Willem JethsWillem Jeths

Willem Jeths

In 2014 Willem Jeths (1959) became the first Composer Laureate of the Netherlands.

"At first hearing, a composition of Willem Jeths is a succession of climaxes constructed from a surprising mix of instruments. Jeths favors dark, mysterious sounds and makes no secret of his admiration for Richard Wagner, Gustav Mahler, Richard Strauss and Alban Berg. The tension he pursues in his work is directly connected to that era of expressionism and late romanticism. “Extase, hysteria and total surrender are constant elements in his oeuvre", according to music journalist Biëlla Luttmer describing his music.

Jeths received the Utrecht Conservatory Composition Prize in 1988. His work Novelette for violin and piano (1986) was selected for the ISCM World Music Days in 1990 in Oslo. During the Carl Maria von Weber Competition for string quartets in Dresden in 1991, he was awarded an honorary diploma for his string quartet Arcate.

The following year, he received another award for this piece from the competition of the Oare String Orchestra in Kent, now in a version for string orchestra (1991). Listeners of the Dutch radio station Concertzender ranked his work Novelette second in a competition on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the BUMA in 1993.

In 1996, Jeths won the second prize at the Internationaler Wiener Kompositionswettbewerb for his violin concerto Glenz (1993) and third prize for his piano concerto (written for Folke Nauta and the Nederlands Studenten Orkest in 1994). Since 2006 Willem Jeths is senior lecturer composition at the Amsterdam Conservatory.