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date: 22 October 2019

Zweers, Bernardlocked

  • Ana Ryker

Extract

(b Amsterdam, May 18, 1854; d Amsterdam, Dec 9, 1924). Dutch composer. Together with Alphons Diepenbrock and Johan Wagenaar he was one of the principal figures in Dutch music at the turn of the century. His father, a well-known amateur singer, owned a book and music shop in Amsterdam where Bernard worked and consequently came to know many notable musicians. In 1881 he attended a performance of the Ring in Berlin. Wagner's music proved to be a major influence, shaping Zweers's musical idiom and the style of his future works. He was essentially self-taught but, with the support of his piano duet partner, a businessman, he studied with Jadassohn in Leipzig for eight months in 1881–2. By that time he had already had works performed in Amsterdam, including the Missa quatuor vocibus (1877) and his First Symphony (1881). On his return from Leipzig Zweers began to take an active part in Dutch musical life. For several years, until his hearing deteriorated, he conducted three prominent choirs (the Amsterdam Male-Voice choir, Liedertafel Apollo and the choir of the Mozes- en Aaronkerk). From ...

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