biographyMicha Hamel (Amsterdam, 1970) took private lessons in composition and orchestral conducting beginning in 1986 with Huub Kerstens. Additionally he attended master classes given by Morton Feldman and John Cage. In 1994 he graduated from the Royal Conservatory, majoring in composition (under the tutelage of Diderik Wagenaar and Konrad Boehmer) and orchestral conducting (under Ed Spanjaard and Jac van Steen). Thereafter he participated in the composition class at the Tanglewood Music Center (USA), where Hamel studied with Mario Davidovsky and Louis Andriessen.
His participation in the International Dance Course for Professional Choreographers and Composers in 1992 led to a pair of commissions from the London-based modern dance groups VOLTaire (Brighton Festival, 1993) and the Mark Baldwin Dance Company. Micha Hamel's first orchestral commission was for a new choreography by Toer van Schayk for the Dutch National Ballet; the production has been revived twice. In addition to works for orchestras and dance companies, Hamel has composed for theatre companies both in the Netherlands and abroad.
His concert music has been performed by the Netherlands Radio Chamber Orchestra, the Radio Filharmonisch Orkest Holland, the Ives Ensemble, the Arnhem Philharmonic, the Doelen Quartet, the Rotterdam Philharmonic (Valery Gergiev conducting), the Nieuw Ensemble, the Schoenberg Ensemble (Reinbert de Leeuw conducting), the National Chamber Choir of Ireland, and others.
The largest work he has produced so far, is his tragic operetta "Snow White" after the novel by Donald Barthelme. The production drew nationwide attention because of its musical and theatrical extravagance. It was commissioned by the Nationale Reisopera, and was toured with great public success, and unanimously praised by the press.
Being gifted as a composer himself, Micha Hamel has a natural affinity for contemporary music. He has conducted numerous premieres, often in the presence of the composer. He has collaborated intensively with prominent composers such as Eliott Carter, György Ligeti, Gija Kanstjeli, Johnathan Harvey and Louis Andriessen for performances of their works. Since 1993 Micha Hamel has worked regularly with the Nieuw Ensemble, the Schoenberg Ensemble and Slagwerkgroep Den Haag. In September 1997 when the Bernard Haitink grant was awarded to the Radio Filharmonisch Orkest Holland, it allowed chief conductor Edo de Waart to offer Micha Hamel the position of assistant conductor. During his two seasons as an assistant conductor to de Waart, Hamel also worked alongside guest conductors Peter Eötvös, Esa-Pekka Salonen and Claus Peter Flor. He has appeared with this orchestra regularly since. In 1999 he made his debut with the Frankfurt Ensemble Modern.
Micha Hamel has received various awards as both composer and conductor. In 1994 he was awarded the incentive prize by the Amsterdam Arts Fund for his composition ‘Fructus', written for Percussion Group Den Haag and the Mondriaan Quartet, and in 1999 Hamel received both the Elizabeth Everts Prize for talented musicians and the Kersjes van de Groenekan Scholarship, which afforded him the opportunity to travel, and to study with Mark Elder.
Micha Hamel's unique qualities as composer and conductor were brought together in October 2000 for the ‘Festival in de Branding' in The Hague. During a week of concerts, the majority of his oeuvre was performed by ensembles including the Nieuw Ensemble, the Residentie Orchestra of The Hague and the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra.
He performed with almost all dutch orchestras and ensembles as well as with the Netherlands Chamber Choir, whilst carefully broadening his horizons towards the romantic and classical repertoire. He conducted the Radio Filharmonisch Orkest and the Radio Chamber Orchestra in several editions of the Holland Festival, the Netherlands Music Days as well as in the illustrious concert series at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam named ‘VARA-matinee'.
In 2001, he made his debut with the Orchestra Sinfonica di Friuli Venezia Giulia, in Udine, Italy, which has led to a regular collaboration. He debuted with the Orchestra RAI Torino with the ‘Symphony no.10' of Henze succesfully and was reinvited. The same occurred at the Orchestra Stabile di Gaetano Donizetti, at Bergamo, with whom he will be returning regularly. Furthermore in the 04-05 season he conducted the Orchestra Regionale di Toscana, Firenze, the Concertgebouw Chamber Orchestra, the Brabant Orchestra, and the Orchestra della cittá di Ferrara. He has recorded several cd's with the Viotta Ensemble, members of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, with the Radio Chamber Orchestra and with the Schoenberg Ensemble.
Micha Hamel conducted the Nationale Reisopera Enschede for the first time leading the Dutch premiere (2003) of ‘King Priam' by Michael Tippett as well as the world premiere of ‘Wet Snow' by Jan van de Putte (Holland Festival 2004). In april 2006 his British debut with the Hallé Orchestra, Manchester was praised for his distinguished interpretation of Berlioz and Ravel. In the fall of 2008, he made his debut with the Mozarteum Orchester, Salzburg.
Recently, Micha Hamel has developed another talent of his: poetry. His first published works appeared in Literary magazines in 2003. The distinguished publisher Augustus published his first collection in the autumn of 2004. The collection was unanimously well received by the press and praised for its refinement, originality and strength and was awarded the Lucy B.-van der Hoogt prize by the Maatschappij der Nederlandse Letterkunde (Society for Dutch Literature). His second collection of poems ‘Luchtwortels’ was published in the fall of 2006, and received good press award as well as a nomination for the J.C. Bloem-award as well as for the Jo Peters Poëzieprijs. A third collection came out in january 2010.
For the editions of 2008 and 2009 Micha Hamel was the artistic director of the Festival for Dutch Music in the Muziekgebouw, Amsterdam. Amongst Micha Hamel's forthcoming projects is the writing of two large-scale pieces for the Holland Festival of 2012.
Micha Hamel is represented by Inter Artists, Netherlands; email@example.com