Conductor and composer Arjan van Baest (1969) likes to embrace new challenges with musicians who share his passion for music. His compositions and the varied repertoires of his choirs reflect his broad musical interest. Arjan is the music director/conductor of the Dominicuskerk in Amsterdam. Currently, he is the artistic leader/conductor of Stichting Bachcantates Tilburg, Appassionata Consort & Koor, Cantiqua Concert (concert choir) and COMA Eindhoven (ensemble for contemporary music). With these and other ensembles Arjan has performed a wide range of works for choir and orchestra, including Mozart’s ‘Magic Flute’, Handel’s ‘Messiah’, Mozart’s ‘Requiem’ and all major Bach works.
Compositions by Arjan include ‘Factus est recente’ for organ, saxophone quartet, double bass and percussion (first prize in the Eindhoven Festival Of New Organ Music 2010), ‘For God To God’ for soprano and choir on texts by Etty Hillesum (premiered under the composer’s direction in Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ, Amsterdam, 2013) and the stage works ‘Een wintervertelling’, ‘Mingo’ and ‘Lodewijk Napeoleon in Brabant’. In November 2018 a new cantata about the life of St. Caecilia will be premiered by Cantiqua Concert.
Arjan has recorded some of his choral works on the cd ‘Pro Luce’ (issued in 2013 by Stichting Muziek Nu). In 2017, the cd ‘Lezen in bed’ was issued, with eight cabaret songs (in Dutch). In 2018, a cd with liturgical compositions on texts by Franck Ploum was released.
As a pianist Arjan works with Dorine van der Klei and composer/conductor Tom Löwenthal. He is repetitor of Theaterchor Niederrhein (Kevelaer).
Arjan is a research coach at the Master of Music of the Fontys School of Fine and Performing Arts in Tilburg. With composer Evert van Merode he founded Stichting Muziek Nu, a platform for the development and performance of new music. Arjan studied church organ and music theory with Henk de Croon, composition with Kees Schoonenbeek, choral conducting with Louis Buskens (graduated cum laude) and orchestral conducting with Arjan Tien. He holds a PhD. in Literature from Tilburg University.
Arjan is chair of the board of the Hanns Eisler Stichting Nederland.