Schipper’s education                                            [home]
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Barend Schipper followed his studies of musical composition and orchestration with composer conductor

Willem Frederik Bon, who was a regular composer and conductor of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Amsterdam, and the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra. He completed his studies in one and a half year from the first start in stead of the usual twelve to fifteen years.












Barend kept on studying with Bon of course, realizing he had still a lot to learn.
In stead of composition Schipper now studied and performed orchestra conducting with Bon, while he remained studying as main topics piano and singing with former soloists of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra: Mrs. M. Stroo and Mrs. H. Verkley.

All together he studied with five different conservatory piano teachers, the last, longest and perhaps most notable of them Mrs. Maria Stroo [1920-2001], who was a regular soloist with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam and formed a duo with the concertmasters of this orchestra, Theo Olof and Victor Liberman.


Maria Stroo stated about Schippers pianist gifts: “a fantastic technique and a beautiful personal tone, with a rare capacity for coloring and lyricism”.

He then served his post graduate apprenticeship with the European leading composer Jacqueline Fontyn in her home near Brussels who wrote about Barend Schipper:

“I had the pleasure to meet Barend Schipper this year 1985. He appeared to me as a very talented and fully motivated young composer. His feeling for color– harmonic and instrumental- as well as his research for a personal musical language are quite remarkable. I think he may be considered as a serious and very promising creator.”                              [page down]

Hereafter he started his post graduate apprenticeship with European renowned composer prof. dr. Einojuhani Rautavaara in Helsinki.

Schipper chose to study with Rautavaara because Finland knows a tradition of highly esteemed tonal composing (Finnish operas, also from Sallinen and Kokkonen had their premieres regularly in the opera house of Santa Fe, U.S.A.).             


Rautavaara, who is apart from European composer also a Doctor in music sciences, could place Schipper’s new ideas in a wider perspective. Only nowadays tonal composing is fully recognized as an integrated part of contemporary composing. Cultural Finland was in this respect ahead of the other European countries and could therefore contribute to Schipper’s developments.

The Sibelius Academy is a university with some 2000 students, with a composition faculty of 150 students. A graduate student from the Sibelius Academy could enter Moscow conservatory without entrance exam.


Music education is a national item in Finland and Mr. Rautavaara functioned as the ambassador of the Academy, directly under the minister of culture.

Rautavaara was interested in Schipper’s ideas and search for a rebirth of Romantic and classical music. Dr. Rautavaara offered Schipper a guest lectureship on his avant-garde ideas about new tonal classical and Romantic music as a follow up of (post)modernism to the professors, teachers and students of the university Sibelius Academy.

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