Biography

Photo: Karin de Jonge

Andreas van Zoelen

Photo: Anne Peters, Fontys Academy of Music and Performing Arts, 2019

Andreas van Zoelen studied saxophone and conducting at the Brabants Conservatorium in the Netherlands. After these studies with Jean Pennings and Jan Cober, he studied with Carina Raschèr, daughter of pioneer saxophonist Sigurd Raschèr. In the area of composing he enjoyed lessons with Alexandre Hrisanide and Jan van Dijk. 

He is the tenor saxophonist of the Raschèr Saxophone Quartet and professor of Classical Saxophone at the Fontys Academy of Music and Performing Arts

Andreas has a specific interest in the history of the saxophone. In his chamber music program “L’Histoire du Sax”, he presents the sounding history of the saxophone from its naissance until the present day, playing instruments from his large historical collection. This interest in the history of the saxophone furthermore resulted in an extensive book about the history of the saxophone in the Netherlands, which received international acclaim and is now seen as a standard work. His articles are regularly published in international journals. Andreas is currently working on his doctoral thesis “Properties and development of the classical saxophone tone within multiple traditions, in historical context.” through the PhD platform of the Royal Conservatory and the Vrije Universiteit Brussels, Belgium. In 2013 he was invited by Leo van Oostrom to join “Edition Sax”, an ensemble which focuses on performing early works for the saxophone on historic instruments built by Adolphe Sax.

Photo ndreas van Zoelen with the statue of Adolphe Sax

Photo: Susanne van Zoelen – Lucker, Dinant, Belgium, 2019

Andreas van Zoelen at November Music

During his career, he has worked with many orchestras such as the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra under Sir Simon Rattle, philharmonie zuidnederland, the Beethoven Orchestra Bonn, the SWR Symphonieorchester. Furthermore, he has collaborated with musicians such as Stewart Copeland (The Police), Daniel Kientzy, and Markus Stockhausen.

As a soloist he has performed with orchestras like the Magogo Kamerorkest, the Badische Staatskapelle Karlsruhe and many more.

As an experienced recording artist, he has contributed to over 40 CD and DVD productions.

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.

 

Andreas van Zoelen and Arvo Pärt

Photo: Riin Eensalu, Tallinn, Estonia, 2019

Photo: Felix Broede

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. 

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.