Jacob ter Veldhuis (1951) began his career in rock music and studied composition and electronic music at the Groningen Conservatory, where he was awarded the Dutch Composition Prize in 1980. During the eighties he made a name for himself with melodious, heartfelt compositions; music that does not eschew effect and, without being sugary or contrived, gratifies the ear. Ter Veldhuis makes superb use of electronics, incorporating audio samples from the Gulf War, Chet Baker and the Jerry Springer Show. His popular CD Heartbreakers is a culourful mix of ‘high’ and ‘low’ culture. Long queues at the box office for the four-day Jacob ter Veldhuis Festival in Rotterdam in 2001 already attested to the growing popularity of this composer, both in the Netherlands and abroad.
His Guldrush Concerto, the Third String Quartet and several of his so called boombox pieces like Grab it! became hits, and various choreographers have been inspired by his music, like Hans van Manen and Nanine Linning, with whom he closely cooperated. A controversial figure in certain circles, Ter Veldhuis dares to stand up to what he calls the ‘washed-out avant garde’. He strives to liberate new music from its isulation by employing a direct, at times provocative idiom that spurns ‘the dissonant’, in Ter Veldhuis’ view a completely devalued means of musical expression. His ‘coming-out’ as a composer of ultra-tonal, mellifluous music reached its climax with the video oratorio Paradiso*, released in 2003 on dvd and cd by Chandos. At the Hulland Festival 2005, the premiere of …NOW…* by the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra received standing ovations.