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Micha Hamel

Composer and librettist

Micha Hamel (Amsterdam, 1970) is a composer, poet, theatre-maker and researcher. His concert music was performed by almost all major Dutch orchestras and ensembles.

He also composed music for dance and theatre, such as for the Dutch National Ballet (in collaboration with Toer van Schayk) and the National Theatre (in collaboration with Hans Croiset). In 2008 his tragic operetta Snow White (Dutch travel opera) toured the country with great success. In June 2012 he was Composer in focus at the Holland Festival, for which he composed two full-length works: a Requiem for our ideal of civilisation, and an interdisciplinary performance inspired by George Hendrik Breitner's painting The Red Kimono. In 2014 his full-length melodrama Een pure formaliteit (theatre group Orkater) was praised, and the performance reached a large audience. As conductor and programmer, Micha Hamel was particularly committed to pushing the boundaries in concert practice. He conducted many world premieres with the leading ensembles for contemporary music in the Netherlands, and between 2001 and 2016 he conducted the classical and romantic repertoire with orchestras in Turin, Florence, Udine and Bergamo (Italy). He has also been artistic director of an orchestra twice, namely the Noordhollands Philharmonisch Orkest and the Magogo Kamerorkest, once during a music festival (De Nederlandse Muziekdagen), as well as conductor-coach for three seasons in the AvroTros programme 'Maestro', which introduces Dutch celebrities to classical music in a cheerful way.

In the professional field he regularly participates in debates and think tanks that deal with developments in music practice. He also coaches various young artists. He published five collections of poems, of which 'Alle enen opgeteld' was awarded the 'Lucy B. and C.W. van der Hoogt-prijs', and 'Bewegend doel' was awarded the Jan Campertprijs. His most recent collection of poems, 'When it had to be', stood out for its unconventional typographies and imaginative approach to language. He also makes poetic experiences for Virtual Reality in collaboration with animation artist Demian Albers (studio Apvis, Breda). These installations stand at many festivals for technology, contemporary art and literature and attract a diverse audience.

Since 2010 Micha Hamel has been lecturer 'Performance Practice' at Codarts University, Rotterdam, where he researches necessary and new possible developments in concert practice. The research report of his first research appeared under the title 'Playroom' for classical music in the 21st century. He is currently investigating whether gamification is a way of involving the public in classical music in a qualitative way. This interdisciplinary project is called GAMPSISS, and is a collaboration between TU Delft, Erasmus University, Codarts University and the Willem de Kooning Academy. Since January 2015 he is a member of the Academy of Arts of the KNAW. From 2016-2017 he was a guest lecturer at Utrecht University, with the Masters in Neerlandistiek and Literature Today. Caruso a Cuba is his debut at the National Opera.