Johan De Meij was educated at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague, as a student of band conducting and the trombone. He gained a reputation after graduation as a skilled arranger of both popular and classical music, but it was his work as a composer that brought him his widest recognition, beginning in 1988 with his Symphony No. 1 "The Lord of the Rings", written for symphonic band and inspired by the Lord of the Rings literary trilogy of J. R.Read more R. Tolkien. First performed in Brussels on March 15, 1988, it later won the first prize, from among 143 entries, in the Sudler International Band Composition Competition in Chicago in 1989, and the following year was awarded a grant from the Dutch Composers Fund. As one of a relatively handful of serious music works inspired by the Lord of the Rings literary trilogy, the piece quickly achieved a following beyond the boundaries of the classical music audience. De Meij's next few works were smaller in scale, including the symphonic poem Loch Ness, written for the International Festival in Uster, Switzerland, and Pentagram, commissioned by the Frysk Fanfare Festival in 1990. He returned to the symphonic idiom in the early 1990's with his Symphony No. 2 "The Big Apple" (A New York Symphony), which was commissioned and premiered by the United States Air Force Band in Washington, D.C. His most recent compositions include the T-Bone Concerto for solo trombone and wind orchestra, and the miniature suite Madurodam. As a performer, De Meij spent fourteen years as a member of the Dutch Brass Sextet, and plays both trombone and euphonium in the Amsterdam Wind Orchestra. He has also been a guest conductor of his own works-of which the two symphonies are the most easily available and widely recorded-in the United States, Japan, western Europe, and South America. Read less
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