Tarenskeen, Boudewijn

Nationality: Netherlands
Date of birth: 1952-01-01
Website: Featured Composer's Page ; Website

General: Boudewijn Tarenskeen was born on December 15, 1952 in Hollandia, Netherlands New Guinea (present-day Indonesia) as Dirk Jozef Boudewijn Tarenskeen. He moved to the Netherlands in 1962.

Education: After completing secondary school, he studied oboe for one year at the former Muzieklyceum (academy of music) in Amsterdam, followed by four years of studying musical composition at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague under Peter Schat, Louis Andriessen en Konrad Boehmer.

Compositions: Since 1976, Boudewijn Tarenskeen has been a full-time composer of orchestral music, chamber music, ballet music, musical theatre, theatre music, film scores, religious music and songs.

Boudewijn writes compositions for various instruments, which are carried out by his own ensembles, and other ensembles including the Asko Ensemble, Ensemble LOOS, Orkest de Volharding, het Nederlands Ballet Orkest, het Rotterdams Philharmonisch Orkest, Cappella Amsterdam, Nederlands Kamerorkest, the David Kweksilber Big Band, Cello Octet Amsterdam and ensemble Electra.

He writes chamber music commissioned by renowned soloists like Esther Apituley, Gerard Bouwhuis, Heleen Hulst, Charles van Tassel, Isabelle van Keulen, Ronald Brautigam, Wende Snijders, Charlotte Riedijk, Ramses Shaffy, Hadewych Minis and Lavinia Meier.

Through many collaborations with choreographers, writers and directors, including Rudi van Dantzig, Ted Brandsen, Karin Post, Gerardjan Rijnders, Frans Strijards, Lodewijk de Boer, Janine Brogt, Judith Herzberg, Rob de Graaf and Paul Koek, a large number of musical dramatic works had been created.

In addition, Boudewijn wrote music for the film-makers Marleen Gorris, Leon de Winter, Rudolf van den Berg and others. This resulted in the movies "Romeo" (1990), "Zoeken naar Eileen" (1987), "De Grens" (1985) and "The Last Island" (1990).

His most recent works include ‘Saul: for bigband and actor’ (2015), ‘Winterreise: for singer-songwriter and piano’ (2013), ’Luther: for bariton, actor, mixed choir and organ’ (2013), ‘Song for harp solo (2012) and ‘Erwartung: for voice and orchestra’ (2011).
The works of Boudewijn Tarenskeen are available in the Donemus web store.

Other professional experiences: Besides that, Boudewijn has made solution drawings for Athony Fiumara on the occasion of his premiere on March 29th, in 2008 in Amsterdam.

Awards: In 2009, he was awarded the Matthijs Vermeulen Prize for his composition of the St. Matthew Passion for 19 singers. The Matthijs Vermeulen Prize is the most important Dutch Composition Prize, named after the deceased symphonic composer Matthijs Vermeulen.

The jury called the composition of Boudewijn Tarenskeen ”a work of art of international stature”. “The essence of his work, which is on the border between concert and theater, reveals herself only after a period of time. With a lean and efficient use of a limited number of basic resources, the composer has created an acoustic and theatrical exciting work for Cappella Amsterdam.”


Boudewijn Tarenskeen werd op 15 december 1952 in Hollandia, Nieuw Guinea geboren. In 1962 kwam hij naar Nederland.

Hij studeerde een jaar hobo aan het toenmalige Muzieklyceum in Amsterdam en vier jaar compositie aan het Koninklijk Conservatorium in Den Haag bij Peter Schat, Louis Andriessen en Konrad Boehmer.

Tarenskeen schrijft composities voor verschillende bezettingen, die behalve door eigen ensembles worden uitgevoerd door onder andere het Asko Ensemble, Ensemble LOOS, Orkest de Volharding, het Nederlands Ballet Orkest en het Rotterdams Philharmonisch Orkest. Hij schreef kamermuziek in opdracht van gerenommeerde solisten als Taco Kooistra, Esther Apituley, Gerard Bouwhuis, Eleonore Pameijer, Charles van Tassel, Isabelle van Keulen en Ronald Brautigam. Door veelvuldige samenwerking met choreografen, schrijvers en regisseurs, waaronder Rudi van Dantzig, Ted Brandsen, Gerdjan Rijnders, Frans Strijards en Lodewijk de Boer ontstond een groot aantal muziekdramatische werken. Voor de cineasten Marleen Gorris, Leon de Winter, Rudolf van den Berg en anderen schreef Tarenskeen filmmuziek.

In 2009 werd hem de Matthijs Vermeulen Prijs toegekend voor zijn compositie Mattheus Passie voor 19 zangers.