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Henk Stam

Henk Stam - in full Hendrikus Gerardus Stam - was born on 26 September 1922 in Utrecht (Netherlands). He studied piano under  Jan Wagenaar, Gerard Hengeveld and Andre Jurres and instrumentation under Hendrik Andriessen at the Utrecht conservatory. In addition Henk Stam studied music theory under Albert Smijers at the Utrecht university. He completed his studies in Germany under Wolfgang Fortner (composition) and attended the first Darmstadt International Summer School Courses for New Music after World War II.

After his studies Henk Stam first worked as a teacher at the music school in Deventer from 1948 to 1954. He then became the director of the state music school of Zeeland till 1961 when Henk Stam was appointed director of the music and dance school in Rotterdam. He held this position until 1973. Beside his work as a teacher and director Henk Stam wrote also critics for the local newspaper of Utrecht and was editor at the AVRO, the Dutch public broadcasting association.
Henk Stam was Walter Maas' right-hand man and so in 1945 co-founder of the Stichting Gaudeamus, a Dutch association to support and promote contemporary Dutch classical composers.

As a composer Henk Stam was one of the first Dutch composers to be interested in Arnold Schoenberg's twelve-tone technique, especially in his compositions around 1950. Walter Maas once described his "Sonatina Guidaica, for piano" as the "gateway to the new music after World War II". Henk Stam composed orchestral music, the ballet pantomime "Cassation", chamber music and songs.


In my possession is the autograph manuscript of the "Preludium en Fuga, for piano" by Henk Stam. The work was composed in 1950 and in the manuscript the composition is dedicated to Sixtus Grossmann.

The work was published in 1950 in a collection of piano compositions to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the piano and organ dealer C.C.Bender. It seems that the piano business of C.C.Bender commissioned piano compositions by 15 leading Dutch composers for the anniversary and this publication. Henk Stam was one of the 15 composers and added "Preludium en Fuga". It is interesting that the published composition doesn't mention a dedication anymore.

The 14 other composers in the C.C.Bender piano collection were: Hendrik Andriessen, Willem Andriessen, Henk Badings, Rudolf Escher, Hugo Godron, Gerard Hengeveld, Anton van der Horst, Albert de Klerk, Guillaume Landre, Hans Schouwman, Herman Strategier, Bertha Tideman-Weyers, Alexander Voormolen and Henri Zagwijn.

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