It was my pleasure to speak with Dutch composer Johan De Meij about composition and his career including his landmark "Lord of the Rings" Symphony.
Dutch composer and conductor Johan de Meij (Voorburg, 1953) received his musical training at the Royal Conservatory of Music in The Hague, where he studied trombone and conducting. His award-winning oeuvre of original compositions, symphonic transcriptions and film score arrangements has garnered him international acclaim and have become permanent fixtures in the repertoire of renowned ensembles throughout the world. His Symphony No. 1 The Lord of the Rings was awarded the prestigious Sudler Composition Prize and has been recorded by myriad ensembles including The London Symphony Orchestra, The North Netherlands Orchestra, The Nagoya Philharmonic and The Amsterdam Wind Orchestra. His Symphony No. 2 The Big Apple, Symphony No. 3 Planet Earth, Symphony No. 4 Sinfonie der Lieder as well as his solo concertos, T-Bone Concerto (trombone), UFO Concerto (euphonium) and Casanova (cello) have been enthusiastically received at many of the world’s finest venues.
Before devoting his time exclusively to composing and conducting, Johan de Meij enjoyed a successful professional career as a trombone and euphonium player, performing with major orchestras and ensembles in The Netherlands. He is in high demand as a guest conductor and lecturer, frequently invited to speak about and perform his own works. He currently maintains posts with both the New York Wind Symphony and the Kyushu Wind Orchestra in Fukuoka, Japan as their principal guest conductor. He was also appointed regular guest conductor of the Simón Bolívar Youth Wind Orchestra in Caracas, Venezuela – part of the celebrated Venezuelan educational system El Sistema. He is founder and CEO of his own publishing company Amstel Music, established in 1989.
When not traveling, Johan divides his time between his Hudson Valley home and Manhattan apartment with his wife and muse Dyan, cats Lenny & Tosca and dog Lucy
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