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Interview with Geert Jan Kroon

In this interview we would like to introduce Geert Jan Kroon. We talk about his inspiration and work as a composer, conductor, and musician. And of course, about the future of the musical landscape, which he is very committed to. Geert Jan is, as the English say, 'on a roll'. He recently wrote the test piece for the third section for the Dutch National Brass Band Championships. Became first in the championship section as a euphonium soloist with Soli Brass. And is also ambitious as a conductor. He is active on both social media and his website and with such a wonderful list he is someone to keep an eye on.

Geert Jan, how would you describe yourself.
How I would describe myself? What a question. Busy, impatient, and motivated are words that immediately come to mind. People around me call it enthusiastic, creative, and motivating. But in general, I think I'm someone who likes to keep improving, try new things and is has fun with music.

Where do you get your inspiration from?
Inspiration is a tricky word. It implies that something is whispered to you and that you write it down. Some kind of magical moment, when you suddenly see it clearly. If I'm not mistaken, it comes from Gregorius who gets the Gregorian music 'breathed in' by a pigeon. For me, inspiration is a starting point or a kind of thread that I find. And I am going to pull that thread until I think I can make a piece with it.

For example, with ‘The Final Frontier’, it was a feeling I had after visiting the orrery in Franeker with my son. With ‘Legend’, it was literally the title my youngest son gave me. It can also be music that I hear, a moment in which I think: I should use that in a piece. A story, an idea in a book, for me it can be anything.

Do you have a favorite composer, work, or genre and what do you think is your best piece of music?
There are so many interesting composers and works. Mahler’s 2nd Symphony is a special work that means a lot to me. ‘Offertorium’ by Sofia Gubaidulina’ is great music. My musical taste ranges from Vivaldi to Enno Poppe. But I also like the roughness of bands like Korn, Slip Knot, and that sort of thing. I find contemporary choral music fascinating because of the colours. I find film music especially interesting because I see how emotionally my children react to it. To sum up: too many to mention.

I think my own favorite work is ‘Red Prince’. Especially since it is not everyone. You are pushing the boundaries of your own art form. That is interesting to me. It is a work that took some time to write during my time in Zwolle. I tried to approach my composing in a different way and that has been quite a step for me. In addition, I am very proud of the simplicity of ‘Two Tides’. That had to be written quickly. The audience thinks it sounds nice and simple. It also looks simple on paper. It is, however,  suspiciously difficult to play. And I like that.

How do you combine composing, conducting, and making music?
By clearly dividing my day. In the morning, I do creative work, such as writing and creating.
In the afternoon I work on the business aspects of my business. And in the evening, I conduct. In the weekend it's either concerts or trying to take it easy. I play euphonium on Wednesdays and partly Saturdays at Soli Brass Leeuwarden. I 'sacrifice' some creative time to make sure I can play my parts.

How do you start a new job? Do you set limits for yourself in terms of style and shape?
As described above, it starts with an idea, a seed. Then I start to approach the work from two sides. I think about how the work should function and the shape of it. But I also start to develop musical ideas, chords, clusters, melodies, colors, rules, movements, you name it. Sometimes I accidentally write the piece already, and I take it apart again and make material out of it. These two processes always influence each other. An idea can determine the form, but the overall form can also lead to new ideas. It is a cycle of those two processes. When I have finally chosen the material and the shape, I will start building. And then you try to forget the rules and do it a little different than you intended to keep it fresh.

I try to impose limits or in my case, make rules. Usually, the material sets the boundaries determines the style. The form is both an outcome of the process and later a boundary within which the piece must work. Boundaries help me be creative with the material I have. And once you're writing, it's also good to break the rules once in a while.

How do you see the future of the music landscape, will the final word be left to the composer?
The future of the music landscape is difficult to predict. I think there will always be music, it's ingrained in so many things that I can't imagine we could do without it. Of course, this mainly concerns applied music. The art music is a different story. In my opinion, there are always ensembles that want to play new music. How they get it, and how to finance it, is a bigger problem. As far as I'm concerned, the first to take action are the composers and publishers. Let's make sure that we make the music world a little bigger. And help ensembles to find new music. Don't wait for music to be bought or for money to become available. Ultimately, we need to work together to make this industry worth it and keep it going. I hope that Sonolize can be a place where composers and ensembles can interact and help each other.

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Interview with Nikolaï Clavier

The young and talented Norwegian composer Nikolaï Clavier is an award-winning composer currently living in the Netherlands. He has already composed music for 15 movies, 6 commercials and a video game. And is currently arranging Bartok’s Mikrokosmos for symphony orchestra. We are proud to introduce him to you in this newsle

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Maurick Reuser wins two 1st prizes

Pianist and composer Maurick Reuser has won two first prizes in the international composition competition 'The Time of the Guitar'. The competition took place online last month. Maurick received the prizes for the guitar solo work 'From Clouds and First Winds', a duo for clarinet and guitar. 

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Winter catalog and news

In this newsletter you will find our winter catalogue with a small selection of the music you can find at Sonolize. Also we would like to introduce you to the new Sonolize label 'Our Choice’ which was launched this month. A label that guarantees you as a musician a professional layout for sheetmusic.

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Sonolize composers in the spotlight

In recent months, several composers who use Sonolize to publish their work have been in the spotlights. Joop van Dijk and Geert Jan Kroon both received the honorable assignment to write a test piece for the Dutch National Brass Band Championships. And George Sadeler and Alain Crepin won 1st and 2nd prize at the “Internazionale di composizione per Marce, Città di Allumiere”.

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Sonolize presents ‘Our Choice’

At Sonolize we like to be transparent in what we offer. And that is quality. But also at Sonolize there are composers who stand out and pay extra attention to their scores. Especially for compositions with such attention there is now 'Our Choice'. A label that guarantees the buyer a professional layout. 

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Engraving service

It doesn't stop at Sonolize with the introduction of the 'Our Choice' label. Sonolize also offers you the option of having your composition engraved by a professional at a very reasonable rate.

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Summer catalog and news

In this newsletter you will find an interview with the Dutch conductor and composer Peter Habraken. We also would like to introduce you to the Sonolize quality label 'Our choice’. And of course, our catalog with a selection of the music you can find at Sonolize.

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Interview with Peter Habraken

In this interview Peter Habraken talks about his inspiration and work as a composer, conductor and musician. But also about the future of the music landscape.

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WMC opens applications for 2022

Applications for the 19th World Music Contest in 2022 have started. From this moment on, bands can apply for the marching and show contests and the contests for wind bands, fanfare bands, percussion ensembles and brass bands. Registration closes on November 1, 2021. 

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Interview with Frank Nuyts

We would like to introduce you to the Belgian composer Frank Nuyts. Frank is one of the most renowned composers in Belgium and has written an extensive oeuvre including 5 symphonies, 18 piano sonatas and a lot of chamber music with the piano in the central role.

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More music at school

In the days previous to the Dutch Queen Máxima's 50th birthday on 17 May, the Dutch foundation "Meer Muziek in de Klas" (More music education at schools) is calling on all of the Netherlands to make an extra effort in music education at schools. 

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From piano music to orchestral works.

The great thing about Sonolize is that composers know how to find each other to learn from each other. Tom Schipper, for example, helps the young composer Tae Hyung Ruisch to become even better. Read his blog on how.

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Interview with Adriaan Dropsie

We are very excited that Adriaan Dropsie is offering his classical Spanish compositions for guitar and flute through Sonolize. We would like to introduce him to you in this interview.

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Webinar by Alex Schillings at Brabant Association

"The search for the main and side issues. A lifelong occupation for a conductor ". That is the title of the webinar that Alex Schillings will be leading on Sunday 24 January at the invitation of the Brabant Association of Music Associations (BBM).

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VLAMO aims a composition competition for fanfare

The Flemish music organisation VLAMO is focusing on the brass band for the 2021 Composition Competition. Composers can participate by submitting a new work for the lower divisions before August 31, 2021.

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Merry Christmas and a happy New Year

We wish all our friends, composers and musicians a beautiful Christmas season and a joyful, inspiring, successful, peaceful, musical and most importantly a happy and healthy 2021.

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Drummer & pianist Jeroen Elfferich: "The essence of music lies in simplicity"

Interesting article - in Dutch - about Jeroen Elfferich and his passion for music, written by Thea Derks on Contemporary Classical.

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How can I find the copyright holder as an arranger?

If you want to arrange a work from a composer, you will have to ask the copyright holder. But how do you find out who manages the rights of the composer you are looking for?

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Composers newsletter

Check out this autumn's Composers newsletter with tips on applying for rights as arranger, marketing and music uploading.

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Interview with Arend Gerds

We are very excited that Arend Gerds offers his own classical compositions for wind music through Sonolize. We would like to introduce him and his passion for composing to you in this interview.

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Sonolize in the press

On September 18, DPG media published a nice article about Sonolize in which our passion is aptly expressed.

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Press release

Groundbreaking initiative Sonolize offers an alternative to traditional publishers of sheet music

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Masterclass Composition and Conducting

The School of the Arts in Bern (Switzerland) offers a masterclass Composition and Conducting, specifically for Brass bands. 

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COVID-19 responses from the music sector

From the Music sector, various actions are taken per country to support music authors and the music sector in general during these difficult times.

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Sonolize is growing

We have great ambitions and want to become the place in Europe where composers can offer and sell their sheet music digitally.

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Fair practice code

Sonolize endorses the Fair Practice Code for entrepreneurship in the arts and culture sector. It's all about Fair Pay, Fair Share and Fair Chain.

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Advisory board

We are proud to anounce that Alex Schillings, Mariska Bogaard-Rethans, Micha Schimmel and Geert van Wijk will take a seat in the Sonolize Advisory Board.

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Merry Christmas and let’s celebrate 2020

We wish our friends, composers and musicians a beautiful Christmas season and a happy, healthy, joyful, inspiring, successful, peaceful, musical and truly amazing welcome in the ‘roaring twenties’.

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Proudly we present

We are proud to announce that a number of composers have joined us to realize something special together with us.

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Sonolize is live

Join Sonolize and start up- and downloading music today. From composers to players, digital, independent, fair and with a wide choice of qualified music.

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