Jörgen Van Rijen

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As principal trombonist of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam, van Rijen is among the most prominent European trombonists.
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As principal trombonist (with Bart Claessens) of Amsterdam's fabled Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Jörgen van Rijen is one of Europe's most prominent trombonists. Once called an ambassador for the trombone, van Rijen is notable for his commitment to expanding the trombone repertory with new music. Jörgen van Rijen was born in Dordrecht in the Netherlands on February 20, 1975. He took up the trombone at age eight. At 16 he entered the Rotterdam Conservatory, studying with George Wiegel and traveling to the Lyon Conservatory in France for work with Michel Becquet and with Baroque trombonist Daniel Lassalle. After finishing his schooling, van Rijen joined the Rotterdam Philharmonic, and in 1997, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. He won several prizes in the '90s, including the Holiday Inn/Classic FM competition in Britain in 1997 and first prize at the International Trombone Competition in Guebwiller, France, two years. With a solo appearance at the Concertgebouw in 2001, performing the Trombone Concerto of Henri Tomasi, van Rijen took a step forward, and another in 2005 when that concert was released on CD by the Channel Classics label. The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra commissioned Dutch composer Theo Verbey to write a concerto for van Rijen entitled LIED; this work too was performed by van Rijen with the orchestra and released on CD. In addition, van Rijen was given a Borletti Buitoni Trust award, allowing him to commission new works for the trombone from several composers, including Kalevi Aho. He has made guest appearances with orchestras across Europe, North America, and Asia, including an extended stint with the New York Philharmonic. In 2003, he became a founder of the New Trombone Collective, with whom he has released three albums and performed widely. He has released several more albums on Channel Classics and, as of 2018, the Swedish label BIS; that latter issued his 2019 recording of the Aho Trombone Concerto that had been written for him. In addition to his performing career, van Rijen is professor of trombone at the Amsterdam Conservatory.