Artist Catalog

Jan Boerman

Born: June 30 1923
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Jan Boerman

Jan Boerman (born June 30, 1923) has been in electronic music studios since 1959. He was born in The Hague. The Delft Polytechnic in Utrecht, from which the Institute of Sonology was developed, housed the first electronic music studio in the Netherlands after the Philips laboratory in Eindhoven, which was not generally open to composers.

A select few composers were invited to work at Eindhoven, including Edgard Varèse (who created his Poème électronique there in 1958) but, by 1960, Philips decided to close the facilities. It passed its equipment on to the Delft Polytechnic, which became the primary site for electronic music in the Netherlands. Administrative problems, however, caused both Boerman and Dick Raaijmakers to leave Utrecht in 1963, whereupon they began setting up a private studio in the Hague. Their facility eventually became incorporated into the Royal Conservatory of The Hague, and both men became members of the faculty. Years later, in 1986, the Institute of Sonology echoed their move by transferring from Utrecht to the Royal Conservatory in the Hague.

Boerman was trained in the traditional manner as a pianist and composer, and his initial exposure to the electronic music studio was both a shock and a revelation. There was relatively little "repertoire" in this new domain, so, while he had been struggling with serialism and "finding his voice", Boerman intuited that here was a vast new terrain to explore, free from the stylistic pressures (i.e., the triumvirate of Paris, Darmstadt, and Cologne) that were so powerfully felt at that time in Europe. Raaijmakers, on the other hand, had been studying broadcasting, recording, and applied electronics at Philips, so was more drawn into the world of studio composition.
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