Oscar van Dillen

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van Dillen c. 2005

Oscar Ignatius Joannes van Dillen (born 25 June 1958 in 's-Hertogenbosch) is a Dutch composer, conductor, and instrumentalist.


Van Dillen studied North-Indian classical music (sitar, tabla, vocal) with Jamaluddin Bhartiya at the Tritantri School in Amsterdam and bansuri with Gurbachan Singh Sachdev at the Bansuri School of Music in Berkeley, California from 1977 to 1980, as well as classical and jazz flute at the Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam between 1982 and 1984. Here, he also received composition lessons from Misha Mengelberg.

After studies of medieval and Renaissance music with Paul Van Nevel in Leuven (Belgium), he studied classical composition with, among others, Dick Raaymakers and Gilius van Bergeijk at the Koninklijk Conservatory in The Hague in 1990/1991 and with Klaas de Vries, Peter-Jan Wagemans and René Uijlenhoet at the Rotterdam Conservatory from 1996 to 2002. He also studied composition with Manfred Trojahn at the Robert Schumann College in Düsseldorf in 2001, where he also received lessons in conducting from Lutz Herbig.

van Dillen at a Dutch Wikipedia meeting (2006)

Employment and affiliation[edit]

Van Dillen teaches World music composition as well as music theory in the jazz, pop and world music department at the Conservatory of Rotterdam.[1][2][3] He lives in the same city.

He is a member of Componisten 96, a closely restricted[4] association for the promotion of composing in the Netherlands.[5]

He was the first chairperson of the Dutch chapter of the Wikimedia Foundation and among its founders.[3][6] From December 2006 to July 2007 he was a member of the Board of Trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation.[3][7][8] He is also the vice president of The Netherlands - Turkey Friendship Foundation.

He is a founding member of the Rotterdam School of composers.[9]

Works and projects[edit]

On 22 February 2008 his work Paradox – Music for a Sculpture was performed at the Boymans Van Beuningen Museum in Rotterdam.[10]

On 21 November 2008 his *2 Cameras @ Sea (2008) premiered at Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ, Amsterdam during SHIFT, the Canadian and Dutch Arts Festival. Van Dillen composed the music for the Canadian ensemble "Continuum Contemporary Music".

In April 2009 Continuum Contemporary Music of Toronto premiered 2 Cameras @ Sea, a collaboration between Oscar van Dillen and Canadian filmmaker Clive Holden, commissioned by the Canada Council for the Arts.[11] The performance took place at the Images Festival in Toronto, and was repeated in Amsterdam.[12][13][14]

Also in 2009, Original Winds from Breda performed his ballet music in an extended series of music and dance performances in Rotterdam.[15]

Van Dillen wrote Objet Privé, for solo cello, and Forecast, for violin, cello and bayan for cellist John Addison who also has one of the string quartets on his repertoire list.[16]

Doelenkwartet premiered both of his string quartets and continue to play them regularly.[17]


  • Saxophone Quartet No. 1 (1996)
  • Conga for one percussionist (1996)
  • Toccata Sanguinica for Baroque guitar (1996)
  • Zwaar is Mooi for ensemble (1997)
  • Ignatia for clarinet solo (1998)
  • Tarentula for recorder duo (1998)
  • Tijd Speelt Geen Rol for ensemble (1998)
  • Summa Scientia for female choir (1999)
  • String Quartet No. 1 (1999)
  • Objet Privé (das Ding an mich) for violoncello solo (1999)
  • Le Panache for piano (2000)
  • Méditation for piano (2000)
  • Labyrinth for three moving trombone players (2001)
  • de Beweging for large orchestra (2001)
  • Memos for a New Millennium for Disklavier with Player (2002)
  • Roter Damm Verwandelt for solo rapper, ensemble and soundscape (2002)
  • de Stad for ensemble (2003)
  • mm³ for Toy piano (2004)
  • Forecast for violin, violoncello and bayan (2004)
  • String Quartet 2 (2007)
  • Paradox, Music for a sculpture (2008)
  • 2 Cameras @ Sea (2008), a project with Canadian filmmaker Clive Holden and part of the Utopia Suite.


  • Van Dillen's first CD, de Stad (the City), performed by the Ensemble Gelber Klang, was released on Super Audio CD by Cybele Records (2003) SACD 361.301.[18][19][20][21]
  • His work for three toy pianos mm3 is included on Bernd Wiesemann's CD Das Untemperierte Klavier: Neue Kompositionen für Kinderklavier, Cybele SACD 160.501.[22]
  • The DoelenKwartet has recorded Van Dillen's String Quartet No. 1, Etcetera Records KTC 1339.[23][24]
  • 10 Jahre Cybele Records - Klassik Der Zukunft (2004) [25]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Turkish Music: Teachers". Codarts: Rotterdam World Music Academy. Archived from the original on July 24, 2011. Retrieved February 9, 2010.
  2. ^ "27 september 2009: Vredesfestival bij Laurenskerk" (in Dutch). August 27, 2009. Archived from the original on September 8, 2009. Retrieved February 9, 2010.
  3. ^ a b c Kaya, Önder. "Oscar van Dillen: 'Voor persoonlijke ontwikkeling is kennis de essentiële factor'". Zaman Hollanda. Archived from the original on July 24, 2011. Retrieved February 12, 2010. Als professioneel componist doceert hij wereldmuziekcompositie en muziektheorie aan het Rotterdams Conservatorium. Daar geef[t hij] les in Indiase muziek, Latin-muziek en in het bijzonder Turkse muziek. Daarnaast is hij een van de oprichters van Wikimedia in Nederland, de non-profitorganisatie die vooral bekend is van de internetencyclopedie Wikipedia. Sinds eind 2006 is hij bestuurslid van de internationale Wikimedia Foundation, de overkoepelende organisatie die de diverse Wiki-projecten faciliteert.
  4. ^ "Membership". Componisten 96 website. Archived from the original on July 24, 2011. Retrieved February 12, 2010.
  5. ^ "Members". componisten96.nl. Retrieved February 9, 2010.
  6. ^ Klaver, Marie-José (August 5, 2008). "Kleurensysteem moet Wikipedia integer maken; Donkeroranje betekent onbetrouwbaar". NRC Handelsblad. Retrieved February 12, 2010. Oscar van Dillen, voorzitter van de Vereniging Wikimedia Nederland, is enthousiast over WikiTrust. 'Ik juich de toepassing van WikiTrust toe omdat het programma de inhoud van Wikipedia makkelijker te controleren maakt', aldus Van Dillen, die werkzaam is als componist en docent aan het Rotterdams Conservatorium.
  7. ^ "Board of Trustees". Wikimedia Foundation. Retrieved February 9, 2010.
  8. ^ "Nederlanders in bestuur Wikipedia". NOS Nieuws. December 9, 2006. Archived from the original on November 27, 2010. Retrieved February 12, 2010. De Nederlanders Oscar van Dillen en Jan-Bart de Vreede treden toe tot het zevenkoppige internationale bestuur van de gratis internetencyclopedie Wikipedia. [...] Ook hoopt Van Dillen, componist en docent aan het Rotterdamse conservatorium, dat zijn nieuwe status als bestuurslid van Wikimedia hem een ingang bezorgt bij het ministerie van Onderwijs.
  9. ^ Top, Edward (August 2003). "The Rotterdam School". Retrieved February 12, 2010.
  10. ^ "Premiere van een nieuw werk van Oscar van Dillen". February 22, 2008. Archived from the original on July 28, 2011. Retrieved February 12, 2010.
  11. ^ "Notes on Composing: 5 Collaborations in Film and Music reviewed by David Fujino". Showtime Magazine. April 15, 2009. Retrieved February 9, 2010.
  12. ^ "2 Cameras @ Sea". Images Festival on Screen. Archived from the original on September 24, 2015. Retrieved February 9, 2010.
  13. ^ "Notes on Composing: 5 collaborations in film and music". Continuum Contemporary Music. Archived from the original on November 5, 2009. Retrieved February 9, 2010.
  14. ^ "ACSN News archive 2008 – SHIFT Festival Amsterdam-Toronto". November 14, 2008. Archived from the original on July 24, 2011. Retrieved February 12, 2010.
  15. ^ Jongeneelen, Willem (April 9, 2009). "Nieuwe wind vanuit Breda". BN De Stem. Retrieved February 12, 2010. Het spelen van de eigentijds klassieke stukken van componist Oscar van Dillen vergt andere kwaliteiten dan het improviseren. Balemans: 'Verwacht geen melodische stukken muziek. Wij voeden de dansers en spelen in dienst van hen. [...]'
  16. ^ Addison, John. "Contemporary". John Addison website. Retrieved February 14, 2010.
  17. ^ "Repertoire". DoelenKwartet website. Archived from the original on December 8, 2009. Retrieved February 14, 2010.
  18. ^ Gibbs, Tom (2004). "Oscar van Dillen: De Stad (review)". Audiophile Audition. Retrieved February 9, 2010.
  19. ^ Vitalis, Christian (October 23, 2009). "Eine Sinfonie der modernen Großstadt". klassik.com. Retrieved February 12, 2010.
  20. ^ Lutz, Leslie (2004). "Thema: Oscar van Dillen: De Stad Für Ensemble / Stadsgeschiedenis". Neue Zeitschrift für Musik. 165 (2): 27.
  21. ^ Dibelius, Ulrich (May 2008). "Komponisten im Sog des Globalen". Musiktexte.de (in German). 117.
  22. ^ Gibbs, Tom (2004). "The Not So Well-Tempered Klavier – New Compositions for Toy Piano – Bernd Wiesemann, Toy Piano (review)". Audiophile Audition. Retrieved February 9, 2010.
  23. ^ "Rotterdam String Quartets". Etcetera Records. Archived from the original on July 10, 2011. Retrieved February 9, 2010.
  24. ^ Tannebaum, Lutz (August 2008). "Collections: 'Rotterdam Quartets'". American Record Guide. 71 (4): 211. ISSN 0003-0716.
  25. ^ Musik-Sammler

External links[edit]