Reinier van Houdt, pianist

Photograph of Reinier van Houdt (© Marco Borggreve)
© Marco Borggreve

Reinier van Houdt studied piano at the Liszt-Akademie in Budapest and the Royal Conservatory in The Hague.

He gave premières of music by Robert Ashley, Alvin Curran, Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji, Francisco López, Charlemagne Palestine, Yannis Kyriakides, Maria de Alvear, Jerry Hunt, John Oswald and Scanner.

He has collaborated with John Cage, Alvin Lucier, Luc Ferrari, Olivier Messiaen, with theatre companies like Hotel Modern, Andcompany&Co, Veenfabriek, Cryptic, Leine&Roebana and ZOOGDIER, a music theatre group of which he is co-founder. He also one of the driving forces behind ensemble MAE and is pianist in the Ives Ensemble.

He performed in such diverse venues as the Knitting Factory New York, San Ildefonso Mexico City, Queen Elizabeth Hall London, DOM in Moscow, Setagaya Gallery Tokyo, Paradiso Amsterdam, Apollohuis Eindhoven, the New Library in Alexandria Egypt, Mills College Oakland, Music Gallery Toronto, HAU in Berlin and Kunstraum Düsseldorf.

He has developed an unusual repertoire that consistently resulted from personal quests; be it from collaborations with composers, from research in archives, from the “composing” and “staging” of music-performances or from an unorthodox studying of the classics.

He has established extensive experiences with the music of:

Alvin Curran: in 2001, première of Inner Cities 9/11 at Cultural Capital of Europe, later broadcast on Dutch radio, and of Playing House (In Memoriam Steve Lacy) with the MAE in 2004. Other concerts at MusicGallery in Toronto, RUMORI Amsterdam and Piano Adventures in Bremen.

Giacinto Scelsi: in 1994, première of the complete Suites for piano at the Scelsi-Festival in Rotterdam, later also in Montréal, Mills College in Oakland, Phoenix, Las Vegas and the Knitting Factory in New York.

Erik Satie: Marathon performances at the One Note Wonder-Festival in Groningen and the Satie-Festival at Dacapo Bremen. In 2009 he presented the complete Le Fils des Étoiles with video scenery.

Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji: after 4 years of study and deciphering manuscripts, the première of the 5-hour Symphony No.4 for Piano Alone in Utrecht at the Sorabji Festival 2003 together with a radio broadcast, later also in Toronto, Düsseldorf and parts in London at the Meltdownfestival with Current 93 and in Ghent at Gentse Feesten. A part also appeared on CD at MusicWorks.

Maria de Alvear: première of La Tonta del Bote at the Apollohuis Eindhoven in 1997 and of LLENA at Kunstraum Düsseldorf in 2000, appeared on CD at WorldEdition.

Robert Ashley: organization of “A Week with Robert Ashley” in The Hague, featuring performances of Wolfman, a three-piano version of the Columbus-Sonata, premières of pieces 40 years after they were written and the première of a new piece written by Ashley for MAE called Tapdancing in the Sand.

Francisco López: in 2010 he researched an extended piano-piece with sound artist López. It was presented in 2011 and a live-recording was released on CD at Unsounds in the fall.

Charlemagne Palestine: première of Higher Flyer in 2001. Duo performances in Paradiso Amsterdam, Duende Rotterdam and the ambulant tent the “4 Grand Piano Pavilion”.

For further information contact Reinier van Houdt via his e-mail address: See also his web page, at

Articles by Reinier van Houdt

Reinier van Houdt and René van Peer have written the article Finding one’s way through an immense building of music about Mr. van Houdt’s work on Sorabji’s Symphony No. 4 for Piano Alone.