Wiek Hijmans, electric guitar
Seth Josel, electric guitar
Patricio Wang, electric guitar
Mark Haanstra, electric bass
Catch Electric Guitar Quartet is a product of nearly twenty years of crisscrossing paths and collaborations within the context of rock bands and free improvisation groups as well as contemporary ensembles. Recommended by his former New York guitar master, David Starobin, electric guitarist Wiek Hijmans received a request from Steve Mackey to assemble a quartet of three electric guitars and bass guitar for the Dreamhouse premiere at the Holland Festival 2002. Excellent performers in the field of contemporary music, Seth Josel and Patricio Wang, who both lived and worked in Amsterdam as well as in Berlin and Paris, were the obvious choice. Mark Haanstra, a great talent on the electric bass with a broad musical scope completed the quartet.
All four musicians had been working together in various settings over a long period of time, before being brought together by Mr. Hijmans for this occasion. Since the premiere of Dreamhouse, the quartet has been involved in further premiere performances (Christopher Fox, Peter Adriaansz, Huib Emmer), ensemble collaborations (Cappella Amsterdam), and has become the ensemble in residence at the Output Festival in Amsterdam.
Catch was in residence at Princeton University in 2007 and premiered seven new works written especially for them. The group collaborated in the fall of 2007 with the Slagwerkgroep Den Haag, touring with them throughout Holland. In addition, the long-awaited US premiere of Dreamhouse was presented to critical acclaim in May 2007 with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project.
Wiek Hijmans has played the electric guitar since the age of eleven. His interest in both classical and popular music instilled in him a lifelong passion for integrating the electric guitar in classical music. Mr. Hijmans has been featured at the Holland Festival's Night of the Electric Guitar and at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam as "the specialist in contemporary composed music for electric guitar." Mr. Hijmans holds a Performing Musician's Diploma from the Conservatorium van Amsterdam and a Professional Studies Certificate from the Manhattan School of Music where he studied with David Starobin. Wiek Hijmans is the recipient of several awards and prizes, including a Fulbright grant. He is the composer and performer on two CDs: Electric Solo! and Classic Electric. He has performed solo recitals across the globe, including Canada, Switzerland, Italy, China, Denmark, Poland, and multiple performances in the United States and Holland. He has also performed with the Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra, John Zorn, the Giovanni Sollima Band, David Starobin, Butch Morris, Derek Bermel, Anthony Braxton, Ernst Reijseger, Peter van Bergen, Maarten Altena, Roscoe Mitchell, Amsterdam Sinfonietta, the Ebony Band, Nick Didkovsky, Peter Kowald, the Mondriaan Quartet, and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Big Band. Wiek Hijmans is the Output Festival co-director, the co-artistic director of the Dutch/American arts collective TONK, and the co-director of X-OR record company.
Seth Josel acquired his Bachelor of Music degree at the Manhattan School of Music and thereafter enrolled at Yale University where he earned his Master of Music, Master of Musical Arts, and Doctor of Musical Art degrees. His teachers included Manuel Barrueco and Eliot Fisk. He is the recipient of numerous awards and prizes including a Fulbright-Hays grant and the Artists Stipend from the Akademie Schloss Solitude in Stuttgart. As an ensemble player and soloist he has been involved in the first performances of more than one hundred works. From 1991 until 2000 he was a permanent member of the ensemble musikFabrik NRW. He has concertized throughout Europe as well as the United States and Canada, and he has been a guest performer with leading orchestras and ensembles, including the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Southwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra, the South German Radio Choir, the Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin, and ASKO|Schönberg ensemble of Amsterdam. From 2002-2005 Mr. Josel appeared as a soloist at several major European festivals including Salzburger Festspiele, Donaueschingen Festival, ECLAT Festival Neue Musik, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, and musikprotokoll Graz. In addition to his four solo CDs, he has recorded with the ensemble musikFabrik NRW, the DSO Berlin, Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Saarbrücken, ASKO|Schönberg, and Champ d’Action Antwerpen. He also recorded Berio's Sequenza XI for the complete Sequenza cycle released on Mode Records in 2006. He is the co-founder of www.sheerpluck.de, a website database dedicated to the contemporary guitar literature.
Patricio Wang studied composition, sonology, and architecture at the Universidad de Chile in Santiago. In 1976 he came to Europe to study composition and classical guitar at the Royal Conservatoire of The Hague where he got his degree in 1983. Mr. Wang has been a member of various ensembles, among others Hoketus and the Dutch Ensemble LOOS, of which he has been a member since 1992. Since 1981 he has been a member, interpreter, composer/arranger, and now serves as musical director of the Chilean ensemble Quilapayun in Paris. As an interpreter of contemporary music he collaborates regularly with different European ensembles, including Ensemble InterContemporain, ASKO|Schönberg ensemble, Concertgebouworkest, Ebony Band, Radio Kamer Filharmonie, Ensemble Contrechamps, Ensemble Modern, and musikFabrik. Mr. Wang also composes music for both soloists and ensembles. Some of his work includes the a capella opera Tragicomedia de don Cristóbal y doña Rosita (1986) based on the play by F. García-Lorca; the opera Pinocchio for ten singers/actors and seven musicians for the RO Theater (1995); the dance-opera A taste of glamour (1997) for four countertenors/dancers and four musicians; Two Sisters (2002) for two pianos; and Schipbreuk (2008) for Ensemble LOOS. Since 1977 Mr. Wang has composed regularly for film, dance, and theater.
Mark Haanstra started with classical piano at the age of six. He switched to bass in his teens and went on to study bass guitar and double bass at the Hilversum Conservatory, where he graduated cum laude in September 1997 with an honorable mention for composition. He has won several prizes, including the Dutch Jazz Competition in 1994, 1998, and 2002. Mr. Haanstra's recognizable sound, groove, and flexibility make him a much sought after musician by many artists, ensembles, and orchestras in all genres; he often works with the ASKO|Schönberg and the nieuw ensemble, The North Netherlands Orchestra, and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. Together with the Amsterdam Percussion Group he has toured extensively with world-famous drummers Terry Bozzio and Simon Phillips. He also performs regularly with Yuri Honing's Wired Paradise and the Barnicle Bill Trio (with Miguel Martinez and John Engels). All of these influences have surfaced in his own groups, for which he also composes; with guitarist Frank Wingold and drummer Joost Lijbaart, he co-leads Agog, and with violinist/composer Oene van Geel, he founded the group Oxymore Quintet (with Harmen Fraanje, Guillaume Orti, and Chander Sardjoe). Mr. Haanstra has toured around the world and recorded over 30 CDs. Since 2004 he has taught bass guitar and ensemble at the Prince Claus Conservatoire in Groningen.