Short history

In 1999 several composers who were active in the Vereniging PEM (Dutch Union of Producers of Electronic Music) came together with an interest to furthering the development and use of new and existing MIDI-fied acoustic musical instruments. Especially being able to use and, if possible, even own 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 from the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds and Gaudeamus, a brand new Yamaha Disklavier DC3 Pro was bought and installed early in January, 2000 in the rehearsal room of Gaudeamus in Amsterdam. Soon Christina Viola 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, but also with other instruments and/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, piano and live video. Another was a concert with o.a. a work by Chiel Meijering for saxophone orchestra and 2 Disklaviers at the Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ.


Bi-annually, international competitions for Disklavier and electronics were organized. In 2017, a special edition of that competition for Robot toy piano and Disklavier was set up in a co-operation with the Uncaged toy piano festival in New York. Also, residencies and installations were organized. The instrument has also been used or rented by external parties for their own projects elsewhere in the Netherlands.  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 MIDI-fied Utopa organ.


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 acquired, again with the help of the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds and Gaudeamus.


Over the years the board members of Stichting Conlon changed: Wouter Snoei and Robert van Heumen joined for a fruitful work period, them moved on to other activities and Ji Youn Kang and Boris Bezemer became members.  Conlon currently consists of Christina Viola Oorebeek, Boris Bezemer and Daniel Schorno under the new name of the Conlon Collective.