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Hans Henkemans

Hans Henkemans was born 23 December 1913 in The Hague (Netherlands). He played the piano in his youth and took lessons with Bernhard van den Sigtenhorst Meyer. In 1931 he began to study both composition with Willem Pijper and medicine at the Utrecht University, and completed his piano studies with George van Renesse.


After World War II Hans Henkemans worked successfully as a piano soloist and performed a lot with the Concertgebouworkest under Eduard van Beinum. He especially championed piano music by Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel and Mozart, but also his own compositions were performed regularly (for example his "Passacaglia and Gigue, for piano and orchestra" with Henkemans himself as soloist more than 60 times). During the 1950s and 60s Hans Henkemans was one of the leading piano soloists. In 1969 Hans Henkemans had to end his career as a soloist due to health problems (he lost one lung in 1940 to tuberculosis). He then focused on composing and also psychiatric practice. In 1981 Hans Henkemans earned a doctoral degree from the University of Amsterdam for his thesis on "Sublimation disorders in artists". Hans Henkemans died on 29 December 1995.


Hans Henkemans composed several symphonic works, three piano concertos as well as concertos for violin, viola, cello, flute, harp and horn, an opera "Winter Cruise", a violin and a cello sonata, piano music, songs and vocal music and orchestrated the 12 preludes by Claude Debussy.



The Violin concerto was composed in 1950 and is dedicated to the famous Dutch violinist Theo Olof. The world premiere took place on 24 October 1951 with Theo Olof (violin), the Concertgebouworkest and Eduard van Beinum (conductor). In 1953 Hans Henkemans won the "Professor de Leeuw-Prijs" for his violin concerto.

I own an autograph manuscript of the solo part of the violin concerto, together with an early copy of the piano reduction. The autograph manuscript of the full score is archived at the Nederlands Muziek Instituut and the score and parts of the violin concerto are published by Donemus.

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