Bree, Johannes [Joannes] Bernardus van
- Jan ten Bokum
(b Amsterdam, Jan 29, 1801; d Amsterdam, Feb 14, 1857). Dutch composer, conductor and violinist. He learnt the violin first with his father, acting as his accompanist in dance lessons after the family’s move to Leeuwarden in 1812. There he taught music to the children of a local nobleman (1815–19). After returning to Amsterdam (1820) he continued his violin studies and played in the orchestras of the Théâtre Français (until 1821) and the Felix Meritis society. In 1828 he founded and conducted a choral society; in 1836 it was absorbed into the Amsterdam section of the Maatschappij tot Bevordering der Toonkunst, which van Bree directed. In 1830 he was appointed conductor of the Felix Meritis orchestra, a post he held until his death. Van Bree formed a string quartet in 1838 that specialized in works by Beethoven and Spohr. From 1841 he achieved his greatest fame as director of the newly founded Caecilia orchestra, with programmes consisting exclusively of Classical and early Romantic symphonies and overtures. The conductor of three Roman Catholic church choirs, he introduced Haydn masses into church services; with the Toonkunst choir he performed oratorios from Handel to Schumann as well as 16th- and 17th-century works. After the success in the 1830s of his operas ...