CD Spotlight. A Very Joyous Disc - Brahms arranged by Kenneth Woods impresses Alice McVeigh. '... this is an excellent performance representing a useful, joyful and even inspired addition to the orchestral repertoire.'
(Previous sponsored features returning soon.)
Dutch conductor and conducting teacher Jan Stulen was born in Amsterdam on 7 January 1942. He learnt piano, organ and theory with Willem Vogel from the age of six, and studied at the Amsterdam Conservatory (1960-64), where he conducted his first public concert in 1961.
He began his career as a repetiteur with Münster City Opera from 1964, working there as a conductor from 1966, then as assistant to the artistic director and finally deputy director.
From 1970 he was chief conductor of the Nederlands Ballet Orkest (now called 'Holland Symfonia'). After that he was musical director of the Nederlands Danstheater. From 1972 he took many guest directorships - at the Edinburgh Festival, the New Opera Orchestra in London, the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra, the Residentie Orkest in Den Haag, and at the Monte Carlo Opera Orchestra.
From 1976 until 1992 he was conductor of the Amsterdam Promenade Orkest and the Netherlands Radio Symphony Orchestra, and he also worked with other broadcasting orchestras, including Westdeutcher Rundfunk Orchestra in Cologne and at the Südwestrundfunk in Baden-Baden, and many other positions throughout Europe, including (from 1997) being the first guest conductor of the State Philharmonic Orchestra and Philharmonic Choir in Cluj-Napoca, Romania.
From 1988 he was head of the orchestra department at the Conservatory of Maastricht, and was the conservatory's artistic director from 1993 until 2002. From 2003 he was orchestral director at the Rotterdam Conservatory. He wrote The Tao of Conducting (2013, in Dutch).
Jan Stulen died suddenly on 22 July 2017, aged seventy-five, whilst on holiday in Germany.