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date: 19 October 2019

Bordewijk-Roepman, Johanna (Suzanna)locked

  • Helen Metzelaar



(b Rotterdam, Aug 4, 1892; d The Hague, Oct 8, 1971). Dutch composer. After studying English, she began to compose at the age of 25. Except for some lessons in orchestration with Eduard Flipse (1936–7), she was self-taught.

Bordewijk-Roepman's first major success was in 1940 with a performance of Les illuminations (based on three Rimbaud poems) by the Rotterdam PO conducted by Flipse. During World War II she refused to join the Kultuurkamer, as all Dutch composers were required to do. Her works were regularly performed during the 1940s and 50s and she received numerous government commissions, as well as a government prize for the Piano Sonata (1943).

Eclectic in style, Bordewijk-Roepman's works are mostly based on Classical formal principles and show a concern for solid construction and logical development. She wrote ten orchestral works and many pieces for men's chorus. Some of her choral works acknowledge the influence of Debussy, although others employ a close-harmony style. She was married to a well-known writer, Ferdinand Bordewijk, who contributed texts for two works, the one-act opera ...

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