Van Dal-Kleijne, Joke

Joke van Dal-Kleijne

Joke van Dal-Kleijne was born in Holland on February 14, 1945, St. Valentine's Day. Since my 50th birthday whilst working as a Financial Administrator, I have devoted all of my spare time and a great deal of energy and passion to study piano and composition. And I don’t regret it. 

I attended a music school when I was twelve years old and later I had  piano lessons in Hulst with Jo Ivens, (with whom I am still in touch). Unfortunately, a serious accident put a stop to my piano playing and the piano was sold. I got married, had children and although painting and drawing had become more important to me than music, but I could not look at a piano without wanting to touch it. Eventually, soon after my 50th birthday, my husband told me that I had spent long enough touching other people’s pianos – it was time I bought one for myself- ! The dream I always had of playing the piano could now come true! 

Three years of lessons later, I was fortunate to make contact with Louis Arons who gave me some theory books for my birthday and we decided to start with theory lessons in 2000. Two years later, Arons told me that my exercises were outstanding and that I should start composing. My first compositions were various canons before several ‘real’compositions, my second compostion was a Prelude and Fugue which was performed by Louis Arons on the large organ at Sint Jans Cathedral in ’s-Hertogenbosch. It was during a concert of the Niehoff series before an audience of over 150. I needed no further encouragement to continue.

When Louis Arons stopped teaching in 2006, I was again lucky. I asked Henri Broeren (Director of the Conservatory Arnhem-Zwolle-Enschede) for advice and after talking to me and listening to my work he offered to teach me himself even though he had officially stopped teaching! After three very productive years, Henri became Director of the Limburg Symphony Orchestra and I felt he would be too busy to teach. But again fortune smiled on me and I met up with Mark van Platen (Mark is well known of his music of many Dutch films) and I was able to continue my lessons with Mark, although now I only see him for feedback and of course, to get the benefit of the Master’s ear!

As a composer, I write contemporary classical music because I feel strong that music should reflect the time in which the composer lives. The music of the past was written by the composers of the past.

Since 2002 I have completed about 50 pieces for all kinds of instruments relishing the challenge of familiarising myself with their different characteristics. This can only happen by studying them closely and I have attended workshops and courses on several instruments as well as seeking the help of performers and musicians.

And of course I play the piano every day!