René Spierings studied at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague, where he successfully completed the training in classical percussion and ethnic percussion. He also studied Jazz-Vibraphone with Frits Landesbergen. During and after his studies, he frequently played with various symphony orchestras, ensembles and theater productions. During his studies he worked with composers such as John Cage, Mauricio Kagel and Steve Reich.
In order to specialize further and deepen his knowledge of mainly African percussion, René took master classes with various renowned percussionists, including Doudou and Ali N’diaye Rose, Bob Becker, Abraham Adzenha and Venacio Mbande. He was also involved in the creative process and/or the implementation of projects including Paardenkathedraal, Nationale Toneel Den Haag, De Appel, NND, Stage Entertainment, Slagwerk Den Haag, Anumadutchi, Circle Percussion and various theater productions.
Since the very beginning, René has been a member of Percossa, with which he not only creates, composes and plays performances, but also composes music for ballet companies at home and abroad. René uses all this experience as inspiration for his lessons at the Classical Music department of Codarts. René has been the artistic director and producer of Percossa since January 2020.
“Some highlights of my career? As a student I worked several times with Mauricio Kagel and, at his request, performed his works at home and abroad. Toured Mozambique, South Africa and Australia with Anumadutchi, very special concerts on the African continent. From 1989 on working with Percossa, which has since grown into an international act. Made very successful children’s and theater performances with Percossa. Tours of Canada, Taiwan, France, America are all highlights. As well as performing every night in Paris for a month. Especially the meetings with colleagues all over the world are highlights for me.”
Three questions for René Spierings:
Why do you believe students should come to Codarts?
"Codarts' percussion department is unique in the world, without being modest. A very broad package is offered to the percussion student. My specialization, percussion theater, is a wonderful addition to the broad curriculum and indispensable in today's cultural world."
What are you going to teach them?
"Mainly deepening in theatrical aspects of existing (modern) compositions. My own theatrical input and development of stage presentation are also part of my lessons."
How will you do this?
“I almost always start in ensemble form with students. Here I can see what a student's competencies are and focus more on the theatrical qualities of each student. I prefer to let the student play everything by heart, in order to get a lot more theatrical freedom of movement."
With Percossa 4 times best percussion group in the Benelux (2011, 2012, 2017, 2018).