Jochanan van Driel
Jochanan van Driel is a cultural musicologist, organist, harpsichordist, choirmaster, liturgical musician. Studied at the Conservatoire of Ghent, Antwerp and the Rimsky Korsakov State Conservatoire Saint Petersburg (Russia). Studied afterwards with Prof. Flor Peeters. Performed all over the world at major festivals and in the major cathedrals. Functioned for instance as a guest lecturer at the Ferenc Liszt Academy Budapest the Singapore University and at Codarts Rotterdam. He has a researchmaster degree from the University of Amsterdam (Cum Laude) and is Admitted as a Ph.D researcher in the Academy of Creative and Performing Arts at the Leiden University.
Fields of interest
- Music prof. Flor Peeters
- Liturgical music monotheistic religions
- Jewish musicologica
- Chazzanut Klezmer
The titel of my Ph.D is: Prolegomena for a Jewish Musicologica.
In my research I shall give attention to the term musicologica in general and specifically what er is to say about a Jewish musicologica. Main question where I have to find answers on is if we really can speak about Jewish musicological, musical thought and what is the essence of this thought. I have to approach the thinking in the past and the presence looking what Jewish musicians, thinkers, rabbis but also the regular Jewish people for example congregations of synagogues have to say about their music culture. Watersheds in thinking are periods of turmoil in Jewish History. I mention the Babylonian exile, the expulsion from Spain and Portugal, but not at least the Shoah and it's devastating effect on Judaism. Materials to study are literature, scores, recordings, archeology, architecture. But also because te Jewish tradition is mainly an oral tradition it is important to interview people and also to look at what is said by Jews about their tradition and music in the past and the present. Interesting is to see if there is a shift in thinking, a change between the older generations and the younger and what the effects are of globalisation on the thinking of Jews about their culture and music. An interesting approach is also to look at possible differences and or similarities in thinking about culture and its music in other diaspora societies.
Jochanan van Driel chooses for the organ as his main instrument, harpsichord as his second and conducting as his third, and besides that singing. He first studied the organ with the local organist Piet Brakman at the age of eight. After completing his secondary school education he attended the Municipal Music and Art Academy, Eeklo (organ teacher: Luc Leupe), The State Art and Music Academy, Antwerp and Ghent and the Royal School of Music and Dance in Ghent. (Belgium, Organ teachers: Gabriel Verschraegen and Edward de Geest). In 1985 he was admitted to the world famous master class of Flor Peeters and as a result, he was permitted to become one of the few international students of Prof. Flor Peeters. He continued under his tutelage until the great man’s death in 1986. Prof. Flor Peeters became his great musical inspiration, his main teacher and above all a friend to be held in high estimation. In 1993 he was invited by Russian Ministry of Culture and Science to make a special study of the Russian Orthodox Music, Choir and Orchestra direction, Russian Language and Culture at the Rimsky Korsakov Conservatory at St. Petersburg. He studied with the professors: Valeriji Velovodowits Uspenski (Russian Orthodox Music) and Ilya Musin (Orchestra conducting, this teacher is also the teacher of conductor Valery Abisalovich Gergiev). He studied besides the Russian Culture and language the Hebrew language and Culture. “Jewish fundamentalism” on the Amsterdam Maastricht Summer University with Prof. Dr. Ada Rapoport-Albert, Prof. Dr. Aviezer Ravitzky and Prof. Dr. Nasr. Abu Zayd. Continuing his studies at the University of Amsterdam for the subjects: Talmud, Mishnah, Biblical Hebrew, Hebrew, and Jewish History with Prof. Dr. W. Jac van Bekkum, Prof. Dr. I. Zwiep and Dr. Berger. Switched to the study Musicology, ethnomusicology (cultural musicology) main- teacher Dr. Wim van der Meer. He becomes an authority in the Jewish Synagogue Music, specialising in for example the study of musical instruments of the Tenach (the Old Testament) and the music of the Baghdadi Jews in India. In the spring of 2009 he did fieldwork to explore the Jewish culture and Music in Brazil, Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, his topic was the interrelation between the Jewish music in Brazil and the other Brazilian music-traditions, and the interrelations between the Jewish music in Brazil and the Jewish music abroad. He graduated cum laude as a Master of Arts (researchmaster) in august 2010. To learn from the techniques and ideals of others he did not only study with several international acclaimed musicians but also participated in several master classes: baroque interpretation with Ton Koopman, choir directing with Jean Jakus, modern music with Daan Manneke. He has gained an amazing amount of experience in teaching, performing as an organist, pianist, harpsichord player (also with chamber-orchestra) accompanist and conductor. Through his music historic research he became a specialist in the teaching and the performing of the Flemish and Dutch (early) Baroque, and a specialist of the liturgical music of this period. International he is acclaimed for his knowledge of the music of Flor Peeters and of the Russian Orthodox Choir Music. He functioned as organ building-specialist and organ-adviser for the Ministry of Culture of Israel, the Ministry of Culture of Germany and the Institute for Research of Jewish Music, Beth Hatefutsoth. For them he did as one of the assistants of Prof. Dr. Jurgen Rödeland a major research studying the remaining synagogue-organs in Germany and he was the president of the team of scholars that did research in the possibility to replace some instruments back in their original condition in synagogues and conservatories in Israel. He has become a guest lecturer at the Rotterdam Conservatory (department Rotterdam World Music Academy, CODART) for the seasons 2009/2017, teaching first classes Gregorian Music but later mainly Jewish Music, chazzanut and klezmer.
Jochanan pursues an international career from his home in the Netherlands and frequent visits to other regions as the U.S.A., South-America, Israel, Africa, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand complement his engagement within Europe.
He has appeared at several Major National and International festivals mentioning:
Holland: The Summer Organ Festival at Zoutelande, The Organ Festival Limburg, 2004
Belgium: The Festival of Flanders, Geraardsbergen, Ghent.
The Organ and Choirfestival of Ghent Festivals, St. Michiels Church Ghent.
The Widor festival 1995, St. Michiels Church Ghent.
Denmark : The Amager Music festival, Dragor.
The Bornholm Organ Festival, Bornholm.
Romania : The Transylvania Organ festival.
Israel : The Bach Organ festival of Israel, Jerusalem.
Japan : The Fourth International Organ festival Japan, Tokyo.
Ecuador : The Organ festival for the Inauguration of the restored “Sauer” organ in the Cathedral of Loja.
He also performed at world renowned venues as St. Rombouts Cathedral, Mechelen, Dinant Notre Dame, Belgium; Eglise St. Barthelemy, Gerardmer, France; St. Pauls Cathedral, London, England; The State Theater, Pretoria, South-Africa; The University of Port Elizabeth, South-Africa; The Ferenc Liszt Academy of Music, Boedapest, Hungary; The Protestant Theological Faculty, Debrecen, Hungary; The Abbey of Pannonhalma, Hungary; The Music House, Windesheim, Germany (playing copies of harpsichords and organs from the middle ages until the Baroque); Lutherian Church, Altwied, Germany; Dormition Abbey, Mount Sion, Jerusalem, Israel; Ascension Church, Mount of Olives, Jerusalem, Israel; National Presbyterian Church, National Shrine of Immaculate Conception, Washington, National Cathedral, Washington DC, U.S.A; St. Thomas Church, New York, U.S.A.; St. Patrick’s Cathedral, New York, U.S.A.; Crystal Cathedral, Los Angeles, U.S.A.;St. Andrews Cathedral, Singapore; The Concerthall and Cultural Centre of Hong Kong; St. Pauls Cathedral Melbourne, St. Andrews Uniting Church Brisbane (On invitation of the Organ society of Queensland Inc), St. George’s Cathedral, Perth, Australia; Christchurch Cathedral, Christchurch, St. Pauls Cathedral, Dunedin, New-Zealand.
Besides the above mentioned Mr. van Driel has given numerous recitals as an accompanist and as a conductor with orchestra and with choirs.
- Professor F. de Ruyter
- Dr. W. van der Meer
Grants and awards
Grant of the Russian Ministry of Culture to study at the Rimsky Korsakov Conservatoir with Prof. Ilya Mussin orchestra conducting and with Valeriji Velovodowits Uspenski Russion Orthodox Music.