Johan de Meij

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Johannes Abraham (Johan) de Meij (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈjohɑn dʏ ˈmɛi], born November 23, 1953, Voorburg) is a Dutch conductor, trombonist, and composer, best known for his Symphony No. 1, nicknamed "The Lord of the Rings" symphony.[1]


Dutch composer and conductor Johan de Meij (Voorburg, 1953) received his musical training at the Royal Conservatory of Music in The Hague, where he studied trombone and conducting. His award-winning oeuvre of original compositions, symphonic transcriptions and film score arrangements has garnered him international acclaim and have become permanent fixtures in the repertoire of renowned ensembles throughout the world. His Symphony No. 1, The Lord of the Rings was awarded the prestigious Sudler Composition Prize and has been recorded by myriad ensembles including The London Symphony Orchestra, The North Netherlands Orchestra, The Nagoya Philharmonic and The Amsterdam Wind Orchestra. His Symphony No. 2, The Big Apple, Symphony No. 3, Planet Earth, Symphony No. 4, Sinfonie der Lieder as well as his solo concertos, T-Bone Concerto (trombone), UFO Concerto (euphonium) and Casanova (cello) have been enthusiastically received at many of the world’s finest venues.

Before devoting his time exclusively to composing and conducting, Johan de Meij enjoyed a successful professional career as a trombone and euphonium player, performing with major orchestras and ensembles in The Netherlands. He is in high demand as a guest conductor and lecturer, frequently invited to speak about and perform his own works. He currently maintains posts with both the New York Wind Symphony and the Kyushu Wind Orchestra in Fukuoka, Japan as their principal guest conductor. He was also appointed regular guest conductor of the Simón Bolívar Youth Wind Orchestra in Caracas, Venezuela – part of the celebrated Venezuelan educational system El Sistema. He is founder and CEO of his own publishing company Amstel Music, established in 1989.

When not traveling, Johan divides his time between his Hudson Valley home and Manhattan apartment with his wife and muse Dyan and their dog Alice.

Works (incomplete)[edit]

  • 1979 Patchwork for brass sextet
  • 1984-1988 Symphony No. 1 "The Lord of the Rings"
    1. Gandalf
    2. Lothlórien
    3. Gollum
    4. Journey in the Dark (The Mines of Moria - The Bridge of Khazad-Dûm)
    5. Hobbits
  • 1988 Loch Ness - A Scottish Fantasy
    1. The Lake At Dawn
    2. Slowly
    3. Inverness
    4. Storm
    5. Conclusion
  • 1989 Aquarium opus 5
    1. Allegretto grazioso (Neon Tetra, Electric Eel and Angelfish)
    2. Andante / Adagio (Sea Horse and Zebrafish)
    3. Finale: Allegro giocoso (Guppy & Co.)
  • 1993 Symphony No. 2 "The Big Apple" (A New York Symphony)
    1. Skyline - Allegro assai
    2. Interlude - Times Square Cadenza
    3. Gotham - Largamente, allegro agitato e nervoso
  • 1995 Polish Christmas Music- Part 1
    • based on the Polish Christmas carols Poklon Jezusowi; Mizerna, cicha; Aniol pasterzom mówil; Gdy sliczna Panna and Jam jest dudka
  • 1995 Jazz Suite No.2 (of Dmitri Shostakovich) Classical transcription for symphonic/fanfare band
    1. March
    2. Lyric Waltz
    3. Dance I
    4. Dance II
    5. Waltz no. 2
    6. Final
  • 1996 T-Bone Concerto for trombone and concert band
    1. Rare
    2. Medium
    3. Well done
  • 1997 Continental Overture
  • 1998 La Quintessenza
    1. Introduzione
    2. Capriccio
    3. Arioso
    4. Alla Marcia
  • 2000 Casanova for cello solo and symphonic wind orchestra
    1. Prologo – Il Tema di Messer Grande
    2. Cadenza – Attos di Presentazione
    3. La Vita a Corte
    4. L'Arresto di Casanova
    5. Reminiscenze
    6. L'Evasione dai Piombi
    7. M.M. e C.C.
    8. Finale e Stretto: Il Trionfo dell'Amore
  • 2002 The Venitian Collection
    1. Voice of Space (La Voix des Airs)
    2. The Red Tower (La Torre Rossa)
    3. Magic Garden (Zaubergarten)
    4. Empire of Light (L'Empire des Lumières)
  • Klezmer Classics for wind orchestra
    1. Mazltov
    2. Dem Trisker Rebn’s Nign
    3. Lomir Sich Iberbetn
    4. Chosidl
    5. Ma Yofus
  • The Wind in the Willows
    1. The River
    2. Ratty and Mole
    3. Mister Toad
    4. The Return of Ulysses
  • 2005 Extreme Make-over
    • Testpiece for the European Brass Band Contest 2005, Groningen-NL.
  • 2006 Symphony No. 3 "Planet Earth"
    1. Lonely Planet
    2. Planet Earth
    3. Mother Earth
  • 2006 Windy City Overture - commissioned by the Northshore Concert Band
  • 2007 Canticles for Bass Trombone and Wind Orchestra
  • 2007 Festive Hymn
  • 2008 Dutch Masters Suite
    1. The Night Watch (after Rembrandt van Rijn)
    2. The Love Letter (after Johannes Vermeer)
    3. Prince’s Day (after Jan Steen)
  • 2010 Spring - Overture for Wind Orchestra
  • 2010 At Kitty O'Sheas (Irish Folk Song Suite)
  • 2011 Cloud Factory
  • 2012 UFO Concerto for Euphonium
  • 2012 Extreme Beethoven - commissioned by The World Music Contest (WMC) in Kerkrade
  • 2013 Symphony No. 4 "Sinfonie der Lieder"
  1. Ein Jahr is nun geschwunden (text by Friedrich Rückert)
  2. Wenn zur Tür herein (Rückert)
  3. Wiedersehn (Rückert)
  4. Zwei Brüder (Heinrich Heine)
  5. Vorfrühling (Hugo von Hofmannsthal)
  6. Liedchen des Harlekin (Hofmannsthal)


  1. ^ Carson, William S. (October 2003). On the Path to Excellence: The Northshore Concert Band : Paynter, Buehlman, and Beyond. Hal Leonard Corporation. pp. 196–. ISBN 9781574630275. Retrieved 9 August 2012. 

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