Dick Raaijmakers wins Art+Technology Award 2011
Composer and theatre maker Dick Raaijmakers is to receive the Witteveen+Bos Art+Technology Award 2011 for his entire oeuvre. The award ceremony will take place in the Bergkerk Church in Deventer on 10 November 2011, and will be celebrated with a Raaijmakers exhibition which will run until 4 December 2011.
The Witteveen+Bos Art+Technology Award is now in its tenth year, and the independent jury has chosen to mark this occasion by awarding the prize to Dick Raaijmakers. ‘We would like to take this opportunity to honour a very remarkable artist who is no longer a promising young man, but whose work continues to be promising,’ the jury stated in their report. ‘The great thing about Dick Raaijmakers is that he always retained his pioneering spirit and did not seem to know any bounds. Music, visual arts, theatre, poetry – he incorporated them all into one all-encompassing art form. He was a master of all arts, yet he never lost his own uniquely individual touch. Raaijmakers’ work possesses a certain sprezzatura. He is the rare artist who influences even laymen.’
A remarkable and inspiring artist
Dick Raaijmakers (born 1930) is a Dutch composer, theatre maker and theoretician. He was one of the founders of Dutch electronic music in the 1950s and was a multimedia artist years ahead of his time. His works, installations and music and theatre performances were so original that they enjoy a worldwide reputation. His original ideas and novel approaches to art have inspired many, not in the least later generations of artists.
Raaijmakers studied piano at colleges of music in Tilburg and The Hague. From 1954 to 1960 he worked at Philips’ department of electronics and acoustics. He released the world’s first popular electronic music in 1957 under the pseudonym Kid Baltan, which is ‘Natlab Dik’ (Raaijmakers’ nickname) in reverse (‘Natlab’ is short for natuurkundig laboratorium or ‘physics laboratory’). His work from this early period was released on a collection of CDs entitled Popular Electronics: Early Dutch Electronic Music from Philips’ Research Laboratories, 1956-1963. From 1960 to 1962 Raaijmakers was a researcher at Utrecht University. From 1963 to 1966 he and Jan Boerman ran a studio for electronic music in The Hague. Raaijmakers was a lecturer and visiting lecturer at the Department of Composition of the Royal Conservatory in The Hague, the Institute of Sonology and the Interdisciplinary Department of Art and Science until his retirement in 1995. He was awarded an honorary doctorate by Leiden University in 2005.
Over the years, Raaijmakers created many electronic compositions, ‘instructional pieces’ for string ensembles, phonokinetic objects, ‘graphical methods’ for tractors and bicycles, works of visual art, compositions featuring music as well as scenes, and works of musical theatre. He was one of the first artists to incorporate disciplines such as visual arts, film, literature and theatre into music. He discussed his ideas on art in countless lectures, articles and books. A major monograph of Raaijmakers’ oeuvre was released in 2007.
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