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Frédéric Meinders (Piano, Composer, Arranger)

Born: August 19, 1946 - The Hague, the Netherlands

The Dutch pianist and composer, Frédéric Meinders, got his first piano lessons from his parents at the age of 5 and then became a pupil of Jan de Man at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague. In 1968 he won a national piano competition in the Netherlands and in 1971 he won the Prix d'Exellence before he continued his studies in Geneva with the Russian born piano virtuoso Nikita Magaloff on the encouragement of Martha Argerich. One year later he won the first prize at the international Scriabin Competition in Oslo.

Frédéric Meinders has since been considered one of the foremost Dutch pianists. On tours he has played in most of the European capitals, Canada, both the Near and Far East and North and South America (living in Brazil today) - and he has been a frequent guest at the Piano Festival for rarely heard piano music in Husum in Northern Germany (Recorded every year by Danacord) - obtaining reviews of rare enthusiasm (See below).

Apart from solo recitals Frédéric Meinders has appeared with the Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, Hague Philharmonic Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and Wiener Symphoniker under such well-known conductors as Bernard Haitink, Colin Davis, David Zinman and Leif Segerstam. In chamber music and piano duos Meinders has appeared with internationally acclaimed artists like Arleen Augér, Janos Starker, Nelson Freire and has been a frequent guest in recording studios for EMI, CBS and Danacord.

But Frédéric Meinders is not just a brilliant pianist but also a person with an almost Beecham-like sharp wit which was developed at a very early stage of his career. As a boy of 8 years he developed his own fingering instead of following the one dictated by his teacher, who in despair finally tried to threaten the boy that he would make sausage of him if he didn't comply. That worked - Meinders never touched Bratwurst since.

Today Meinders only plays chamber music or solo recitals - never with orchestras. As he has told Hans Brofeldt: "When a conductor once stopped me in a solo part at a rehearsal of Rachmaninov's 2nd piano concerto and asked me: could you please play that solo part with less rubato? I said: no, I am so sorry, maestro, I don't have that quality unfortunately. I compare myself to an orchestra: I only play with rubato and the orchestra only plays with conductors and conductors never play wrong notes, and they are never out of tune!."

Frédéric Meinders' own compositions mostly concentrates on the piano (solo or chamber music) either original or arrangements/transcriptions and many in different versions (one or two hands). Among these are 17 remarkable paraphrases on Études by Frédéric Chopin of which the first five are written on the étude Op. 10 No 11 and conceived as a homage to Leopold Godowsky.

"Pianistically, however, it is the Dutch pianist Frédéric Meinders who steals the show. Meinders, one of those old fashioned types who strikes the notes instead of jabbing at them, produces gradations of tone and colours that transcend the dry and unforgiving Husum acoustic and the close microphone placement. Five of his transcriptions revealed a sophisticated pianist-composer in direct line of descent from Franz Liszt, Leopold Godowsky and Earl Wild." International Record Review, Jeremy Nicholas (December 2000).

"No one with a fascination for the world of the pianist-composer should be unaware of the work of Frédéric Meinders, a uniquely gifted craftsman whose efforts continue to delight and often amaze me. His combination of boundless imagination, considerable compositional skill and ultra-polish offer prospective pianists a source of great joy and fulfillment."
Marc-André Hamelin

Source: Piano Music for the Left Hand Alone Website (Author: Hans Brofeldt); Frédéric Meinders Website
Contributed by
Teddy Kaufman (August 2007)

Frédéric Meinders: Short Biography | Recordings of Instrumental Works
Piano Transcriptions:
Works | Recordings

Links to other Sites

Frédéric Meinders Dutch pianist and composer (Piano Music for the Left Hand Alone)

Frédéric Meinders (Official Website)

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