Hans Henkemans


July 5, 2022

Hans Henkemans (born December 23, 1913 in The Hague, died December 29, 1995 in Nieuwegein) - Dutch composer, pianist and psychiatrist.

Curriculum vitae

In 1926–1931 he studied piano and composition with Bernhard van den Sigtenhorst-Meyer. He graduated from medical studies at the University of Utrecht (1933–1938), while taking composition lessons from Willem Pijper. In 1936 he won the prize of the Dutch Composers' Union (Genootschap van Nederlandsche Componisten) for Piano Concerto No. 2. He has repeatedly received the highest Dutch state awards for his compositions. As a pianist, he became famous as a performer of W.A. Mozart and Claude Debussy. He wrote cadences for Mozart's piano concertos, he also orchestrated two books of Debussy's Preludes (1970, 1972). After 1969, he withdrew from concert activities, devoting himself primarily to working in the profession of a psychiatrist. In 1981 he defended his doctorate in medicine at the University of Amsterdam.


In the first period of his work, which lasted until the 1960s, he wrote in the neoclassical idiom. Pieces from this period characterized by rich thematic inventiveness, polyphonic and sonata forms based on tonal harmony and frequent use of the concert idea. Later, he gradually departed from thematic thinking and concert forms, creating mainly vocal-instrumental works, in which he used newer compositional techniques, and attempted to find his own sound solutions. His Passacaglia i gigue for piano and orchestra, first performed in 1945 by Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest under the baton of Eduard van Beinum with Henkemans as soloist, gained international fame, which by 1950 had more than 50 performances in various European countries.

Featured Theme

(based on source materials)