Floris Van der Veken
DOCTOR OF MUSICAL ARTS
MA/PhD in Theory
Floris Van der Veken (°1998) is a Belgian saxophonist and performance artist currently residing in Rochester, NY. His performances are characterized by a strong emphasis on contemporary repertoire and interdisciplinary collaboration. At the moment he pursues the Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the Eastman School of Music with Dr. Chien-Kwan Lin. He received his Master’s degree as well as a postgraduate specialization degree in performance, both with highest distinction, at the Royal Conservatoire of Antwerp, Belgium, studying under Hans de Jong. During an exchange year he studied under Rodrigo Vila at the Conservatori Superior de Música de les Illes Balears in Mallorca, Spain.
Floris specializes in contemporary and experimental repertoire, often working together with composers to highlight new works. In a collaboration with the composer Wim Henderickx, he premiered the concerto Empty Mind I for soprano saxophone and live electronics. As the ’22-’23 outreach coordinator for the OSSIA New Music organization, Floris commits to bringing more new music performances to the Rochester area. As an artist committed to interdisciplinary performances, Floris wrote and directed his own music- and dance theatre ‘MOIRA – Ode to a Life of Failure’ under the coaching of Muziektheater Transparant, which premiered in 2019.
Besides performing, Floris is an active researcher and educator. His research contributes to his performance, and vice versa, to solidify a substantiated practice in every aspect of the art. His doctoral research encompasses the repertoire of Boulez and its use of extramusical elements, providing theoretical background for interdisciplinary collaborations. Floris also obtained a Master’s degree in Music Education at the Royal Conservatoire of Antwerp. He has experience teaching children and adults of all ages and considers it a crucial part of musicianship.
Floris is the 2020 Laureate of the ‘Oranjebeurs’ for music, awarded by the Consulate of the Netherlands, and was awarded a grant for his studies in the US by the organization Inspiratum. At the Eastman School of Music, he obtained the position of teaching assistant as a Graduate Award. Having studied conducting as a minor during his Master’s, Floris was the assistant-conductor of l’Orquestra del Conservatori Superior de les Illes Balears in 2018. He continues to conduct in his DMA under the guidance of Prof. Brad Lubman. Floris participated in many masterclasses with renowned saxophonists such as Timothy McAllister, Arno Bornkamp, Ryo Noda, Lars Mlekusch, Vincent David, Joonatan Rautiola, Jérôme Laran, and Nicholas Prost.