: 30 min 30 sec

text: Mantra fro Vedic Literature

commissioned by British Arts Council

for Angika Dance Company

Kreiten Passion

for baritone, mixed choir and orchestra

duration: 54 min 7 sec

Text: Heinrich Riemenschneider

commissioned by The Duesseldorf Symphony

Music published by Donemus
Paulus Potterstraat 16
1071 CZ Amsterdam
The Netherlands

phone +31 (0)20 676 44 3
fax +31 (0)20 673 35 88

FCM: commission, stipend or other kind of financial support by the Fund for the Creation of Music

Ms.: Manuscript

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Sheet music by Rudi Martinus van Dijk