About Henriëtte Bosmans

Henriëtte Bosmans (1895-1952) was a striking personality in Dutch music life in the first half of the last century. Trained by her mother, she obtained her pianodiploma at the age of seventeen. As a pianist and composer, she collaborated with famous musicians from the Amsterdam Concertgebouw. She has performed at leading stages in the Netherlands with internationally renowned conductors such as Pierre Monteux, Willem Mengelberg, Eduard van Beinum, Adrian Boult and George Szell. She did not have an easy life. The relationship with her demanding mother has put a heavy stamp on her life.

The early death of her fiancé, the violinist Francis Koene, with whom she formed a duo, also had a lasting influence in 1935. The Second World War meant a break in her career, because she refused to become a member of the Kultuurkammer, she was forbidden to perform in public and she could only give illegal concerts. In the war years she became very close friends with the recital artist Charlotte Köhler, and after the war with the composers Benjamin Britten and Matthijs Vermeulen. In the last years of her life, plagued by illness, a new creative period began. The songs that she then wrote and performed with her friend Noëmie Perugia are among the best of that time.

A selection from her list of works:

1914: 2 x Three Keyboard Pieces
1917: Preludes for piano
1918: Sonata for violin and piano
1919: Sonata for cello and piano
1920: Poème for cello and piano
1921: Piano trio for violin, cello and piano
1921: First Cello Concert
1922-23: Poème for cello and orchestra
1923: Second Cello Concert
1926: Impressions for cello and piano
1926: Nuit calme for cello and piano
1926: Poème for cello and orchestra
1927: String Quartet
1928: Concertino for piano and orchestra
1932: Concert piece for flute and orchestra. Written for a competition of the Concertgebouw Orchestra. With this she won the second prize.
1934: Concert piece for violin and orchestra, performed for the first time by violinist Louis Zimmerman.
1944-45: Death March, declamatorium with orchestra on lyrics by Clara Eggink
1945: The Canadians for soprano and piano come to the text of Fedde Schurer
1920-1951: Many songs on poems by Alfred de Musset, Paul Verlaine, Paul Fort, Jacques Prévert, Heinrich Heine, Otto Julius Bierbaum, Tu Fu, Li T’ai Po, J.W.F. Werumeus Buning, Adriaan Roland Holst and others.