Andreas van Zoelen is a saxophonist who is actively involved as a composer, arranger, scholar, and teacher. He studied saxophone and conducting at the Brabants Conservatorium in the Netherlands, under the guidance of Jean Pennings and Jan Cober. He furthered his studies with Carina Raschèr, the daughter of renowned saxophonist Sigurd Raschèr. Additionally, he received composition lessons from Alexandre Hrisanide and Jan van Dijk.
Throughout his career, Andreas has collaborated with renowned orchestras, including the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra under Sir Simon Rattle, philharmonie zuidnederland, the Beethoven Orchestra Bonn, and the SWR Symphonieorchester. He has also worked alongside notable musicians such as Stewart Copeland (The Police), Daniel Kientzy, and Markus Stockhausen.
As a soloist, Andreas has performed with various orchestras, including the Magogo Kamerorkest and the Badische Staatskapelle Karlsruhe, among others. With over 40 CD and DVD productions, Andreas has established himself as an experienced recording artist.
A promotor of new saxophone repertoire and a pioneer of the bass saxophone, over 140 works were written especially for Andreas van Zoelen, a list to which more works are being added every year. In 2021, the CD “For Now and Forever” was released, with several new works for tenor saxophone, in different combinations.
He has performed with leading chamber music ensembles such as the Nederlands Saxofoon Kwartet (Dutch Saxophone Quartet), and was invited to join the famous Raschèr Saxophone Quartet in 2014, where he succeeded founding member Bruce Weinberger on tenor saxophone. With this highly successful ensemble, he performs concerts and teaches masterclasses across the globe.
Andreas possesses a particular interest in the history of the saxophone. Through his chamber music program titled “L’Histoire du Sax,” he presents the sonic evolution of the saxophone from its inception to the present day, performing on instruments from his extensive historical collection. In 2013, his passion for the saxophone’s history culminated in an acclaimed book about the instrument’s history in the Netherlands, which is now considered a definitive work. He regularly contributes articles to international journals. Andreas earned his Ph.D. from the Vrije Universiteit Brussels, Belgium, where he successfully defended his doctoral thesis on “An identification of the Raschèr tradition, with a link to the heritage of Adolphe Sax” in 2021. Furthermore, he was invited by Leo van Oostrom in 2013 to join “Edition Sax,” an ensemble focused on performing early works for the saxophone using historic instruments built by Adolphe Sax.
Composer and arranger
His compositions have been played by renowned ensembles and orchestras across the globe. As an arranger he has worked for a long list of international orchestras.
Arvo Pärt personally gave van Zoelen permission to work on several of his works, thus creating versions of Pärts music with saxophones. Similarly, he worked with composer/pianist Fazil Say.