photo: Ton Sciaroni, Center for Art & Culture, Hilversum (Nl), 2010

After he finished his studies piano, church organ, and choral conducting at the Dutch Institute for Church Music in Utrecht, Hans Bakker (b. 1945) worked as a teacher at two music schools in the Netherlands. He also conducted two choirs and was active in the improvisational music scene. His career in music was followed by the study of Sanskrit. After obtaining his master’s degree at the University of Amsterdam, he returned to music, becoming completely occupied by teaching at Globe Center for Art and Culture in the city of Hilversum. 

Initially, composing was only a minor occupation next to Bakker’s other work. Since 1997 it has become a daily activity. He wrote a great number of chamber music works and many choir compositions. He also composed works for orchestra and pieces for carillon, the violin concerto Kairos — in commission — and 14 organ works, most recently in 2021.

His first album THE UNNAMED SOURCE (2010) features moving performances by the Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra under conductor Vit Micka and an astounding array of its instrumentalists.

Later on Bakker’s works have been featured on the Navona Records releases SLICES (2012), and SEEKING & FINDING (2012) with seven choral works performed by the Kühn Choir Prague. DANCES OF ETERNITY (2013) with two orchestral works: Canzona L’altra Persona and Canzona II Tribute to the Sun was followed by the chamber works compilation PINNACLE (2016).

Bakker’s next release was the duo album LINES TO INFINITY (2017), which revolves around scores for piano, cello, clarinet, and flute. Other releases include TOMORROW’S Air (2017), which shows that classical music can hit a greater audience; the compilation album LEGENDS & LIGHT (2018), including Canzona III Hidden in Her Light for orchestra, and FIGMENTS VOL 2 (2019), including Tiento I & II for guitar solo.The compilation album VOICES OF EARTH AND AIR VOL. 3 (2020) contains three choral works: Rat for TTBB and SATB, and Ich habe den Menschen gesehen for SATB. You can find and listen to all the above on all major distribution platforms.

About his works: “Since 1997 the source of my music started to flow after I became acquainted with the writings of the German painter Joseph Anton Schneiderfranken, also known as Bô Yin Râ. I believe in the power of artistic beauty and lyricism. In my view, music need not necessarily be easy for the ear, but it should be accessible to the mind; and must be able to tune the receptive listener.”

Albums

Source Ground

Release Date: September 23, 2022
Catalog Number: NV6452
21st Century
Orchestral
Solo Instrumental
Orchestra
Organ
Piano
On SOURCE GROUND, Hans Bakker’s second full-length release on Navona Records, the composer once again probes music’s ability to, as Leonard Bernstein said, “name the unnameable and communicate the unknowable.” Rhythmically rigorous pieces for solo piano, organ works that fill every nook and cranny of the aural spectrum, powerful orchestral works, and pieces for the rare and haunting lame-sonore draw listeners towards a sense of infinite oneness connected by music.
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Voices of Earth and Air Vol III

Release Date: October 9, 2020
Catalog Number: NV6299
21st Century
Vocal Music
Choir
Organ
Judging by Navona's VOICES OF EARTH AND AIR VOL III, this century is facing a significant paradigm shift in contemporary composition. The third installment of the trailblazing series again showcases contemporary choral music, and once more, it is mesmerizing – mesmerizingly tonal and aesthetic.
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Figments Vol. 2

Release Date: November 15, 2019
Catalog Number: NV6259
21st Century
Chamber
Solo Instrumental
Guitar
Saxophone
String Quartet
FIGMENTS 2, which follows the success of 2016’s FIGMENTS, is a compendium of chamber music that sparks the imagination. The album features the works of Yuan-Chen Li, Peter Dayton, Hans Bakker, Navid Bargrizan, and Charles Corey—innovative composers whose works draw inspiration from the world around them, be it the tribal dances of indigenous peoples, art history, 16th-century keyboard music, the science of acoustics, or the idiosyncrasies of language.
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Legends and Light

Release Date: October 12, 2018
Catalog Number: NV6187
21st Century
Orchestral
Large Ensemble
PARMA Recordings presents LEGENDS & LIGHT, a compilation album featuring works by composers Hans Bakker, Jan Järvlepp, Clive Muncaster, and Shirley Mier. Each has a different, unique story to tell, and the narratives are brought to life by the orchestra and string ensemble.
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Tomorrow’s Air

Release Date: September 8, 2017
Catalog Number: NV6108
21st Century
Orchestral
Large Ensemble
Orchestra
Navona Records is proud to present TOMORROW’S AIR, a collection of contemporary music for large ensemble, written by composers in a variety of styles and genres. Listeners will recognize several names as PARMA regulars, including Daniel Perttu, Hans Bakker, and Paul Osterfield.
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Lines to Infinity

Release Date: January 13, 2017
Catalog Number: NV6070
21st Century
Chamber
Solo Instrumental
Flute
Piano
PARMA Recordings artists Peter Greve and Hans Bakker have come together to give us LINES TO INFINITY, a stunning album that revolves around emotive and dramatic scores for primarily piano and flute. The two composers hail from the Netherlands and share a knack for creating thoughtful contemporary chamber works that appeal to the listener’s imagination.
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Pinnacle

Release Date: January 8, 2016
Catalog Number: NV6022
21st Century
Chamber
Navona Records presents PINNACLE, a compilation of contemporary chamber works by composers Hans Bakker, Steven Block, Peter Greve, Daniel Perttu, and Kevin M. Walczyk that highlight the melodic, emotive, and dramatic styles offered by some of today’s chamber music.
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Fine Music, Vol. 5

Release Date: April 1, 2014
Catalog Number: NV5949
21st Century
Chamber
Orchestral
Clarinet
Orchestra
Piano
Navona Records' new installment of the FINE MUSIC series presents a deep cross-sectionof the label's wide-ranging and provocative 2013/2014 release slate, featuring performances by the Grammy-nominated New York Polyphony, Ensemble Dal Niente, cellist Chris Wild, Grammy-winning clarinetist Richard Stoltzman, the Apollo Chamber Players, and many more in works by Hindemith, DeGaetano, Hodkinson, Ramette, Stevens, Williams, Bakker, Rotolo, Vines, Sternfeld-Dunn, Brown, Tarlow, and others.
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Dances Of Eternity

Release Date: April 1, 2013
Catalog Number: NV5907
21st Century
Orchestral
Large Ensemble
Orchestra
DANCES OF ETERNITY presents a group of orchestral works by composers who explore music's potential to capture the more overlooked aspects of human experience. Ranging from representations of optimism and energy to the surging power of nostalgia, to lighthearted frolics and the eternality of life, DANCES OF ETERNITY asks the listener to ponder life, death, and everything in between.
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Seeking & Finding

Release Date: August 1, 2012
Catalog Number: NV5877
21st Century
Vocal Music
Choir
Natural beauty, emotion, and enlightenment. These are but a few of the common threads of SEEKING & FINDING, an album of choral works by two composers whose pointed explorations of humanity resonate in perfect pitch.
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Slices

Release Date: July 1, 2012
Catalog Number: NV5874
21st Century
Chamber
Solo Instrumental
Piano
Violin
Wind Ensemble
Who says eclecticism isn't a wonderful thing? Certainly not us at Navona Records. SLICES is a carefully handpicked selection of new chamber works by contemporary composers designed to showcase the diversity of modern music-making, and these pieces by Sundin, Bakker, Sainsbury, Rusnak, Beeler, and Burns cut right through the oft-repeated misconception that classical music is dead on the vine.
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Fine Music, Vol. 2

Release Date: May 1, 2011
Catalog Number: NV5851
Orchestral
Solo Instrumental
Cello
Piano Trio
String Orchestra
FINE MUSIC, VOL. II is the second compilation of the Navona Records Fine Music digital series. This installment features the works of Marinescu, Barber, Evans, Elizondo, Zaimont, Nagorcka, Hofmeyr, Wilenski, Stölzel, Bakker and Sackman. This collection both highlights some of Navona's choicest tracks and offers a preview of things to come.
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The Unnamed Source

Release Date: September 1, 2010
Catalog Number: NV5832
21st Century
Orchestral
Piano Trio
String Orchestra
String Quartet
Hans Bakker's The Unnamed Source invites you to become completely absorbed in music until you are no longer separate from what you hear. The album provides strong feelings of truth and reality that allow you to tune into a new perspective on yourself.
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