Research Group 2023

Justin Bennett's wide-ranging work includes improvised music, field recording, soundwalks, writing, drawing and video. He works solo but more often in one of a number of collective constellations, for instance with Roelf Toxopeus as BMB con. He teaches at the Institute of Sonology in Den Haag and is a founder member of Jubilee, platform for artistic research in Brussels. His current research focusses on audio-walks and similar interventions in public space to try to unpick an artistic dilemma: between the worlds of music as an immersive autonomous art, where one can truly be "lost in music" on the one hand and the social, critical and relational possibilities of sound art on the other.

Patrick van Deurzen teaches music theoretical subjects as a minor and major in the Bachelor and Master, with a personal focus on music after 1900 till the present day. His current research centers around the following question: What would happen, or what would be the effect, if the instrument forms the starting-point and center of the theoretical lessons (ASA, maybe in combination with ASI), meaning that developing skills and knowledge starts with playing and creating as the basis of gaining more insight/understanding of music? What kind of material/repertoire would suite this approach?

Rebecca Huber (Seattle, USA) is a baroque violinist who works all over the world as a performer and teacher. Rebecca is the artistic director of the ensemble and academy Heliosfero (formerly Symphonie Atlantique) and performs with numerous chamber ensembles and orchestras in Europe including B’Rock in Belgium, the Richter Ensemble, Anima Eterna, and Penta string quintet. Rebecca also performs frequently in the United States and Mexico, with La Fontegara and Cepromusic. Rebecca also teaches extensively throughout the Americas and Europe and is currently teaching string quartets, PPP and pedagogy for baroque violinists at the Koninklijk Conservatorium in The Hague and is a regular guest teacher at UNAM in Mexico City. She is currently researching 19th century concert programming and formatting techniques with the aim to recreate some of these ideas for a 21st century audience with her ensemble Heliosfero.

Irma Kort is an oboe player that took part in many international tours with ensembles. After finishing her studies, she was hired by the Netherlands Wind Ensemble and Musicians Without Borders to map the needs in Bosnia and Herzegovina, in order to build up the woodwind culture after the war. Since then, she has always had a hybrid practice, performing and teaching. For two decades she was the solo oboe player of the Ballet Orchestra and a member of the Netherlands Wind Ensemble. She teaches at the Royal Conservatoire and at the School for Young Talent. Her interests have shifted in the last period and is moving towards research, education and the artistic leadership of Festival CityProms. An important pillar in her practice is giving students as many opportunities as possible to develop into entrepreneurial and creative musicians.

Felix Schlarmann teaches jazz drums at the Royal Conservatoire. As a performing jazz musician, he is part of leading Dutch ensembles. His work focuses on the field of tension between jazz, world music and electronics. In addition to this he is the director and artistic director of Jazzfest Amsterdam, curates a monthly jazz series and is part of Splendor, a collective of musicians, composers and artists. In his current research project 'Crossing Borders #2', Felix looks at interdepartmental cross-genre exchange, the artistic and learning outcomes and occurring challenges, as well as its impact on conservatoire students' motivation, creativity and artistry. In addition he will investigate which role improvisation plays in this context and how the term itself is perceived and interpreted by musicians from different genres and departments.

Aart Strootman is an internationally acclaimed guitarist and composer. In a short time he won the Gaudeamus Award, the Prix Annelie de Man and the Matthijs Vermeulen Prize. His practice is a convergence of performing guitarist, composer and instrument builder in which the writing of new works often goes hand in hand with the building of the instruments on which they are to be played. In his current research project Aart focusses on the rehearsal room as a ‘playground’ through the introduction of new instruments. He wants to know what happens if a new instrument is used to explore sound, how it influences the ensemble playing and what this can offer in the compositional process. Collaborative partners are amongst others the Ictus ensemble in Brussels, cellist Maya Fridman and the Conservatoire’s Ensemble Academy.

Pim Witvrouw started his training at the Lemmens Institute in Louvain (BE). He continued his education at the Utrecht Conservatory where he studied piano with Alan Weiss, Henk Ekkel and Paolo Giacometti. Besides studying piano, he studied Musicology at Utrecht University and later Theory of Music at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague. Since September 2018, he has been teaching music theory at the conservatories of The Hague and Zwolle. Central to his practice is the connection between performance and music theory. His current research builds on the outcomes of his previous research 'Towards an Integrated Method for Practicing: Internalising the Composer's Language'.

Historical bassoonist Wouter Verschuren, PhD, performs throughout Europe, the USA, and Asia. Specializing in repertoire from the Renaissance until the Romantic on period instruments, Wouter makes regular appearances with his partner in life and music, harpsichordist and fortepianist Kathryn Cok. Wouter can be heard on countless orchestral and chamber music CDs on labels such as Sony, Globe, Alpha, Erato, and Antoine Marchand. As principal bassoonist of The Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, Wouter participated in the recording of the complete Bach and Buxtehude Cantatas. In addition to his teaching positions at the Royal Conservatoire, The Hague, and The Royal College of Music, London, Wouter regularly gives masterclasses in Europe, the USA, and the Middle East and is always on the look-out for forgotten repertoire for the bassoon. In his current research project ‘A Contemporary Tutor for an Old Bassoon’, Wouter works on developing the first ever guidebook for the baroque bassoon.