|Also known as||Dante Oei|
|Born||July 15, 1973|
Haarlem, The Netherlands
|Genres||Experimental music, Wandelweiser|
|Years active||1987 – present|
|Labels||Edition Wandelweiser Records, Another Timbre, Karnatic Lab Records|
Dante Boon (born 1973) is a Dutch composer and pianist. A member of the Wandelweiser composers collective, he is perhaps best known as an interpreter of experimental piano music. His own music has been performed internationally to wide acclaim.
Dante Boon started his piano studies at age 14, with Willem Brons at the Sweelinck Conservatorium in Amsterdam. He studied composition with Diderik Wagenaar at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague. At the age of 24, he joined the Dutch rock band The Scene as a keyboardist and arranger.
A champion of experimental piano music and of Wandelweiser in particular, Boon has premiered over 50 works, many of which written specifically for him. He has performed at such venues as Constellation Chicago, Spectrum, Studio Z, the Rotterdam Philharmonic Gergiev Festival, Jeunesses Musicales du Canada, the ISCM Festival, Gaudeamus Muziekweek, De Link, Paradiso, and regularly at Amsterdam's underground venue Zaal 100 and Klangraum in Düsseldorf.
Boon has also been active as a concert organizer himself. He was one of the young composers who organized the Amsterdam concert series for new music Concerten Tot en Met between 1997 and 2004. He has also co-organized the series The Workshop/Maximum Clarity (with James Fulkerson) at Zaal 100, and since 2007 (with Stevko Busch) Pianolab Amsterdam, a showcase for Amsterdam pianists and their guests, at the Goethe-Institut. In 2017, Boon organized the Amsterdam Wandelweiser Festival, a four-day festival of Wandelweiser music.
He has recorded music by composers such as Philip Corner, Rozalie Hirs, John Cage, Jürg Frey, Samuel Vriezen, Morton Feldman, Richard Ayres, Tom Johnson, and Michael Manion. With pianist-composer Samuel Vriezen, he recorded Tom Johnson's Symmetries for piano four hands. In 2004, he premiered Johnson's Same or Different, commissioned by VPRO Radio.
Boon's compositions have been performed internationally, at such venues as Museo Reina Sofía, Goethe-Institut Amsterdam, Kunstraum, Alte Jazz-Schmiede, The Old Stone House, Willow Place Auditorium, Orgelpark, Stedelijk Museum, Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ, the Royal Academy of Dutch language and literature, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, The Wild Beast, Kultur & Kongresshaus Aarau, UCSB, and REDCAT. Performers of his music have included DNK Ensemble, Ensemble Sisyphe, the Wandelweiser Composers Ensemble, The Same Ensemble, de ereprijs, Nederlands Vocaal Laboratorium, Antoine Beuger, Jürg Frey, Michael Pisaro, Stefan Thut, Samuel Vriezen, Germaine Sijstermans, Taylan Susam, Irene Kurka, Erik Carlson, Denis Sorokin and Sergej Tchirkov. His scores are published by Edition Wandelweiser.
He was a guest lecturer at the 13th Wiener Tage für zeitgenössische Klaviermusik hosted by the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna. A three-concert musical portrait of Dante Boon was presented in 2012 at Düsseldorf's Klangraum. In 2013, he was a special guest at Michael Pisaro's Dog Star Orchestra festival of experimental music. In the same year, a retrospective of Boon's music was presented at the Los Angeles performance space the wulf. In 2016, Boon was featured as a composer and performer at Quatuor Bozzini's Performer's Kitchen.
John Eyles, writing for All About Jazz, has described Boon's works as "exquisite throughout, without a single wasted note or gesture to be heard." His CD clarinet (and piano), which features clarinetist Jürg Frey, was recommended by The New Yorker's Alex Ross and by Andy Hamilton in The Wire's Top 10 albums of contemporary music.
Many of Boon's works are composed so as to give players room to discover their own way through the piece. His clarinet piece 3x, for example, consists of three staves of music containing pitches in three respective registers among which the clarinetist is free to move. In a program note, Michael Pisaro describes Boon's piano piece 14x as follows:
Although the piece is quite slow, and is seemingly a simple series of sustained chords with an occasional beautiful melodic gesture, the technique employed is actually very challenging. No pedal is used, therefore, in order maintain the mostly 10-note sounds all fingers of both hands are employed, holding down keys for the whole piece. What at first seems nearly impossible reveals itself to be ingeniously composed to be just possible.
In a review of Boon's 2 Delen (after Sam Sfirri), Paul Muller writes the following:
[A] subtle work featuring electric guitar and voice. The guitar plays a slow ascending scale and at certain points the voice joins. The pure pitches made for some beautiful sounds and overtones. When the voice and guitar met in unison a new cycle would start.
His vocal piece Mirte, a setting of the first three stanzas of Antoine Beuger's translation of the Spiritual Canticle by John of the Cross, has been described as an "inward psychological turn of a voice trying to sing to itself."
Boon as a pianist
Dante Boon has been called a "magnificent" and "idiosyncratic" pianist, known for his "delicate touch" and "calm control." His performances of Komitas's piano music have been called "quieting" and "the highlight [of the concert]". Jay Batzner, writing for Sequenza21, describes Boon's recordings of Tom Johnson's music as "a delight to listen to." The New Yorker called him a pianist with an "uncommon affinity for music that demands patience, steady hands, and a subtle touch." National Sawdust's Steve Smith listed one of Boon's 2018 solo recitals in New York in his top 10 of memorable musical events.
Boon's debut album as a soloist, cage.frey.vriezen.feldman.ayres.johnson manion, was met with critical acclaim. Anthony Fiumara, writing for Trouw, notes that "[i]t is striking how self-evident [John Cage's] pointillist Etudes Australes sound under Boon's fingers," while characterizing Boon's playing as "murmurous lyricism." In a review for NRC Handelsblad, Jochem Valkenburg notes Boon's "warm, shrouded tone" and, singling out his interpretation of Morton Feldman's Last Pieces, calls it "objective yet affectionate…measured, pensive, yet vulnerable." Samuel Vriezen, writing in the liner notes to the album, similarly observes:
Two poles are important for Dante's playing. On the one hand he is drawn towards the musical discipline of the Cageian tradition and its concern with objectivity in sound. On the other hand, early Romanticism, particularly German song repertoire, is important to him. For many listeners, these poles may seem like opposites. For Dante, however, there is no contradiction. In his playing, precision of technique and conceptual clarity are expressions of a passionate engagement with sounds and their progression as melody.
- 14x, piano (2007)
- Uitdrijving, voice and percussion (1 performer) (2009)
- 3x, clarinet (2011)
- Nov. (piano), piano (2011)
- Glimmen, piano (2012)
- Years, numbers, piano (2012)
- Duo (2h), piano (2017)
- Duo (accordion), accordion (2017)
- Duo (guitar), (electric) guitar (2018)
- Dean's piano, piano (2018)
- before traces, piano (2019)
- sex (2), clarinet and cello (2006)
- Het sneeuwt maar het sneeuwt niet meer (2009)
- Wolken/veld, clarinet and piano (2011)
- Lied (je slaapt), clarinet and (toy) piano (2012)
- 2 Delen (after Sam Sfirri), 2 instruments (2012)
- 2 Spelers (after Antoine Beuger), 2 instruments (2012)
- Nov. (violin), violin and piano (2013)
- 3x (careful rests), guitar and piano (2014)
- O'Hare, clarinet and piano (2014)
- Duo (chorals), clarinet and trombone (2017)
- Duo (nocturne), guitar and cello (2017)
- Duo (trombone), trombone and piano (2018)
- Martha's Vineyard, glockenspiel and piano (2018)
- Gaza, 2 instruments (2018)
- 2x Robert Creeley, soprano and piano (2009)
- Mirte, female voice and keyboard (1 performer) (2011)
- the heart's size, low (female) voice, piano (2011)
- Om zachtjes in jezelf te zeggen, voice (2012)
- And/or, voice (2012)
- ruht nicht aus, voice and instrument (2015)
- Depression (Herbeck), (female) voice and piano (2017)
- Duo (commonalities), 2 voices (2017)
- sex, clarinet, violin, viola (2006)
- Nov., string quartet (2006)
- sex (3), 5 voices (2007)
- 12x, 3 instruments (2011)
- 17x, clarinet and 2 instruments (2011)
- Avellino, soprano and ensemble (2012)
- St Paul, ensemble (2014)
- Bacherach, voice, violin and piano (2014)
- 3x (Antoine), flute, piano and ensemble (2015)
- Nov. (seven), ensemble (2016)
- Duo 1-5, ensemble (2017)
- Die Palmen von Beth-El, 4 performers (2018)
- the prayer's end, voice and ensemble (2015 / 2019)
- Marlene, Mercury Records (1998) (with The Scene)
- 1998, Pressure (1999) (with Thé Lau)
- Tom Johnson: Symmetries, Karnatic Lab Records (2006) (with Samuel Vriezen)
- cage.frey.vriezen.feldman.ayres.johnson manion, Edition Wandelweiser Records (2010)
- Jürg Frey: 24 Wörter, Edition Wandelweiser Records (2014) (with Regula Konrad & Andrew McIntosh)
- Dante Boon: clarinet (& piano), Another Timbre (2016) (with Jürg Frey)
- Düsseldorf recital, Rhizome.s (2017)
- beuger.boon.susam, Edition Wandelweiser Records (2018)
- hannesson.boon.philippakopoulos, Edition Wandelweiser Records (May 6, 2019)
- Barrett, G. Douglas (2011). "The Silent Network—The Music of Wandelweiser". Contemporary Music Review. 30 (6): 450. doi:10.1080/07494467.2011.676895.
- "a.pe.ri.od.ic and Dante Boon play Jurg Frey". Constellation. Retrieved 24 July 2017.
- "goings-on-about-town". The New Yorker. Retrieved 20 February 2018.
- "Dante Boon (Presented by Crow With No Mouth)". Studio Z, St Paul. Retrieved 24 July 2017.
- "Muziek op en rond de brandgrens". Rotterdam Festivals. September 3, 2010. Archived from the original on August 19, 2016. Retrieved 23 July 2017.
- "Performer's Kitchen Dante Boon". Quatuor Bozzini (E-mail). Retrieved 24 July 2017.
- "Hall of Fame". Zaal 100. Retrieved 20 July 2017.
- Albertson, Dan, ed. (2017). "Samuel Vriezen". The Living Composers Project. Retrieved 2017-07-27.
- "Piano Amsterdam". Duitsland Instituut Amsterdam. Retrieved 20 July 2017.
- "Philip Corner: Extreme Positions". New World Records. Retrieved 17 July 2017.
- "Platonic ID – Rozalie Hirs". Muziekweb. Centrale Discotheek Rotterdam. Retrieved 19 July 2017.
- Johnson, Evan (2006). "Tom Johnson's Symmetrical Universe". Sequenza21 (July 21, 2006). Retrieved 20 July 2017.. See also Vriezen, Samuel. "Symmetries". Retrieved 22 July 2017.
- "QUESTIONS – TOM JOHNSON". Maria de Alvear World Edition. Retrieved 20 July 2017.
- "cage.frey.vriezen.feldman.ayres.johnson manion". Edition Wandelweiser Records. Retrieved 24 July 2017.
- "Same or different (2004)". Editions 75. Retrieved 20 July 2017.
- Beerten, Katelijne; Daemen, Ward (2001). "Thé Lau – Wat was dat ook alweer met romantiek?". Enola. No. October 1, 2001. Retrieved 19 July 2017.
- "Summer Symphony Sessions on Tour". Wende. Retrieved 24 July 2017.
- "Open Arts 36. Ensemble Sisyphe". Open Arts. Retrieved 24 July 2017.
- "Rückblick". Wiener Tage der zeitgenössischen Klaviermusik. Retrieved 20 July 2017.
- "Prämierte CD, Klavier modern & 70er". ORF. Retrieved 20 July 2017.
- "Calendar 2012". Edition Wandelweiser. Retrieved 22 July 2017.
- Fraser, Paul. "Dog Star 9 Returns With Nine Concerts of Experimental Music". 24700. Retrieved 20 July 2017.
- "Dante Boon presents…". the wulf. Retrieved 20 July 2017.
- "Actrice Sytske van der Ster gaat trouwen". RTL Boulevard. Retrieved 24 July 2017.
- Eyles, John. "Dante Boon / Jürg Frey: Clarinet (& Piano)". All About Jazz. Retrieved 18 July 2017.
- Ross, Alex. "Nightafternight playlist". Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise. Retrieved 18 July 2017.
- Hamilton, Andy (2017). "Andy Hamilton on modern composition". The Wire. No. January 2017. p. 49. Retrieved 18 July 2017. (subscription required)
- "Interview with Dante Boon". Another Timbre. Retrieved 18 July 2017.
- Pisaro, Michael. "Program notes to 'Festival of Contemporary Dutch Music'" (PDF). REDCAT. Retrieved 23 July 2017.
- Muller, Paul. "Concert Review: es geht weiter". Sequenza21. Retrieved 18 July 2017.
- Rutherford-Johnson, Tim. "CD review: Irene Kurka: beten . prayer (Wandelweiser)". The Rambler. Retrieved 18 July 2017.
- Bräutigam, Uwe (2015). "Galerie der Töne – Armenische Wurzeln der Musik von Paul Motian". nrwjazz. No. May 12, 2015. Retrieved 20 July 2017.
- Fiumara, Anthony (2010). "Ruisende lyriek en pasteltinten". Trouw (August 9, 2010).
- Muller, Paul. "Music of Morton Feldman at Cal Arts". Sequenza21. Retrieved 18 July 2017.
- Andriessen, Mischa (2013). "Mooie zoektocht naar wortels van Motians muziek". Trouw (September 23, 2013). Retrieved 20 July 2017.
- Batzner, Jay. "Tom Johnson: Questions". Sequenza21. No. April 19, 2013. Retrieved 20 July 2017.
- "Best of 2018: 10 Memorable Musical Events". National Sawdust Log. Retrieved 28 December 2018.
- Olewnick, Brian. "Cage.Frey.Vriezen.Feldman.Ayres.Johnson Manion (Edition Wandelweiser)". Just outside. Retrieved 18 July 2017.
- Valkenburg, Jochem (2010). "Dante Boon: cage.frey.vriezen.feldman.ayres.johnson manion". NRC Handelsblad (24 september 2010). Retrieved 18 July 2017.
- Vriezen, Samuel (2010). cage.frey.vriezen.feldman.ayres.johnson manion (Liner notes). Dante Boon. Haan, Germany: Edition Wandelweiser Records. Retrieved 24 July 2017.
- Belorukov, Ilya. "Dante Boon: for clarinet (and piano) (Another Timbre)". syg.ma.
- Héraud, Julien. "Dante Boon - clarinet (& piano)". improv sphere. Retrieved 18 July 2017.
- Official website
- Dante Boon discography at Discogs
- Dante Boon at Edition Wandelweiser
- Interview with Dante Boon
- Profile of Dante Boon by Jesse Goin