The Namibian-born violinist George van Dam has been a committed performer of contemporary music since the beginning of his career. He has worked with leading contemporary composers – as a soloist or within the context of contemporary-music ensembles such as Ensemble Modern Frankfurt, MusikFabrik or Ictus, of which he is a founding member.
Through close collaboration with a younger generation of composers – Cassol, De Mey, Harada, Hus, Vermeersch, and others – several new works have been written specially for him, e.g. Homeobox by Mochizuki, premièred with the Junge Deutsche Philharmonie. He took master classes with Dorothy DeLay, Z. Gilels, A. Markov, A. Rosand, Rainer Kussmaul and studied at the Brussels Conservatory with Georges Octors and Arie van Lysebeth.
In 2012 he resumed studying the harpsichord – with Robert Kohnen, Ketil Haugsand, Bob van Asperen and Elisabeth Joyé – rekindling his childhood fascination for early keyboard music.
His compositions include chamber music, the song cycles Engel-Lieder for James Bowman, Lorca Songs, Melanchotopia Songs (created with Claron McFadden) for Witte de With, Rotterdam 2011, a violin concerto with timbila orchestra for Drumming Grupo Percussão Porto, music for (silent) film, for theatre and dance performances – Ballet de Marseille, Needcompany, Ultima Vez i.a. – and several works with visual artists.
Recent projects include new music for choir in a production of Escorial by Michel de Ghelderode/Josse De Pauw for Collegium Vocale Gent/Transparant, the film sequenza, with Manon de Boer (on Sequenza VIII by Luciano Berio), music for the installation untitled (prelude)by Lotte Van den Audenaeren and filmscores for Mon Ange, feature film by Harry Cleven and for the documentary film Burning Out by Jérôme le Maire.
Photo: Manon de Boer
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