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Kim Bowman : Represented Artist

My music is free flowing and melodious, not holding back on emotional expression.

Random Audio Sample: Brassquintet and percussion (sextets: horn, 2 trumpets, trombone, tuba, percussion) by Kim Bowman, from the CD November music 2003

Photo of Kim Bowman

Artist website: http://www.kimbowman.net/

My works have been performed throughout the world and commissioned and performed by major orchestras and ensembles, such as the Residentie Orchestra The Hague, Amsterdam Sinfonietta, Holland Sinfonia, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, the Sydney Contemporary Orchestra and the Meridian Arts Ensemble New York. Reinbert de Leeuw, David Porcelijn, Etienne Siebens, Lucas Vis and Jac van Steen, among others, have conducted my works.

I was born in Margaret River, WA, but mostly educated in the Netherlands, where I started art school in 1974. A few immature compositions date from those years. I also played guitars and drums in several New Wave bands. I started composition studies with David Porcelijn at the Utrecht Conservatorium of Music in 1986 and continued my studies with Claas de Vries at the Rotterdam Conservatorium of Music. I minored in cello, double bass and piano. Since 2005 I have been living in Sydney.

I have always been attracted to writing for orchestra, this in spite of the fact that nowadays most orchestras mainly fulfil the role of a historical museum and accordingly perform 'prestigious' works from the past, generally written by composers long dead.

In the late '90s I started using techniques that regenerate existing material. I started weaving with 'borrowed' miniature sound fragments of 2 seconds or less. It resulted in dense and hectic pieces that are deliberately over-scored (Alchemia I, Time and Again). The orchestra is treated like a flock of birds or a shoal of fish. The music trips over itself, deranges and proceeds like a tidal wave. All works written since 1998 have been more or less influenced by these ideas.

Since 2000 my works also incorporates other art disciplines, either by collaborating with other artists, or by including theatrical or visual elements (Black Wind (2005), a collaboration with Sydney based artist Susan Norrie. Tales by Henry Max (2007), theatre and music)

In 2016 I wrote a piece for soprano, violin, cello and orchestra called If (scheduled with one of the BBC orchestras under Jac can Steen) which is written in a much more contemplative style and smoothly flowing compared to my previous compositions. If has become a pivot in my oeuvre in that it breaks with my previous hectic, recalcitrant style and dense scoring. I do not strive to be avant garde IE be modern or whatever you want to call it anymore.

As much of our western culture nowadays is permeated by an amalgam of influences from other cultures, so has contemporary music evolved to a myriad of movements after we have experienced decades of doctrine of intellectual 12 tone music and serialism. The latter has mainly been the cause for the audience to turn their backs to modern music because it was experienced as being cerebral and lacking warmth or passion.

Recently I have started to recycle medieval music. My Stringquintet No.1 (2019) is based on a piece by Hildegard von Bingen. A recomposed version for our time, of our time. With a little help of Mr.P, for violin and orchestra (2020), recycles music by Perotin.


• In 1995 Ermita was nominated for the BUMA award. (This is the Dutch royalty association)

• In 1998 Symphony Australia's score reading panel advised Alchemia I for performance to the ABC orchestras, which resulted to the performance in 2005 by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra under Reinbert de Leeuw.

• Also in 1998, Entity for flute quartet received a Honourable Mention from the National Flute Association in the USA.

• In 2001 The Residentie Orchestra The Hague, one of Netherlands major orchestras, under Jac van Steen performed Time and Again.

• In November 2005 Amsterdam Sinfonietta premiered Black Wind with soloist Claire Edwardes and multi media artist Susan Norrie in s-Hertogenbosch, Gent, Amsterdam, Groningen and subsequently in 2006 at the Adelaide Festival.

• In May 2006 The Violin was performed at the XXVIII Foro Internacional de Musica Nueva "Manuel Enriquez" in Mexico City and recorded on CD by Aniko Szathmáry in August 2006.

My works are published in the Netherlands by Donemus and in Australia by the Australian Music Centre. Various works are recorded on CD.

Review quotes:

Sydney Morning Herald 19-07-05: "It seemed he had put the orchestral repertoire of the 20th century into a washing machine and set it to spin. It suffered from overdense scoring but, like the white wash with that red sock left in, was smattered with colour and insight".

The Australian 19-07-05: "The translucent textures he created from the orchestra, even in the loudest fortissimos, were truly remarkable".

• Adelaide Festival review 14-03-06: "....the dense scoring of the work, where fragments, threads of theme seem to emerge, then vanish, re-emrging later, but transformed, then vanish again. The music, containing many of these tiny thematic elements, constantly twists, turns and evolves creating complex aural patterns rather then conventionally structured music..."

City Messenger 16-03-06: "...an impressive Black Wind [....] gradually shimmering into silence in a memorable performance".

Kim Bowman — current to June 2020

Studied with

Ton Bruynel (1986 - 1987)

David Porcelijn (1986 - 1987)

Klaas de Vries (1987 - 1993)

Morton Feldman (1987)

Per Nørgård (1987)


Collaborated with

Susan Norrie (2004 - 2005)


Selected Commissions

  Work Commission Details
Black wind : for string orchestra and percussion (2005) Commissioned by Fonds voor de Scheppende Toonkunst.
Brassquintet and percussion (sextets: horn, 2 trumpets, trombone, tuba, percussion) (2003) Commissioned by the November Music Festival, Netherlands, for the Meridian Arts Ensemble, New York
Time and again : Alchemia III, for orchestra (2000) Commissioned by Fonds voor de Scheppende Toonkunst for performance by Residentie Orkest.
Digital sheet music sample Vertigo : (Alchemia II), for flute, soprano and piano (1999) Commissioned for Koos Verheul, Jan van der Meer and Ilse van de Kasteele
Entity : for flute quartet (1996) Commissioned by Fonds voor de Scheppende Toonkunst for performance by Keizerkwartet.
The violin : for violin solo (1996) Commissioned by Fonds voor de Scheppende Toonkunst.