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[#34] March 16, 2020

1987 | Wind Orchestra | Grade 5 | 15’ – 20’ | Theme and variations

Rob Goorhuis

Rob Goorhuis’ Variations on a Pentatonic Theme is our Composition of the Week.

These Variations were written in 1987 for the Royal Wind Band of Thorn and conductor Jan Cober.

Two small motifs taken from the main theme, a descending minor third and a descending major second, trigger a total of five variations, building up a broad melody which will finally unfold completely during the last variation. The work is about 18 minutes long and served as the compulsory piece for the Concert Division at the 2005 World Music Contest of Kerkrade.

Goorhuis (Amsterdam, 1848) studied Piano, Organ, Choir and Orchestral Conducting as well as Music Theory at the conservatories of Utrecht, Arnhem and Tilburg.

He was active for many years as a conductor and instrumentalist, conducting various choirs and orchestras, participating in numerous radio and television broadcasts in the Netherlands and abroad. He also conducted for a few years the Utrecht Accompaniment Orchestra, with whom he toured his home

country thoroughly.

As organist and harpsichordist, he performed not only in the entire Netherlands, but also in Belgium, France, Italy, Germany and Poland. He was a member of Dialogo Musicale and Ensemble Sans Souci, giving concerts at the Festival of Ancient Music in Utrecht and with the Hannover Knabenchor at the Walloon Festival in Liège.

On behalf of the West Deutsche Rundfunk he performed excerpts of the Buxheim Orgelbuch. He toured internationally with the Utrecht Students Choir and served for a number of years as the regular organ and harpsichord player of the Utrecht Barock Consort.

A very sought-after adjudicator he has participated in national and international competitions such as National Swiss Music Festival of Fribourg, Lucerne and St. Gallen, the National Dutch Brass Band Championships in Zutphen and Groningen, the Swiss Open Contest and the World Band Festival in Lucerne, Switzerland, the EBBC in Oostende, Euro Brass and the German National Brass Band Championships.

In 2006 Rob Goorhuis was acknowledged as Knight of the Order of Orange-Nassau.

Today he devoted himself to composition. Wind and Vocal music take a prominent role in creative activities.


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