Merlijn Twaalfhoven

Executive Leadership Program - Amsterdam Class 05

Merlijn Twaalfhoven
My experience and deep interests:
I am based in: Amsterdam

I am making music as a way to connect people and break patterns of perception and division. I work in conflict areas, unconventional locations as well as in concert halls. Recently, I composed a mini-opera based on Postcards from Aleppo, involving Syrian refugees and members of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and in the Concertgebouw of Amsterdam. I received a UNESCO award and collaborate with The Kronos Quartet, Holland Festival, and the New York Philharmonic.

I am always searching for richness of cultural diversity and human interaction and love to engage musicians of contrasting styles, local traditions or children in large events in spectacular locations. Unconventional and impossible combinations excite me and I used to bring artists, cooks, diplomats or idealists together, searching new ways to make an impact in society. This results in a unique blend of sophisticated music and rough, unpolished sounds.

Currently, I design new connections between the art and global challenges. My challenge: How might imagination, beauty, and play find space in the current way we deal with climate change and other big issues?
To work on this, I am building an interface between the world of the UN and individual artists.

Let’s remove the boundaries between art and society! And let’s revive the creative and artistic potential in everyone, creating new meaningful connections and understanding between people.

I was nominated to become a THNKer by Emer Beamer