Joachim Badenhorst - "When I began my studies I was startled by the standard of my peers"

Be one of us

Alumnus Joachim Badenhorst about his time at the Royal Conservatoire.

"I came to the Conservatoire in The Hague to be taught by John Ruocco. He also taught in Brussels, which would have been closer for me since I am from Antwerp, but I opted for The Hague because of all the good things I had heard about the school. In addition, the Belgian conservatories only launched their jazz programmes recently so I suspected that the programme in the Netherlands would be better organised and more structured. I also felt it would be an adventure to study 'abroad'.

I am delighted with the choice I made. Because of the teachers and the courses we had, but also because of the atmosphere and my fellow students. When I began my studies I was startled by the standard of my peers, who were generally older than me (I was then 17) and had a lot more experience. I only knew the three standard pieces that I played at my entrance exam. That spurred me on to work extremely hard during the first years of the programme. I more or less locked myself up in the practice rooms and tried to join in the jam sessions in the city, which was not always easy. After a while I began to settle in and was able to play with other students. I also formed a number of ensembles. Because of the school’s international character, I could start projects with students of other nationalities. As a result, since completing my studies I have been able to tour and play a great deal in other countries. For example, I formed the duo 'Rawfishboys' with the French bassist Brice Soniano, the trio 'Ploug-Petersen-Badenhorst' with the Danish guitarist Mikkel Ploug (whose name then was Mikkel Petersen), and the group 'Mógil' with the classical singer Heida Arnadottir. All of these projects are still going today and have released various albums. I also perform with numerous Dutch musicians through connections I made during my studies with musicians from the conservatories in Amsterdam and The Hague.

It was really inspiring to study with peers of so many different nationalities. Through them I learned a great many different music styles and expanded my view of the world. It sparked my curiosity about what the students from countries such as France, Italy, Denmark and the Netherlands were listening to. My studies at the Royal Conservatoire helped me on the path to an international career in music."

Check out our Apply-now webpage, where you will find information, inspiration and upcoming events across all our departments.