|Occupation||Composer, Conductor, Teacher|
Born 1964 in Tilburg (the Netherlands), Richard Rijnvos studied composition with Jan van Vlijmen and Brian Ferneyhough at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague. After finishing these studies "summa cum laude" he received a DAAD scholarship with which he followed a postgraduate at the Musikhochschule in Freiburg (Germany). In the summer of 1994 he participated in the International Dance Course for Professional Choreographers and Composers in Bretton Hall (Wakefield, UK). In the period 1986-92 he came in touch with the American composers Morton Feldman and John Cage, who caused crucial changes in his development. There are also a number of distinct extramusical influences by artists such as William Burroughs, Samuel Beckett, Joseph Beuys, Italo Calvino, and Ernst Jandl.
Since 1993 Richard Rijnvos concentrates on the realisation of compositions that are part of larger series. The work 'Stanza', for instance, exists in a diatonic, chromatic and microtonal version. Between 1995 and 2000 he created the eighty-minute cycle 'Block Beuys'. Modelled on the Hessisches Landesmuseum Darmstadt collection with the same name, which consists of objects by the German visual artist Joseph Beuys, he dedicated a piece of music to each of its seven rooms. Late 2008 Richard Rijnvos completed 'Uptown|Downtown', an urban panorama in six "movements". This series - thought of as an evening-long dance production about city life in Manhattan – include the orchestral works 'Times Square Dance', 'Washington Square Dance' and 'Union Square Dance', as well as 'Grand Central Dance', 'Central Dance in the Park' and '’cross Broadway' for piano and chamber orchestra. (These last three compositions can be combined in a concert performance, thus forming a piano concerto entitled 'NYConcerto'). 'La Serenissima' is the title of a series of works dealing with "the city of Venice en her shadows". Between the outer movements ('acqua alta' and 'mappamondo') various works will follow. In 2007 Richard Rijnvos started a new series called 'Riflessi', which consists exclusively of companion pieces. Each 'Riflesso' explores the same exceptional scoring of an existing classic by a composer from the past. In May 2010 his song cycle 'Die Kammersängerin' – on poems by Ernst Jandl – was premiered in a fully staged performance.
Renowned companies and institutions commissioned Richard Rijnvos such as Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Ensemble Intercontemporain (Paris), Holland Festival, ZaterdagMatinee, Nieuw Ensemble (Amsterdam), Elision Ensemble (Australia), NOS Dutch Radio, Dutch Wind Ensemble and Asko Ensemble (Amsterdam). His work enjoys attention on international festivals and podia in cities as London, Berlin, Paris, Montréal, Melbourne, Chicago, Strasbourg and Tashkent, with performances by the BBC Symphony Orchestra, London Sinfonietta, Ensemble Modern, Ensemble KORE, Ensemble Resonanz, Omnibus Ensemble and many others.
Richard Rijnvos received various awards, among which the Perspektief Prize 1989 and a honourable mention during the 1991 Prix Italia for his radiophonic production 'Radio I' (on text by Samuel Beckett). In 2000 the City of Amsterdam awarded him the Matthijs Vermeulen Prize, the most prestigious award for composers working in the Netherlands, for 'Times Square Dance'. In the summer of 2004 HatHut Records released the CD of the integral cycle 'Block Beuys'. In August 2008 an international jury voted 'NYConcerto' “the best composition premiered in the Netherlands in the year before”, and it was subsequently awarded the Buma Toonzetters Award.
Richard Rijnvos is artistic advisor of the Ives Ensemble of which he was managing director from 1991 until 2000. Also he regularly conducts his own work. Since October 2009 Richard Rijnvos is Head of Composition (Postgraduate Studies) at the Music Department of Durham University (UK).