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Welcome to the Official Website of
 J.M. Suijkerbuijk
composer | musicologist
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Biographical notes

Read biographical notes on the composer and find other mentions of the composer on the web

List of compositions

Browse through a comprehensive list of works and listen to recordings of a number of compositions

Contact us

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About J.M. Suijkerbuijk

born on November 29, 1959, in Munstergeleen, a village in the most southern province of Limburg, the Netherlands

About the composer


J.M. Suijkerbuijk taught himself to read music at the age of eleven and immediately started writing his own music.

At age eighteen he moved to Utrecht, to study musicology at the university of Utrecht with Marius Flothuis, Jos Kunst 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 language in which the pitch material is taken from a modal system based on overtones, which renders a form of tonal centre-based music that appears both alien and familiar.

Currently the composer lives and works in Geleen, a provincial town in the province of Limburg, the Netherlands.

About the music


The modal system that the composer developed for his compositorial language was applied for the first time 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 larger 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, Leo Samama conducting.

Since Perigæum he mainly wrote highly polyphonic orchestral works, among which seven symphonies, nine concert overtures and two symphoniettas, though smaller ensembles and chamber music gained more attention in later years. His musical language focusses heavily on the melodic aspect, whilst obfuscating rhythm and meter.

Most of his early works have gone lost.


Auxiliary notes

Due to health problems there is a compositorial gap between 1996 and 2009, in which only the opus 97, ‘Anticipation’ was completed (in 2001).

A trained pianist and a self-taught violinist, violist and guitarist, he is no longer performing publicly since 1996.

J.M. Suijkerbuijk is associated with the Stichting Limburgse Componisten (Foundation for Limburgian Composers).

He declines all prizes and awards on principle.

The family name 'Suijkerbuijk' is also written as 'Suykerbuyk'.

External links

More information on J.M. Suijkerbuijk elsewhere on the world wide web.

International Music Score Library Project - compositions in the Petrucci Music Library
link: imslp.org

Muziekencyclopedie - entry in the Dutch music encyclopedia by Beeld en Geluid
link: muziekencyclopedie.nl

Music Encyclopedia - entry in the English music encyclopedia by Beeld en Geluid
link: en.muziekencyclopedie.nl

Online Computer Library Center - identity in the World Library Catalog
link: worldcat.org

Virtual International Authority File
link: viaf.org

Stichting Limburgse Componisten - page at the Limburgian Composers’ Foundation
link: limburgsecomponisten.nl

Entry in the Dutch Wikipedia
link: wikipedia.nl

Entry in the German Wikipedia
link: wikipedia.de

Music by the composer on YouTube
link: youtube.com

Music by the composer on SoundCloud
link: soundcloud.com

list of compositions

Below is a comprehensive list of works by J.M. Suijkerbuijk.
Click a category to filter the list accordingly.

Sinfonischer Satz opus 144

for orchestra
2fl 2ob 3clar 3bsn 4hrn 3trp 2trb b-tb timp perc xyl/vibr harp pf/cel str [2019]
Published by JMS

Groteske opus 142

for orchestra
2fl 2ob 2clar 2bsn 3hrn 2trp 3trb timp pf str [2019]
Published by JMS

Ein unbedeutsames Lied opus 140

for violoncello-solo and small orchestra
2fl ob 2clar bsn vibr pf str [2019]
Published by JMS

Nachtmusik I opus 139

for small orchestra
2fl 2ob 3clar bsn hrn str [2019]
Published by JMS

Une Naïade batifole opus 138

a bucolic tableau for orchestra
3fl 3ob 3clar 3bsn 4hrn timp trgl cel 2harp str [2018]
Published by JMS

Die Beiden opus 136

after the poem by Hugo von Hofmannsthal
2fl 3ob 2clar 2bsn 2hrn harp str [2019]
Published by JMS

Briefe an R. opus 135

five sketches for violin and piano
vl pf [2019]

  1. Leicht bewegte Achtel
  2. Sehr ruhige Viertel
  3. Mäßig bewegt
  4. Sehr frei
  5. Mit verhaltenem Ausdruck

N.B. There are three alternative versions of the last part provided of which only one is to be executed as suitable with the interpretation of the composition.
Published by JMS

Dämmerung opus 134

for violin solo and large orchestra after the eponymous poem by Else Lasker-Schüler
3fl 3ob 4clar 2bsn 4hrn 3trp 2trb b-tb timp 2harp vl-solo str [2019]

Minnesang opus 133

camaïeu №.6 for violoncello solo and small orchestra
2fl 2ob 2clar 2bsn 2hrn 2trb timp vlc-solo str [2017]
Published by JMS

Hälfte des Lebens opus 132

concert overture №.9 for large orchestra after Friedrich Hölderlin
3fl 3ob 3clar 3bsn 4hrn 3trp 3trb timp vibr perc harp str [2019]
Published by JMS

Du schlank und rein wie eine flamme opus 131

camaïeu №.8 for violin solo and orchestra on the eponymous poem by Stefan George
2fl 3ob 3clar 2bsn 4hrn 2trp 3trb timp glcksp tub-b vibr cel harp vl-solo str [2019]
Published by JMS

Zum Einschlafen zu sagen opus 130

camaïeu №.5 on the eponymous poem by Rainer Maria Rilke
2fl 2ob 2clar 3bsn 4hrn trp timp perc cel harp str [2016]
Published by JMS

Widmung opus 129

camaïeu №.7 for chamber orchestra
fl ob clar bsn hrn str [2018]
Published by JMS

Albumblätter opus 128

for violin and piano
vl pf [2019]

  1. Anlass
  2. In jenem Sommer
  3. Das Nachhinein

Published by JMS

Drei Rilke-Lieder opus 127

three songs on texts by Rainer Maria Rilke for mezzo-soprano and piano
mezzo (voice) pf [2014]

  1. Alle, welche dich suchen
  2. Du, der ich's nicht sage
  3. Ach, nicht getrennt sein

Published by JMS

Serenata opus 126

five musics for clarinet quartet
4clar [2018]

  1. Introduttivo - Con eleganza; attacca
  2. Notturnino - Melancolico
  3. Intermezzo - Espressivo; attacca
  4. Scherzetto - Brioso
  5. Finale - Dolcemente mosso. Frettolosamente

Published by JMS

parts three and four: Intermezzo - Espressivo, attacca: Scherzetto - brioso

Traînées de Nuages dans un Ciel étoilé opus 125

four musical moments for violin and piano
vl pf [2013]

  1. Molto tranquillo
  2. Tenebroso
  3. A dondolo
  4. Calmo, cullando

Published by JMS

L’Indimenticabile opus 124

a declaration of love for orchestra
3fl 3ob 3clar 3bsn 4hrn 3trp 3trb b-tb timp vibr perc cel harp pf str [2016]
Published by JMS

Quis sustinebit opus 123

considerations on the 130th psalm
organ [2017]
Commissioned by Stichting Orgelkring Kerkrade and Stichting Limburgse Componisten
Published by JMS

Idyll einer Kindheit opus 121

camaïeu №.9 for chamber orchestra
fl ob clar bsn hrn harp str [2019]
Published by JMS

Night comes with soft and drowsy plumes opus 120

for orchestra
2fl 2ob 3clar 2bsn 4hrn 3trp 3trb timp vibr cel harp str [2019]
Published by JMS

Notte d’Inverno opus 119

a simple landscape for small orchestra
fl 2ob 2clar 2bsn 2hrn trb str [2013]
Published by JMS

Sfogliando una Margherita opus 118

a small serenade for thirteen instruments
2fl 2ob 2clar bsn pf harp 2vl vla vlc [2012]
Published by JMS

Nel Giardino ombreggiato opus 117

a tableau for violin and piano
vl pf [2015]
Published by JMS

Naenia opus 116

a lament for orchestra
2fl 3ob 3clar 2bsn 2hrn 2trp timp perc glcksp harp str [2010]
Published by JMS

Je te vois, Rose opus 115

poem for small orchestra after R.M. Rilke
2fl 2ob 3clar bsn 2hrn harp str [2013]
Published by JMS

Danza dei Pensieri fugaci opus 114

3fl 2ob 3clar 2bsn 4hrn 3trb timp perc cel harp str [2011]
Published by JMS

Die Stille opus 113

symphonic poem after R.M. Rilke
3fl 3ob 4clar 3bsn 4hrn 3trp 3trb b-tb timp perc cel harp str [2013]
Published by JMS

Scène de Ballet opus 112

a tableau for orchestra
2fl 3ob 3clar 2bsn 2hrn 2trp timp perc pf harp str [2011]
Published by JMS

L’Aube sur le Jardin des Fantasmes opus 111

symphonic poem for violin solo and orchestra
4fl 3ob 4clar 3bsn 4hrn 3trp 3trb b-tb timp perc cel harp vl-solo str [2012]
Published by JMS

Plainte opus 110

an epilog for chamber orchestra
2fl 2ob 2clar 2bsn 2hrn str [2017]
Published by JMS

ninna nanna per i non nati opus 109

a nenia for soprano and violin-solo
soprano (voice) vl-solo [2010]
Text by the composer based on traditional Italian lullabies.
Published in the Petrucci Music Library

I Loved Thee opus 107

poem for small orchestra after A.S. Pushkin
2fl 2ob 2clar 2bsn 2hrn timp tamt harp str [2011]
Published by JMS

Mélodie langoureuse opus 106

fl org [2012]
Published by JMS

Ubi sunt opus 105

fl vibr 2vl vla vlc [2010]
N.B. “Ubi sunt” is part of “Klinkend Changement”, a collaborative project initiated and commissioned by Stichting Limburgse Componisten.
Published by Donemus/MCN

Symphony №. 6 ‘Ad augusta per angusta’ opus 104

2fl 2ob 2clar 2bsn 4hrn 2trp 3trb timp perc harp 2vl-solo str [2011]

  1. Lacrimosa
  2. Sursum Corda

Published by JMS

first movement: Lacrimosa for harp and strings only

La Donna nello Specchio opus 103

a tableau for piano quartet
vl vla vlc pf [2011]
Published in the Petrucci Music Library

Frames from a Childhood opus 102

eight bagatelles for piano
pf [2009]

  1. Rain on a Doll House Window
  2. Hopscotch along the Way
  3. Lulling a sorry Doll
  4. Romping on the Lawn
  5. Pareidolia
  6. Anger and Anxiety over a lost Marble
  7. Flying with the Butterflies
  8. When the Storybook closes

Published in the Petrucci Music Library

Scene da una Barriera Corallina opus 101

an impromptu on colours, lights and motions for piano
pf [2009]
Published in the Petrucci Music Library

A Garland of Dandelions opus 100

a tableau for wind decet
2fl 2ob 2clar 2bsn 2hrn [2011]
Published in the Petrucci Music Library

Ulalume opus 99

a ballad for piano after Edgar Allen Poe
pf [2009]
Published in the Petrucci Music Library

Symphony №. 5 ‘Geschichte aus Dodona’ opus 98

2fl 2ob 2clar 2bsn 4hrn 3trp 3trb timp harp pf vl-solo vla-solo vlc-solo str [2010]

  1. Grave
  2. Poco mosso
  3. Oscuro

Based on motives and fragments from the opera “Geschichte aus Dodona”. The composer has been writing on the opera between 1986 and 1991, but left it unfinished. Although most of the music other than the fragments used in this symphony has gone lost, the libretto [in German, by the composer after Gaius Valerius Catullus] has been preserved.

first movement: Grave

Anticipation opus 97

a tableau for 17 players
fl clar timp xyl mar vibr cel hrp pf 4vl 2vla 2vlc cb [2001]
Published in the Petrucci Music Library

Vesnyanka II opus 96

for string quartet
2vl vla vlc [...]
N.B. It is not known where the score of the first “Vesnyanka” for string quartet can be found. Further details are unknown and/or unconfirmed.

Ten Miniatures opus 95

reminiscences and reflections for piano
pf [2009]

  1. Moderato
  2. Semplice a sianato, molto calma
  3. Grazioso
  4. Appassionato Tempo di 'Valzer'
  5. Delicato e un poco triste
  6. Allegretto scherzando
  7. Lento e caldo
  8. Dolce ed amoroso, molto rubato
  9. Drammatico
  10. Affettuoso e prudente

Published in the Petrucci Music Library

Duma - Chto mne delat’ opus 94

asax org [1992]
N.B. Some sources list a Concerto for Oboe and small Orchestra as opus 94. A copy of the score of this concerto has last been seen in the possession of oboist Myron Zakopets, Lviv, Ukraine. Further details are unknown and/or unconfirmed.
Published by JMS

Vesnyanka III opus 93

for clarinet sextet or ensemble
6clar [1996]
Published by Molenaar Edition BV

Songs and Dances opus 92

six short airs and dance songs for the classroom
fl ob clar bsn [1995]

  1. Deciso
  2. Allegro moderato
  3. Comodo
  4. Calmo
  5. Lento
  6. Allegretto

N.B. There are also arrangements by the composer for clarinet quartet and saxophone quartet, all published by Tierolff muziekcentrale.
Commissioned by Stichting Limburgse Componisten
Published by Tierolff muziekcentrale

Allegro Deciso opus 91

asax org [1992]

Toccata-Etude opus 90

pf [1991]
Revised 2009
Published in the Petrucci Music Library

Nacht opus 89

picc fl ob bsn 6clar 3sax 2trp 2hrn flglhrn 2trb ten-tb b-tb barytone (voice) timp glcksp tub-b perc [1983]
Text by Georg Büchner.

N.B. Some sources list “Nacht” as opus 90 and an unfinished opera, “Geschichte aus Dodona”, as opus 89. From this opera only the libretto and the fragments used in Symphony №.5 [see below] have been preserved. From a first projected opera, “Feuille de Chétif” [libretto in French by Hub Hoedemakers after J.R.R. Tolkien], nothing is retrieved thus far.

Vier Noveletten opus 88

pf [1987]

  1. Pesenka
  2. Pribautka
  3. Skaz
  4. Plyaska

N.B. The third piece of Vier Noveletten, “Skaz”, dates back to 1979. This short polyphonic piece is of particular interest since it is the first piece in which the composer brought the new tonal centre-based system into practice.
Published by Leymborgh muziekuitgaven

Choreograffiti opus 87a

arrangement for orchestra of the opus 87
2fl 2ob 2clar 2bsn 2hrn trp harp str [1991]

Choreograffiti opus 87

a choreographic phantasy for string orchestra
solo-vl 9vl 5vla 4vlc 2cb [1988]
Revised 2010
Published by Donemus/MCN

Het Gevecht met de Nachtegalen opus 86

camaïeu №.4
2fl 2ob 2clar 2bsn 2hrn 2trp perc vibr harp str [1983]

Glyptique opus 85

camaïeu №.3
4fl 4ob 4clar 4bsn 4hrn 2trp 4trb cel harp str [1983]

Zwerversliefde opus 84

concert aria №.3
picc fl ob bsn 6clar 3sax 2trp 2hrn flglhrn 2trb 2ten-tb b-tb barytone (voice) timp vibr perc [1984]
Text by Adriaan Roland Holst.

Konzertsatz für Violine und Kleines Orchester opus 82

3fl 2ob 3clar 2bsn 2hrn trp trb vibr harp vl-solo str [1983]

Lueur Tamisante opus 81

camaïeu №.2 for small orchestra
2fl 2ob 3clar bsn 2hrn trp trb timp perc vibr harp str [1983]

Eleonore opus 79

concert overture №.8
4fl 4ob 5clar 4bsn 4hrn 4trp 4trb timp perc glcksp vibr cel harp str [1983]

L’Exsudance de l’Amour Exempt opus 78

concert overture №.7
4fl 4ob 5clar sax-t 4bsn 4hrn 3trp 4trb b-tb timp perc vibr harp pf (off stage mixed choir) str [1981]

Camaïeu opus 77

4fl 4ob 4clar 4bsn 4hrn 2trp 4trb b-tb perc mar vibr cel harp str [1982]

Symphony №.2 ‘Ainulindalë’ opus 76

3fl 3ob 4clar sax-a 3bsn 4hrn 3trp 3trb b-tb timp perc mand cel/pf harp str [1981]

Sleep of Yavanna opus 75

2nd symphonietta
3fl 3ob 4clar sax-a 3bsn 4hrn 3trp 3trb b-tb timp perc vibr str [1982]

  1. Destruction of the Lamps of the Valar
  2. The Sleep I Middle Earth only lit by Stars
  3. Life in Doriath and the North
  4. The Sleep II Waiting for the Return of Light
  5. The Rising of the Moon and the Sun

The Usher Resurrection opus 74

concert overture №.5
2fl 3ob 3clar sax-a 2bsn 4hrn 2trp 2trb timp perc mar/glcksp pf harp str [1980]
Opus 73 and 74 combined form the “Usher-symphony” in two movements.

The Fall of the House of Usher opus 73

2fl 3ob 3clar sax-a 2bsn 4hrn 2trp 2trb timp perc mar pf harp str [1979]
Opus 73 and 74 combined form the “Usher-symphony” in two movements.

Tædium Vitæ opus 72

concert overture №.6
3fl 3ob 4clar sax-a 3bsn 4hrn 3trp 3trb b-tb timp perc vibr pf harp str [1981]

Threnos opus 71

a katharsis for wind band
picc fl ob 4clar 2sax bsn 3hrn tentb flglhrn 2trp 3trb b-tb timp perc [1982]

Melyanna opus 70

symphonietta
2fl 2ob 3clar sax-a 3bsn 4hrn 2trp 2trb b-tb timp perc pf harp str [...]

  1. Lento espressivo
  2. Largo mesto

The Sophomoric Resuscitated opus 69

concert overture №.4
2fl 2ob 2clar 2bsn 4hrn 2trp 2trb timp perc xyl pf str [1981]

Nachtgewächse opus 68

“Dem Andenken Schönbergs” (im memory of Schoenberg)
alto-fl ob 2clar 2sax bsn 2hrn trp trb perc cel harp contralto (voice) [1981]

  1. Nachtfarben
  2. Nachtgesang [text: Eduard Möricke]
  3. Nachklänge
  4. Mondschatten
  5. Gedanken [text: Eduard Möricke]
  6. Morgengrauen

Spleen opus 67

concert overture №.3
2fl 3ob 3clar 2sax 3bsn 4hrn 2trp trb timp perc vibr pf harp str [1980]

Ligeia opus 66

concert overture №.2
4fl 3ob 5clar 3bsn 8hrn 3trp 3trb b-tb perc clav guit str [1979]

Four Erotic Verses opus 65

3fl 3ob 4clar 3bsn 4hrn 3trp 3trb b-tb timp perc pf/cel harp barytone (voice) str [1981]

  1. Making Love [ text: Paulus ]
  2. Generosity [ text: Rufinus ]
  3. Refreshment [ text: Asklepiades ]
  4. Alexis [ text: Meleager ]

Pantomime opus 64

concert overture №.1
2fl 2ob 2clar 2bsn 2hrn 2trp vibr perc cel harp str [1980]

Perigæum opus 63

4fl 4ob 6clar 4sax bsn hrn 3trp 2trb b-tb cb [1981]

Das Reale Leiden opus 62

“Ein Wiegenlied für Lady Macbeth” (a lullaby for Lady Macbeth)
3fl 4ob 4clar sax-a 4bsn 4hrn 3trp 3trb b-tb perc vibr pf harp contralto (voice) vl-solo str [1982]
Text by the composer, based on Friedrich Hölderlin.

Carmen opus 61

fl 3clar 3bsn 3hrn 3trb str [1982]

Romance opus 60

fl 2ob 2clar 2bsn 3hrn 2trb b-trb b-tb timp perc harp fl-solo str [1980]


  •   

    What makes life bearable despite existential awareness is the knowledge that we have the power to imagine life without the regrets we own and will yet gain. Music is one of the best instruments available to help us generate that power. Yes, to even obliviate the inherent shackles of our thrownness for a blissful moment.
    J.M. Suijkerbuijk
    composer/musicologist
  • Too much music —or any piece of art, for that matter— relies on the process of creation and the theory behind it for its raison d'être. But if the work doesn't speak to the heart, who should care for the grammar? The legitimacy of a work of art lies within itself, not within the creator or his methods of creation.
    J.M. Suijkerbuijk
    composer/musicologist

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