Biography as Composer
Dirk's Journey as a Musician and Composer
As his passion, Dirk is a hobby composer with focus on tonal, neo-classical, neo-romantic and modern style music, written mostly for orchestra, piano, and sometimes choir. Some of his compositions use artificial intelligence (AI) for inspiration. His primary instrument is piano but he also performed as a semi-professional choir singer (tenor) for over 30 years.
Classical Music Background
Dirk grew up with a rich classical music background. Music was played very day. His father played piano for many hours every evening. His fondest early childhood memories are of watching his dad and his grandfather play classical music together on piano and violin. Dirk started when he was nine years old with piano lessons for nine years. He developed a rich emotional and intuitive understanding of music as a language, but never had formal education in music theory or composition.
Dirk's musical influences range from Beethoven, Chopin, Liszt, Dvořák, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, Grieg to many tonal 20th century composers to classical rock such as QUEEN, Styx, Scorpions, Iron Maiden, Pink Floyd to pop such as Billy Joel, Elton John, ABBA, ELO. Style is irrelevant as long as the music is intense, complex, emotional, dramatic, harmonically and rhythmically interesting - and carries you away.
Dirk always listens with intent to music, studies, analyzes, and learns from it. This is his primary source of musical knowledge and inspiration.
Since the early 1980s, Dirk sang in choirs which he continued in all places where he lived. For nine years until 2017, he sang in the "Indianapolis Arts Chorale" as well as served on its Board of Directors. Ultimately, he realized that the choirs and the local symphonies he had enjoyed on two continents had one thing in common: they almost exclusively played the greatest hits of dead composers. Dirk wanted to find newer music in the rich, complex classical style that he could enjoy.
He needed new content.
In 2018, Dirk decided to shift his creative focus from performing to creating. He built a home studio that allowed him to start composing on a more serious level. In 2019, he started to sketch his most ambitious project to date which eventually became the first piano concerto. In 2020, he took a hiatus from the piano concerto and focused on composing piano solo pieces and experimenting with AI as inspiration. In 2021, he resumed the work on 'Playful Passion' and completed it in October. The piano concerto is going to be professionally recorded and performed in Summer 2022 - stay tuned!
Dirk released the piano concerto and the piano solo compositions compiled as his first album titled "Playful Passion".
Dirk has begun sketching the next piano concerto...