Rik van den Bergh
“Jazz town Breda is where I was raised, and where I started playing the clarinet. It is there that I heard the major jazz players, and I was lucky to be on stage at the Breda Jazz Festival as a saxophone player a number of times. In the end, it led to me attending the Royal Conservatoire of The Hague, where I received the bachelor’s degree for Jazz Saxophone (in the fields of performance and teaching) in 1998. It didn’t take long before I focused on the baritone saxophone completely.
Since then, I have always played and taught. I have always liked this combination, although this does not mean I feel the teaching and performing parts of the profession could not exist separately.
For years, I have taught at music schools, lead a big band and given jazz/improvisation workshops in the Netherlands and abroad. Since 2014, I teach Theory at the Jazz department and Practical Solfège at the Pop department at Codarts.
I am also still very active as a baritone saxophone player.”
Why do you believe students should come to Codarts?
“Codarts is a school where the Jazz, Pop, and World Music programmes are formed by excellent teachers. They are also active on national and international stages and as a result, there is a thorough focus on what the field requires of a musician.”
What will you teach them, and how will you do this?
“Theory (Jazz): in their first year, students will learn the harmonic and melodic basis on which jazz music is based. They will do so by means of classical works and standards from the jazz and pop repertoire. Practical Solfège (Pop): students will train their hearing by means of musical pieces from the pop and jazz repertoire. Understanding, hearing, and singing scales and chord progressions is part of this.”
1999 Kobe Jazz Award