The Biography of Laurens van Rooyen

Laurens van Rooyen is one of the Netherland’s most famous (film)composers and pianists. He was born in Utrecht and attended the conservatory there. There, he also met up with fellow student Herman van Veen and together they founded the popular musical theater Harlekijn. From the beginning of the eighties his solo career drew attention from near and far. He has recorded for various record labels and has performed all over the world. He has made more than 45 cd’s with internationally known melodies as Just a Simple Love song en Imaginary Landscapes. This last tune can still be heard daily on the Japanese radio show Radio Midnight Express.

Golden Harp award-winner Van Rooyen also gained international fame as a composer for film music with tracks like Rembrandt, Eline Vere, Mysteries, Affair Play and Hugo van Lawick’s Serengeti Symphony, published by Walt Disney. 

Is his work classical? Light? Musical? Literary? Laurens van Rooyen is hard to categorize. His pioneering work with the piano gained him international fame and his own compositions bear witness to the fact that he has a very rich and poetic emotional life that results in universally understood musical themes. His most famous melodies are so timeless that they are still played every day somewhere in the world: from the USA to Japan and from Australia to South-Africa. Van Rooyen regularly receives e-mails stating that his music touches people’s hearts and comforts them in their time of need. He also receives a lot of requests for his piano booklets and some people even upload their own renditions of his songs on YouTube! All this combined inspires Van Rooyen to continue his mission of playing the piano and composing for a large audience.

In this digital age it’s imperative for an artist to keep online contact with his fan base. That is why this websites serves multiple goals: a place to find information about Laurens van Rooyen, his work and his concerts, but it is also designed as a communication platform. Van Rooyen answers questions from all over the world and enjoys listening to work by young talented artists on YouTube. He also provides guidance for young struggling artists, since he used to be one himself.

Van Rooyen is also celebrated for his summer concerts in a beautiful coach house on the banks of the little river the Vecht and for his winter concerts in castles and famous hotels. Not to mention his Heart’s Desire concerts; concerts in which he plays the songs that his audience has requested via e-mail, the music and sound logo’s that he composes for companies and/or their websites and let’s not forget the concerts he gives for special relations.

Van Rooyen’s love for musical theater regularly leads to cantata’s, a new symphonic work or theatrical productions, like a piano version of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, or the Domcantata – especially composed for large choirs – to celebrate the 750th anniversary of the Dom tower in Utrecht (Netherlands).

The fact that Van Rooyen was one of the first classically schooled musicians to acknowledge  

the massive possibilities of house and dance music attests to the fact that he is both a classical and a contemporary artist. During a vacation to Venice the idea for the Dance Opera Orfeo was born. Together with Geert Huimink, composer and producer for internationally famous DJ Tiësto, Van Rooyen composed the music and the Dance Opera Orfeo was the opening act for the Amsterdam Dance Event in 2005.

Last, but certainly not least, Van Rooyen is an accomplished author. He published the book Letters to a child prodigy and is currently working on Beethoven was a small business owner too. In an accessible and original way he tries to convey the idea that artists should keep looking for ways to unite their boundless musical fantasy with the harsh reality of everyday life.

As a grocer’s son, Laurens van Rooyen knows the importance of being well organized. “Imagination and playing the piano alone won’t give you an audience or success,” is what his father told him time and again. This wise lesson has been in the back of Van Rooyen’s mind throughout his career and he has been putting it into practice ever since his father spoke those sensible words. How he puts this idea into practice, you wonder? Wait for Beethoven was a small business owner too


The Romantic Piano

The Piano

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