Biography

Coen Schenk (Netherlands, 1981) initially studied interior design after completing high school. In 2002 he turned to composition. He studied at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague, where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree.

In 2009 he furthered his studies by following the two-year Master program at the Academy of Music and Drama in Gothenburg, Sweden. Currently Coen lives and work in Amsterdam.

Coen’s work so far contains compositions for solo piano, percussion, chamber music and big ensembles. His pieces are performed at festivals and concerts throughout the UK, Norway, Sweden and the Netherlands.

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“I am particularly interested in the spatial aspect of sound as well as the cultural aspect of music.

Sound is a spatial given. Sounds can be placed before and after each other, overlapping, simultaneously, far away or near. Within the compositional process this means that sounds are not just placed one after another but can also be placed in depth. The idea that sound occurs in space has a profound influence on my way of composing and thinking about music.

Music is a cultural given. Throughout history many ideas and views on the structure and interpretation of music have been recorded. Often presented as rules, these ideas and views are for me not fixed but rather, they are quite fluid. Playing and experimenting with these givens is part of my musical language.

The topics that I choose for my compositions derive from these two ways of thinking about music.”