Dante Boon (born 1973) is a composer and pianist based in Amsterdam. A member of the Wandelweiser composers collective, he is perhaps best known as an interpreter of experimental piano music. His own music has been performed internationally to wide acclaim.
Boon started his piano studies at age 14, with Willem Brons at the Sweelinck Conservatorium in Amsterdam. He studied composition with Diderik Wagenaar at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague. At the age of 24, he joined the Dutch rock band The Scene as a keyboardist and arranger.
A champion of experimental piano music and of Wandelweiser in particular, Boon has premiered over 50 works, many of which written specifically for him. He has performed at such venues as Constellation Chicago, Spectrum, Studio Z, the Rotterdam Philharmonic Gergiev Festival, Jeunesses Musicales du Canada, the ISCM Festival, Gaudeamus Muziekweek, De Link, Paradiso, and regularly at Amsterdam's underground venue Zaal 100 and Klangraum in Düsseldorf.
Boon has also been active as a concert organizer himself. He was one of the young composers who organized the Amsterdam concert series for new music Concerten Tot en Met between 1997 and 2004. He has also co-organized the series The Workshop/Maximum Clarity (with James Fulkerson) at Zaal 100, and since 2007 (with Stevko Busch) Pianolab Amsterdam, a showcase for Amsterdam pianists and their guests, at the Goethe-Institut. In 2017, Boon organized the Amsterdam Wandelweiser Festival, a four-day festival of Wandelweiser music.
He has recorded music by composers such as Philip Corner, Rozalie Hirs, John Cage, Jürg Frey, Samuel Vriezen, Morton Feldman, Richard Ayres, Tom Johnson, and Michael Manion. With pianist-composer Samuel Vriezen, he recorded Tom Johnson's Symmetries for piano four hands. Boon has announced an upcoming CD featuring works by Antoine Beuger, Taylan Susam, and himself. In 2004, he premiered Tom Johnson's Same or Different, commissioned by VPRO Radio.
Boon's compositions have been performed internationally, at such venues as Museo Reina Sofía, Goethe-Institut Amsterdam, Kunstraum, Alte Jazz-Schmiede, The Old Stone House, Willow Place Auditorium, Orgelpark, Stedelijk Museum, Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ, the Royal Academy of Dutch language and literature, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, The Wild Beast, Kultur & Kongresshaus Aarau, UCSB, and REDCAT. Performers of his music have included Ensemble Sisyphe, the Wandelweiser Composers Ensemble, de ereprijs, Nederlands Vocaal Laboratorium, Antoine Beuger, Jürg Frey, Michael Pisaro, Samuel Vriezen, Germaine Sijstermans, Taylan Susam, Irene Kurka, Erik Carlson, Johnny Chang, Sergej Tchirkov and Markus Kaiser. His scores are published by Edition Wandelweiser.
He is also known as a skillful arranger, having arranged music for The Scene and Wende, among others.
Since 2016, he has taken up conducting. In November of that year, he conducted Ensemble Sisyphe in a program of music by André Cormier, Tom Johnson, Taylan Susam, and himself.
He was a guest lecturer at the 13th Wiener Tage für zeitgenössische Klaviermusik hosted by the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna. A three-concert musical portrait of Dante Boon was presented in 2012 at Düsseldorf's Klangraum. In 2013, he was a special guest at Michael Pisaro's Dog Star Orchestra festival of experimental music. In the same year, a retrospective of Boon's music was presented at the Los Angeles performance space the wulf. In 2016, Boon was featured as a composer and performer at Quatuor Bozzini's Performer's Kitchen.
(photo by Caro Lenssen)