Belgian Composer Wim Henderickx has Died, Aged 60
Henderickx was an award-winning composer specializing in operatic, orchestral, choral, and chamber music works
Born in Lier, Belgium, in 1962, Wim Henderickx began his music career as a percussionist playing jazz and rock.
A graduate of the Royal Conservatoire Antwerp studying percussion and composition, Henderickx also studied sonology at France’s IRCAM and the Netherlands’ Royal Conservatoire The Hauge. As a timpanist, Henderickx later played with the New Belgian Chamber Orchestra.
His compositional trademarks were the use of electronics and non-western styles such as Indian classical music and African rhythms. His works, including a cello concerto and various orchestral works, have been premiered at LSO St Luke’s in London with the BBC Singers, plus been performed by Opera Ballet Vlaanderen, Antwerp Symphony Orchestra, and at London’s Royal Albert Hall.
Three of his operas include Triumph of Spirit over Matter, Achilleus, and Der Bekeerlinge, which premiered in May 2022 at Opera Ballet Flanders as the company’s most successful contemporary production in over 20 years. Additionally, Henderickx contributed the work “Canzone” for voice and piano for the semi-finals of the 2008 Queen Elizabeth Music Competition.
Considered one of Belgium’s leading composers, his accolades include the 1993 Prize for Contemporary Music Flanders-Québec and the 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award in Lier. In 2015, he was appointed a member of the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Science and the Arts.
Since 1996, he had been the resident composer at Muziektheater Transparant, where he produced acclaimed musical theater works and in 2013, became artist-in-residence of the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra and the HERMESensemble.
As an educator, he was a professor of composition, analysis harmony, and counterpoint at the Royal Conservatoire Antwerp between 1986 and 1995, the Lemmeninstituut from 1989 to 2002, and the Conservatorium van Amsterdam, among others. He also tutored for over 20 years in Musica Impulscentrium’s annual SOUNDMINE Summer Composition Course for young composers.
“Wim was a towering figure in our national music world as a composer, musician and conductor,” Musica wrote on their website. “He was also a beloved collaborator who enriched many of our projects with his infectious enthusiasm and sharp artistic vision.
“Besides his many musical achievements, we will always remember Wim as a warm and engaging person, blessed with a versatile and infectious talent,” they continued. “We wish much strength to his family and the many, many people who knew him well. Those who would like to offer them a few words of courage and sympathy can do so via the mourning register on the website of the Royal Conservatoire of Antwerp.”
Our condolences to Mr. Henderickx’ family, friends, students, and colleagues.
A 2022 video about his clarinet concerto SUTRA, can be viewed below.
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