J.M. Suijkerbuijk

In the end, though, it is entirely irrelevant which theoretical framework is used to create a piece of music. When the music doesn’t speak to the heart, one should not care for the grammar."J.M. Suijkerbuijk

Biographical Notes

Born on November 29, 1959, in Munstergeleen, a small village in Limburg, the most southern province of the Netherlands. Currently living in the nearby town Geleen.

J.M. Suijkerbuijk taught himself to read and write music at the age of eleven. Advised to by a high school teacher, his parents allowed him to follow private piano lessons from age fourteen through eighteen.

He then studied musicology at the university of Utrecht [1978-84] with Marius Flothuis, Jos Kunst, Gyula Véber, Willem Elders and Kees Vellekoop, amongst others, graduating with a thesis on the relationship between Alban Berg’s violin concerto and Ferruccio Busoni’s Berceuse Elégiaque.

As a student, J.M. Suijkerbuijk developed his own compositorial technique: a modal system based on harmonics, which renders a form of ‘tonality’ [or rather: tonal centre-based music] that appears both alien and familiar. This modal system was first formulated in a short piece for piano, later published as part three, Skaz, of Vier Noveletten, opus 88.

The opus 63, Perigæum, for large wind ensemble, was the first large scale composition in this new technique to be performed before an audience. The world premiere was given on December 11, 1981 by the Utrecht Wind Ensemble, conducted by Leo Samama.

Since Perigæum he mainly wrote highly polyphonic orchestral works, among which six symphonies, ten concert overtures and two symphoniettas, though smaller ensembles and chamber music received more and more attention in later years.

J.M. Suijkerbuijk declines all prizes and awards on principle.

Most of his early works have gone lost.

The name Suijkerbuijk is also written Suykerbuyk. Between 1975 and 1986 he used the nom de plume Joh.M.A. Wollf.


Stichting Limburgse Componisten (SLC)

J.M. Suijkerbuijk is affiliated with the Stichting Limburgse Componisten (Foundation of Limburgian Composers), a collective of composers with a special connection to the Dutch province of Limburg.

Stichting Limburgse Componisten
© 2013 by J.M. Suijkerbuijk — All rights reserved.
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