Composer Merlijn Twaalfhoven is most known by the remarkable projects he creates, connecting styles, cultures but first of all people. Twaalfhovens intention is to bridge worlds of contrast, and to mix unusual elements to a new unity. Classic and modern, western and oriental, groovy and subtle music is combined into a lively metaphor for nowadays world. With the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, he created his “Symphony for All”, a composition that includes 150 children, non-professional players and even the audience. As another example, he took “bridging the gap” literal and positioned 400 musicians on rooftops on both the Greek and Turkish side of the buffer zone in Nicosia, the divided capital of Cyprus.
Last year, Merlijn worked in Jordan and Palestine, combining the Amman Symphony Orchestra with Palestinian refugee children, created a musical bridge across the separation wall in the Occupied Territories and organized a hidden festival in the Old City of Jerusalem where cultural diversity could be celebrated by the local people.
As professor “Popkunst” at ArtEZ school of Arts, Merlijn developed ways to connect art to society and to open the art world for new audiences.