Short history

In 1999 several composers, who were active in the Vereniging PEM (Dutch Union of Producers of Electronic Music), gathered with an interest to further the development and use of new and existing midified acoustic musical instruments. Especially the use and if possible even the ownership of a disklavier would make a lot of dreams possible. Therefore, with the help of Gaudeamus, a new organisation was founded: Stichting Conlon, which officially was created on 14 October 1999 by board members Wim de Ruiter (composer), Luc Houtkamp (composer, saxophonist) and Henk Heuvelmans (director of Gaudeamus). With financial support of the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds and Gaudeamus a brand new Yamaha Disklavier DC3 Pro was bought and installed early January 2000 at the rehearsal room of Gaudeamus in Amsterdam. Soon Christina Oorebeek (composer) joined the board. Several presentations were organised for musicians, composers and students of conservatories and HKU Music & Technology. Many times the members of the board gave advice and help to interested persons in their ambition to create new work for and with the disklavier. Gradually this led to a range of new works for disklavier, mostly with electronics, with other instruments or video. In the early years a nice project was set up presenting Jurriaan Andriessen's "Portret van Hedwig" for 2 pianos in a version for disklavier and piano and live video. Or a concert with a.o. a work by Chiel Meijering for saxophone orchestra and 2 disklaviers at the Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ.
Annually international competitions for disklavier and electronics were organised. In 2017 a special edition of that competition for robot toy piano was set up in a co-operation with the Uncaged toy piano festival in New York. Also residencies and installations were organized. The instrument was also used or rented by external parties for their own projects elsewhere in the Netherlands. The disklavier of Stichting Conlon was temporarily housed at HKU M&T in Hilversum and since 2011 its base is at Muziekhuis Utrecht. In 2018 a new model Yamaha Enspire Pro disklavier was bought, again with the help of the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds and Gaudeamus. Stichting Conlon and its members of the board were also involved in a project at the Orgelpark in Amsterdam in which new works were created for the new midified Utopa organ.

 

Over the years the board members of Stichting Conlon changed: Wouter Snoei and Robert van Heumen joined and currently the board consists of Christina Oorebeek, Ji Youn Kang, Boris Bezemer and Rogier van Splunder.