(b The Hague, 7 Sept 1952). Dutch composer. He attended the Hague Conservatory, where he studied organ with Wim van Beek, composition with van Vlijmen and music theory with van Dijk, and where he was also introduced to electronic music. After studying with Klaus Huber in Freiburg, he taught music theory at the Hague Conservatory (1978–84) and composition at the Rotterdam Conservatory (since 1982). Since 1990 he has been promoting 20th-century music in Rotterdam, including concerts at De Doelen concert hall and the project ‘The Unanswered Question’ in De Unie Hall, in which the work of young composers is combined with rarely heard works by older composers.
Partly prompted by the work of Bernd Alois Zimmermann (whose Die Soldaten greatly impressed him in a performance of 1971), Wagemans attempts to combine sensitivity, mobility and well thought-out counterpoint with strong emotional expression. His music has a narrative function, in which great importance is attached to melody. In Muziek II (1977, revised 1979), Wagemans distances himself from the serialism of Stockhausen and Boulez. Using the principles of Messiaen's modes of limited transposition he developed his own fixed note rows from which he constructed short successions of notes with different intervals. He uses primary numbers to determine durations of individual notes and length ratios of passages or parts. Other influences include German late Romanticism (Reger, Strauss, Schreker), French Romantic organ music, Skryabin, jazz, Bach, Stravinsky and Perotinus. Wageman quotes the work of historical composers extensively and uses stylistic mixture in order to reflect the pluralism of society. His music is characterized by sudden mood changes, ranging from unrestrained violence to mysticism and ironic capriciousness. In 1990 he won the Matthijs Vermeulen Prize from the city of Amsterdam for Rosebud.
Choral: Cantata (Apocrypha: Ecclesiasticus iv.1–3), chorus, 2 cl, 2 bn, 1979; Muziek III ‘Europa na de regen’ (Bible: Revelation, S. Mallarmé, A. Tennyson), op.19a, solo vv, chorus, ens, 1984; Al de stromen vrolijk handen (after Ps xcviii), chorus, fl, 1989
Other vocal: Nachts (F. Kafka), Mez, orch, 1971; Wie (J. Joyce), A solo, 2 cl, 2 hn, 1987; Nachtvlucht [Night Flight], S, orch, 1997
Orch: Sym., 1972; Muziek II, 1977, rev. 1979; Romance, vn, orch, 1981, rev. 1983; Irato, op.20b, 1983, rev. 1990; Klang, 1986; Rosebud (The Last Forest), orch, female chorus ad lib, 1988; De draak, het huis, de zon, de boom en de vijver [The Dragon, the House, the Sun, the Tree and the Pond], brass qt, orch, 1991, rev. 1995; Dreams, 4 pieces, 1991, rev. 1995; Panthalassa (Sym. no.6), wind orch, 1994; De stad en de engel, 1996, rev. 1997
Chbr and solo inst: Wind Qnt, 1973; Muziek I, wind ens, 1974; Sax Qt, 1975, rev. 1976; Alla marcia, tuba, ens, 1977; Fafner, erwache!, tuba, 1978; Octet, 2 cl, 2 bn, 2 vn, va, vc, 1980; Ira, op.20a, 2 pf 8 hands, 1983, rev. 1984; Parade, trbn, ens, 1984; As I opened fire, pf, 1985; Muziek III, op.19b, wind ens, 1985, rev. 1987; Trio, cl, vn, pf, 1985; Great Expectations, vn, pf, 1986; Muziek IV, ens, 1988; Viderunt omnes, ens, 1988; Walk on Water, tpt, ens, 1988; Het landschap, pf, 1989; Lux, org, 1992; Requiem, str ens, perc, pf, 1992, rev. 1994; Trio, hn, vn, pf, 1992; Qt, 4 rec, 1993; Wind Qnt no.2, 1993; Conc., 2 pf, 1993, rev. 1997; Ewig, pf, perc, 1993; Fantasieën over Erlkönig, ens, 1994; Str Qt, 1998
R.de Beer: ‘We should turn music towards the people without falling in the neoromantic trap’, Key Notes, x/2 (1979), 4–9
P.Luttikhuis: ‘Viderunt omnes: Peter-Jan Wagemans' hommage aan Perotinus’, Mens en melodie, xlv (1990), 448–53
(b Arnhem, 18 July 1894; d York, ME, 19 May 1971). American composer, conductor and violinist of Dutch origin. He studied for five years at Utrecht University, where he was a pupil of Gerard Veerman (violin), Lucie Veerman-Bekker (piano) and Johan Wagenaar (composition). He began his career teaching and conducting in various Dutch towns from 1914 until 1920, when he moved to the USA (he took American citizenship in 1927). After a period as a violinist in the New York PO (1921–3) he taught fugue, orchestration and composition at the Institute of Musical Art (later the Juilliard School, 1925–68); among his pupils were Druckman, Schuman and Siegmeister. The first performance of his Symphony no.1 by the New York PO under Mengelberg (1928) marked the beginning of a public career during which Wagenaar received many awards and commissions. Of the latter, the most notable came from the Netherland America Foundation for the Song of Mourning, ‘a memoriam for orchestra for fallen Dutch patriots’, which was introduced under Hans Kindler at the Metropolitan Opera House in 1944. Wagenaar’s compositions, in a style that can be described as neoclassical in its use of formal structures, modified to suit his artistic purpose, include tonal and polytonal pieces demonstrating lyrical melodic grace, finely wrought counterpoint and pungent harmonies. Some use of jazz idioms is evident in the Triple Concerto. After exploiting the resources of a large orchestra in the Symphony no.2 he moved towards more compact, economical means. His works have been praised for fine technique and craftsmanship, but also criticized for a derivative style and for a tendency to the episodic which limits the expressive canvas of larger movements. He was a member of the executive committee of the American section of the ISCM, an active member of the League of Composers and other associations devoted to contemporary music, and an officer of the Order of Oranje-Nassau in the Netherlands.
Chbr op: Pieces of Eight (2, E. Eager), New York, 9 May 1944
Vocal: 3 Songs from the Chinese (H. Bethge), S, fl, hp, pf, 1920, rev. 1922; From a Very Little Sphinx (E. St Vincent Millay), 1v, pf, 1925; El trillo, chorus, 2 gui, perc, 1942; No quiero tus avellanas, A, female chorus, fl, eng hn, 2 gui, perc, 1942; other songs