Andreas van Zoelen

 

Saxophonist of Dutch/Moravian descent. He studied saxophone and conducting at the Brabants Conservatorium in the Netherlands. After these studies with Jean Pennings and Jan Cober, he studied with Carina Raschèr, daughter of pioneer saxophonist Sigurd Raschèr.

 

As conductor he has worked with a variety of orchestras and ensembles, to name a few, the Beethoven Orchester Bonn, Germany, the string orchestra of the Fontys Conservatory, Regionaal Concert Orkest Amersfoort and the Shell Harmonie Amsterdam.

For his achievements during his ten year period as principal conductor, which ended in 2014, van Zoelen was named honorary conductor for life of the well know Dutch symphonic wind orchestra St. Caecilia, Blerick.

 

Andreas van Zoelen started his composing career as autodidact. Later he enjoyed lessons with Alexandre Hrisanide and Jan van Dijk. His compositions have been played by renowned ensembles and orchestras across the globe. As arranger he has worked for a long list of international orchestras.


Arvo Pärt personally gave van Zoelen permission to work on several of his works, thus creating versions of Pärts music with saxophones. Similarly he worked with composer/pianist Fazil Say.

 

As soloist he has performed with more than 20 orchestras, such as the UMA chamber orchestra, the Northern Arizona University Wind Symphony, the “Badische Staatskapelle Karlsruhe”, Germany, “Orkest Zuid” and the “Magogo Kamerorkest” in the Netherlands. He has also played many recitals.

In 2000, he was invited to play at the festival in Edinburgh, Scotland, where he delivered a program of pieces written for the bass saxophone that were conceived by Scottish and Dutch composers. About 140 works where written for van Zoelen, a pioneer of the bass saxophone. Since 2001 he plays bass saxophone in the Raschèr Saxophone Orchestra.

 

Van Zoelen could also be admired on many occasions as a musician with the Beethoven Orchester, Bonn, the Brandenburg State Symphonic Orchestra, the Noord Nederlands Orkest, the Limburgs Symfonie Orkest (Philharmonie Zuidnederland), the Bochumer Symphoniker and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, under Sir Simon Rattle. He has performed regularly for international Radio and Television. As a recording artist, he has contributed to over 40 CD (LP) and DVD productions. Furthermore, he has performed with musicians like Stewart Copeland (the Police), Daniel Kientzy and Markus Stockhausen.

 

He has a specific interest in the history of the saxophone. His collection of sources and over 80 instruments, among which several from the atelier of Adolphe Sax, is unique. Van Zoelen plays these instruments a.o. in his chamber music program “L’Histoire du Sax”, which presents the sounding history of the saxophone from its naissance until present day.

From 2006-2013 he worked on an extensive 423 page book about the history of the saxophone in the Netherlands, which received international acclaim and is now seen as a standard work. His articles are regularly published in international journals.

 

He has performed with leading chamber music ensembles such as the Nederlands Saxofoon Kwartet (Dutch Saxophone Quartet, a.o. seen in the Dutch documentary on Tristan Keuris’ music for saxophone: “De componist met de gouden handjes”). In 2013 he was invited by Leo van Oostrom to join “Edition Sax”, an ensemble which focuses on performing early works for the saxophone on historic instruments built by Adolphe Sax.

 

In 2002 received the “Jacques de Leeuw Young Talent Award”. In 2014 van Zoelen was nominated for the Fontys “Think Bigger” prize for organizing the Dutch Saxophone Festival (Nederlands Saxofoon Festival), which was held February 2014 at the Fontys Conservatorium in Tilburg.

He has taught many masterclass at institutions such as the Royal Conservatory in The Hague and the ESMAE in Porto, Portugal.

 

In 2014 Andreas van Zoelen was invited to join the famous Raschèr Saxophone Quartet, where he succeeded founding member Bruce Weinberger on tenor saxophone. With this highly successful ensemble he performs concerts and teaches masterclasses across the globe.

 

Van Zoelen is professor of classical saxophone at the Fontys Academy of Music and Performing Arts (former Fontys Conservatory) in Tilburg, Netherlands, where he successfully teaches an international class of students.