Geert Van Hoorick
Geert Van Hoorick was born in 1968 in Lokeren, Belgium. He received a musical education (piano, music history, harmony, and for a little while also organ and horn) at the Academy for Music and Word at the Town of Lokeren. Eventually he decided not to go for a professional musical education, but for law studies. He graduated as a Master in Law at Ghent University. His Ph.D. about nature conservation law was awarded with the Belgian VDK-award for Sustainable Development. From 2000 on he is professor in administrative and environmental law at Ghent University, and he is also a lawyer. He is married, has two children and lives in Ghent. He started composing as a teenager, but then the law studies, the professional career and the family life did not allow to spend time on composing. From 2002 on he has started composing again. He now uses the music notation software Sibelius (what allows the composer to hear what he composes while composing). As a composer he is merely self-educated and composing stays a (steadily growing) hobby, what implies that he can do it only in his spare time. Currently he is making new compositions as well as (technically) revising existing ones. The style of Geert Van Hoorick can be called modern-classical, i.e. neo-classical or neo-romantic with some impressionist and more modern influences. Since the end of 2006 he has been publishing his compositions on the website SibeliusMusic, now ScoreExchange, to share. In 2008 he posted some of his compositions on the internet Composition Contest, and won some awards. Since the end of 2009 he has launched a YouTube-channel under the name of BelgianComposer. Since June 2011 his personal website has been online. Since the end of 2013 he has been publishing his compositions on the website of IMSLP, where you can have the sheet music for free. Meanwhile musicians from all over the world are playing his music and since 2010 there have been a lot of performances in Belgium and abroad. Among the performed compositions are (as far as the composer knows): the 1st suite for brass; the trio for flute, clarinet and piano; the 1st clarinet sonata; the tuba sonata; some of the 24 piano preludes; the little suite for piano; the ancient dances or 3rd oboe sonata (partly); the organ passacaglia; the organ lullabies; the guitar concerto; the 1st horn concerto. All his compositions may be publicly performed for free.
Some of the latest reviews of or comments about my scores are of: - the 1st movement of the 1st PIANO SONATA (Thomas Nicholson, Composer, on SibeliusMusic: "Interesting. This is really good sonata form. I hear many elements and influences of Mozart, Beethoven etc… I especially like the cadenza like section on the bottom of the first page. Great work. Happy Composing!") - the 2nd movement of the 1st piano sonata (Jörn Van Spijk, Composer, on SibeliusMusic: "Wonderful! I accidentally stumbled upon your piece, and I am glad I did. There is much variety in it - such as many rhythmic alternations and runs of high notes - which is good and keeps surprising the listener … I have been listening with pleasure! As we would say in The Netherlands and Belgium: prachtig!") - the finale of the 1st piano sonata (Philip Marten, Music Student, Composer, on SibeliusMusic: "I truly enjoyed listening to this piece. It has a certain pleasurable simplicity to it, which truly makes it absolutely lovely …") - the 1st STRING QUARTET (comments on the SibeliusMusic chat page, I quote: "… it sounds like a very interesting piece"; "… lovely references to Shostakovitch without being directly imitative.") - the finale of the 1st PIANO CONCERTO (Carl Van Pevenage, Composer, on SibeliusMusic: "I'm surprised that not more reviews are for this composer. I've been through a lot of his works and all are good. I picked this as a good example. While the music of Mr. Geert Van Hoorick is generally to be classified 'modern' classic it remains very comprehensive, not going too far. It's great composing with a lot of variations, keeping room for playing and freedom. You have to be good, creating this. 'Chapeau'.") - the 1st movement of the 1st HARPSICHORD CONCERTO (Steve Phillip, Composer, on SibeliusMusic: "Astounding! Ranging from the lightest grace of Mozart to the sinister sounds of Danny Elfman, this concerto blends a wide swath of soundscapes seemlessly together to form an amazingly enjoyable Harpsichord concerto. I highly recommend listening to the MP3s of all three movements - you won't regret it!"; Edwin Sung, Composer, on SibeliusMusic: "Fantastic! Like a Mozart's feel, but with some baroque-classical period mixture of orchestration. That is, the potential energy for the creation of a new period, which is the conclusion of the four periods, looking forward to hearing this composer's grand and impressive works.") - the 1st movement of the 1st ORGAN SYMPHONY (Kevin Riley, Musical Director of the Andover Light Orchestra, Composer, on SibeliusMusic: "Accomplished writing! Geert has a real flair for writing for the organ. I know little of the technicalities of writing for the organ (stops etc) but I do know that the music suits the organ wonderfully! The use of Kontakt Player Gold really brings the music alive. It is so close to the natural sound. Lets hope that there are players out there that want to invest in this composer and get him to write more!") - the organ symphonies (comment on the SibeliusMusic chat page, I quote: "… all I can say that is that your music is so appealing. I miss words to describe my feelings …") - the 1st movement of the 1st HORN CONCERTO (reviews on the Composition Contest forum, I quote: "… Wonderful!"; "Another exceptional piece … The themes are generally excellent. The mood is very cinematic, and I get caught up in the moment … Excellent, excellent work. Bravo !"; "Excellent work …") - the 2nd movement of the 1st horn concerto (reviews on the Composition Contest forum, I quote: "Nice orchestration …"; "Most excellent."; "Listening to it minutely, I like everything, all its details and passing moments; good compositioning. The mood and the music are very convincing.") - ALLISON'S ROOM (reviews on the Composition Contest forum, I quote: "We have to do with an experienced orchestrator here …"; "… An amazing piece of music. The orchestration works perfectly. You know how to capture the different pieces of the story well in music …"; "Impressive! A fantastic piece … Very nearly a masterpiece as far as I can tell. Well, at least it's a wholly expressionate piece with classic use of variations and counterpoint … Really wonderful stuff !") - the 1st movement of the 2nd CELLO SONATA (reviews on the Composition Contest forum, I quote: "A most beautiful and passionate theme. Really moving ! One of the best pieces I heard in the contest for quite some time. Thank you."; Wonderful ! Very nice theme constructed from a dark 4 note motif … The harmonics flow beautifully, with a consistent style. Lovely music. Thank you for creating a superb piece of music …"; "Excellent theme."; "… Congrats."; "This is very good …"; "…Nice use of your thematic material throughout and the fugue was quite nice … Interesting …") - the 2nd movement of the 2nd cello sonata (Zachary Westmoreland, on SibeliusMusic: "This piece is a wonderful piece … I hope that you keep composing, you did a great job with this one what is to say that the next one will not be as great.") - the TROMBONE CONCERTO (comment on the Trombone forum, I quote: "… Overall, it was fantastic to listen to. I would buy this piece just to learn it.") - the 1st TROMBONE SONATA (comments on the Trombone forum, I quote: "Your motif throughout the sonata is superb. I personally believe, however, this would be an excellent bass trombone sonata, … A very demanding, but musical performance would be just awesome! All three movements are excellent! I definitely would consider using your composition as a recital piece. Congratulations!"; "… Well written, awesome and enthusiastic piece"; "… I have to say that it's quite the piece. I love the lyrical second movement. The harmonies are so interesting and warm. And the finale is really fun. Pity it's not longer, actually. But overall, a great piece!") - the 1st movement of the 1st OBOE CONCERTO (I.J. Yarison, Music Teacher, Composer, on SibeliusMusic: "Very well done. I had a good listening experience with this piece. The composer obviously has a good grasp of form, and although he apologizes for it not being modern enough, I believe the question for any piece is whether or not it successfully resolves any inherent assumptions, which I think this piece does–a good contrast and dialogue between solo instrument and the rest of the orchestra, a good essay on the given theme, intensity and relaxation and so on. …") - the 3rd movement of the 1st SUITE FOR BRASS (Kevin Riley, Musical Director of the Andover Light Orchestra, Composer, on SibeliusMusic: "Great orchestral brass music! from Geert. The ongoing short quavers keep it moving forward. Some lovely individual parts as well. That always ensures player likeability! Geert has also made good use of dynamics in this piece, something some composers tend to forget about. …" - EPIC MUSIC FOR AN IMAGINARY FILM (reviews on the Composition Contest forum, I quote: "The beginning is amazing. It definitely sounds like a piece of film music: very epic and professionally done …"; "…Really, this is an expertly done piece that's marvellous to hear. You've orchestrated it perfectly, came up with a number of excellent themes, and it develops as though it has a real personality … Very, very good job."; "This piece has truly some great passages …"; comments on the SibeliusMusic chat page, I quote again: "… Some very interesting sounds. Good use of orchestral color and expressive harmony … Good work, you demonstrate some real talent here.") - the 2nd TROMBONE SONATA (comments on the Trombone forum, I quote: "I enjoyed the sonata. Particularly the 1st and 2nd movement. … Great stuff! Keep it up"; "I thoroughly enjoyed your sonata, Geert, particularly the Moderato. The work seems to me to express a sort of nostalgia for something that was lost that is regained in the last movement, but not without a bit of melancholy. The old expression, 'You can't go home again', comes to mind. I also find it refreshing to hear a contemporary work for trombone in the romantic tradition. So many of the contemporary works for solo trombone that I've heard performed at two International Trombone Festivals try too hard to be 'modern', and I find them particularly unsatisfying. While I greatly admire the technical skills and musicality of the performers, I don't buy the CDs …"; "… it's really good stuff. Lots of great motivic development in there and stuff. … I may even consider buying it and performing it if I were still in college studying that post-romantic style thing …") - the 1st movement of the 1st VIOLIN CONCERTO (Kevin Riley, Musical Director of the Andover Light Orchestra, Composer, on SibeliusMusic: "Warning, craftsman at work. After a haunting introduction Geert introduces a beautiful theme. Using his orchestrating skills to good effect. Back to the solo violin with thin accompaniment for a few bars then darkness returns (maybe a little too much timpani ?). The violin is like a voice trying to rise up from below. Fighting all the way. The horn fanfares a return of the main theme in a different set of musical clothes. Geert develops the theme using solo violin. We then have quite a long section where the orchestra comes to the fore in a restrained but beautiful way. The piece then drifts away, almost floating upwards, to a calm ending. Thanks for sharing this piece with us all Geert.") - prelude No. 12 of the 24 PRELUDES for piano (Steve Phillip, Composer, on SibeliusMusic: "Gorgeous. A gorgeous piece of music if ever one was written. Flowing, fluid like water or even the breeze, the melody weaves in and out of awareness over a bubbling accompaniment and creates the overall sensation, for me, of a stream of air or water and embodies the feeling of complete and total freedom.") - the 2nd movement of the TUBA SONATA (Mark Bloss, Composer, on SibeliusMusic: " Welcome addition to the repertoire. This entire work is a welcome addition to a neglected repertoire. I especially like this second movement which has been handled carefully and with a genuine attention to the genre. The piano is well done and it is obvious a lot of planning went into this work. I highly recommend it.") - the 1st of the 3 LULLABIES FOR ORGAN (Kevin Riley, Musical Director of the Andover Light Orchestra, Composer, on SibeliusMusic: "A lullaby with a dark twist? Geert makes wonderful use of some slightly dark harmonies in this lullaby.") - the 2nd of the 3 lullabies for organ (Kevin Riley, Musical Director of the Andover Light Orchestra, Composer, on SibeliusMusic: "Sleepy eyes? Quite a diatonic piece in places for Geert. Get the mp3 and play it for your little one to help them slide up the wooden hill!") - the 3rd of the 3 lullabies for organ (Samuel Dickinson, Music Student, Composer, on SibeliusMusic: "Heart wrenching. Completely soul music, the harmonies drive the piece through inevitable passages and modulations. This is my favourite of the three lullabies and it may be because of that beautiful E,F,Ab,E,G chord in the second bar, an amazing, tonal driving chord. Also, I am a huge fan of close harmony, so the added 9th on the final chord is a plus for me!";Kevin Riley, Musical Director of the Andover Light Orchestra, Composer, on SibeliusMusic: "Short but very sweet. This third lullaby by Geert is very soothing. Not sure about the low major 9th at the end.") - the 1st movement of the CLARINET CONCERTO (Kevin Riley, Musical Director of the Andover Light Orchestra, Composer, on SibeliusMusic: "Exquisite. This is a piece that all clarinet players need to have in their repertoire. Lovely melodies abound in this, the first movement. Geert has a gift for melody that is quite rare in these pages. I hope that someone finds this piece through this review and seeks to perform it.") - the 2nd movement of the clarinet concerto (Kevin Riley, Musical Director of the Andover Light Orchestra, Composer, on SibeliusMusic: "Lyrical and flowing, the second movement of Geert's new concerto will have you wanting more. Lovely colours abound here.") - the finale of the clarinet concerto (Kevin Riley, Musical Director of the Andover Light Orchestra, Composer, on SibeliusMusic: "Sunshine and fields. Geert end this masterwork of a concerto with a lively third movement. Okay the start isn't, quite dark actually, but the sun comes through till the end. Geert's music, although not original in style, is a fresh wellcome to the tonal repertoire that many seek. Good melodies all over the place! Bravo!") - the HARP CONCERTO (comments on the SibeliusMusic chat page: " … a superb work …"; " … a lovely work … gorgeous material … one word: Fabulous!"; " … you must get a publisher interested in your work now.")