BIOGRAPHY

Biography Henk van Twillert
Henk van Twillert is an internationally renowned saxophonist with an inexhaustible passion for music. Specialising in the baritone saxophone, he graduated with distinction from the Sweelinck Academy of Music in Amsterdam, where he studied under Ed Bogaard, a leading classical saxophonist and pioneer in the field.
While studying, Van Twillert also founded with Bart Kok, the Amsterdam Saxophone Quartet (1979), thereby starting his career as a professional musician. The quartet played an important role in the popularisation of classical chamber music and the intermingling of other musical genres, ranging from pop to jazz to local sing a longs. The foursome, which is self-willed and creative as ever, has performed all over the world and recorded many CDs, at times with other well-known musicians, including violinist Jaap van Zweden, pianist Daniël Wayenberg and king of the accordion Johnny Meijer.
Even though Van Twillert performed as soloist with the Soloist Quintet Salzburg in 1993, his solo career didn’t start in earnest until four years later. While preparing for a tour with violinist Sonja van Beek, he established the Amsterdam Soloist Quintet, a string quintet that covers a broad musical spectrum. The quintet has since accompanied Van Twillert on many international tours, which have included performances with the Salzburg Chamber Soloist Ensemble, the Minsk Symphony Orchestra, Emmy Verhey, the Remix Ensemble conducted by Peter Rundle, Inessa Galante, the Beiras Philharmonic Orchestra, Vinko Globokar and Henry Brant.

The quintet has also recorded numerous CDs, including works by Piazzolla and Heitor Villa-Lobos, as well as saudades with sections by Carlos Paredes and with fado singer Carlos do Carmo (winner of the Goya Award 2008) as guest soloist. Together with violinist Emmy Verhey, he recorded Great Americans; on Classical Tour with the Baritone Sax he joins pianist Gian Maria Bonino to play works by Schumann and Debussy. In 2006, he also recorded a CD with Latvian soprano Inessa Galante.

For the past 25 years, Van Twillert has closely collaborated with pianist and composer Tjako van Schie, a remarkable musician . In addition to being his regular accompanist, Van Schie has coached Van Twillert’s students in the Netherlands and Portugal.

Henk van Twillert’s unparalleled virtuosity is not only a joy to the ear, it has inspired other musicians to compose. Several leading composers, including Chiel Meijering, Anke Brouwer, Rob Hauser, Gijs van Dijk, Carlos Marques, Carlos Azevedo and Virgilio Melo have, for example, written works specifically for the baritone sax.

In addition to being a performing musician, Van Twillert is an enthusiastic and indefatigable didactician who helps young musicians on their way to the professional stage. He lives in the Netherlands and Portugal, and teaches at the Academy of Music in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and the College for Music and Performing Arts in Porto, Portugal (ESMAE - Escola Superior de Música e das Artes do Espectáculo). Together with Portuguese saxophonist Fernando Valente, he established the Portuguese School for Classical Saxophone, which later gave birth to the Portuguese Saxophone Orchestra. He is also the founder and artistic director of the international saxophone ensemble Vento do Norte and Ventos Novos which was established following a series of master classes. Van Twillert is a regular visiting lecturer at the Simón Bolívar academy of music in Caracas, Venezuela and UNAM (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México) in Mexico City. He is also a sought-after master class instructor, and has taught at the musical academies of Paris, Milan, Beijing, Minsk and Havana as well as New York University.

Bach Suites for Cello, a CD launched in 2001, accelerated his musical career. During 2006, which proved an exhilarating year, he performed one of the album’s suites for Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands at the official opening of a church building in Amsterdam. Van Twillert used the occasion to dust down his original Adolphe Sax baritone saxophone from 1863. He toured Mexico, Columbia and Venezuela during the same year, and was asked to perform at the prestigious Newport Music Festival in the US, where he played with the Colorado String Quartet and on his own. Van Twillert returned to Newport in 2007, this time to play music by Freddy Mercury with international diva Inessa Galante.

The year 2009 Van Twillert made his premiere at the Dutch Antilles, together with Tjako van Schie they opened the Bonaire Jazz Festival. Spread out the news: The year 2009/2010 brought Henk van Twillert to New York where he besides his PhD study "Bach, the Blowing Bowing" and the start of the Baritone Saxophone duo with Gary Smulyan: "Bach Meets Bebop", established the young and versatile formation "The New York Stars" Henk, voice and saxes, and the New York Stars accommodate John Austria - Piano, Jolene Wilkinson-Voice, Kay Ando - Double bass, together with Drums and Guitar. Henk van Twillert made the lyrics and music of 13 songs, a sympathetic hybrid/mix of Jazz, pop, classical and blues, based on his experience of living almost two years in his beloved city "New York" Henk van Twillert plays exclusively Yamaha saxophones, including the YBS 62 baritone and the YAS 875 EX Silver alto. br />

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