Wim Henderickx (1962-2022)

Mon, Dec 19, 2022

Preview Wim Henderickxportret1 22 BEK Filip Van Roe

On Sunday afternoon 18 December 2022, composer Wim Henderickx died unexpectedly at home at the age of 60. His importance to Flemish as well as international musical life can hardly be overestimated. His connection with our house was also special. Over the years, he composed Achilleus (a youth opera), Requiem (his adaptation of Fauré for the performance of the same name by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui) and recently De Bekeerlinge, his grand opera that premiered this spring. Always notable in this was Wim's openness: to other musical influences, to new audiences, to other opinions.... But above all, he was full of warmth, energy and passion: a composer and a man out of a thousand who inspired a whole generation of musicians and brought contemporary classical music close to the people like no other. That is what he lived for, that is what he planned ceaselessly.

Besides being a gifted composer, Wim was also a percussionist and taught at the conservatories of Antwerp and Amsterdam. Above all, he was probably the most enthusiastic artist Flanders ever had - his commitment to the various communities, to young artists and his open view of the world made him unique.

Wim Henderickx studied composition and percussion at the Royal Conservatoires of Antwerp (AP Hogeschool) and sonology at Ircam in Paris and at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague.

In his compositions, Wim drew inspiration from many cultures. He wrote works for opera, music theatre, orchestra, choir, wind orchestra and chamber music. Electronics often have an important place in his work. Between 2004 and 2010, he worked on his Tantric Cycle. Commissioned by the Queen Elisabeth Competition, he composed Canzone for voice and piano, for the semi-finals in 2008. In 2016, Blossomings for choir, trumpet and electronics was premiered at LSO St Luke's in London with the BBC Singers, Marco Blaauw and conductor Martyn Brabbins. Requiem he created for Opera Ballet Vlaanderen in 2017 in collaboration with choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui. His Cello Concerto (Sangita) premiered with Jean-Guihen Queyras and the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra at the Cello Biennale in Amsterdam, and Enigma VII for orchestra premiered at the Royal Albert Hall in London in 2019. Songs of Nature received an online world premiere at the 2021 Klara Festival, a live premiere in Shanghai in China, and in 2022 this production won the Chinese GanLan Art Award.

Wim was house composer at Muziektheater Transparant since 1996, where he realised numerous musical theatre works and gained international recognition. In 2013, Wim Henderickx became artist in residence with the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra. He was also in residence at HERMESensemble. He was the inspirer of Soundmine, Musica Impulscentrum's summer course for young composers.

In May 2022, his opera De Bekeerlinge (The Convert) premiered at Opera Ballet Vlaanderen in Antwerp and became the most successful contemporary production at this opera house in more than 20 years. This production can still be seen at the Opera de Rouen later this season and was featured on OperaVision.eu until December 2022.

Wim was still brimming with plans.

Because we are convinced that very many people have fond memories of Wim and his music, we are opening a mourning register, which can be signed at the box office in Antwerp and Ghent.

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