Biography

René Nieuwint (1955) studied biochemistry, choral conducting, singing and piano. He worked for over seven years as an academic staff member at both Amsterdam universities before definitely opting for music in 1988.

From 1986 to early 1999 he was attached to Koor Nieuwe Muziek [New Music Choir] as a singer, as a repetiteur and a business manager. After the death of founder and conductor Huub Kerstens in 1999 he became the artistic director, transforming the choir into a successful and much-sought after professional choir.

With the Koor Nieuwe Muziek, he has premiered many new works. The choir has cooperated with renowned orchestras and ensembles such as the Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest [Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra], Holland Symfonia [Holland Symphonia], the Metropole Orkest [Metropole Orchestra], Ensemble ContreChamps, The Barton Workshop and the Willem Breuker Kollektief [Willem Breuker Collective].

René Nieuwint has rehearsed choirs for conductors such as Bernard Haitink, Heinz Holliger, Michael Tilson Thomas and Riccardo Chailly. He was assistant conductor in the production of « Suor Angelica » by Giacomo Puccini in the 1999 Concertgebouworkest Christmas matinee. This production was released as DVD on the occasion of Riccardo Chailly’s farewell in 2004.

In 2003 he conducted the music theatre production « Jona » by Willem Breuker featuring Jasperina de Jong, Denise Jannah, Frits Lambrechts, Marcel Beekman and Pieter Hendriks. This production was released as DVD in 2005.

On a regular basis, he will work together with organist Christine Kamp, programming music for organ and ensemble or organ and choir. They have recorded works for organ and brass instruments by Louis Vierne and Charles-Marie Widor. In 2005 a recording featuring the complete works for choir and organ by Louis Vierne and made in the St. Ouen Abbey Church in Rouen, was released to great acclaim.

In September 2005, he conducted the Koor Nieuwe Muziek, Amsterdam Sinfonietta and the Willem Breuker Kollektief in arrangements by Bob Zimmerman and Willem Breuker on the occasion of the event « 400 jaar Nederlandse Muziek » [Four hundred years of Dutch music], organized by BUMA [Netherlands body for managing music copyright collectively]. A double CD of this special evening has been released.

In addition to his range of activities in the professional music world, he has, over the last few years, appeared as guest conductor with choirs including the Erasmus Kamerkoor [Erasmus Chamber Choir], Kamerkoor Venus [Chamber Choir Venus], Vocaal Ensemble Coqu [Vocal Ensemble Coqu] and Vrouwenkoor Cantiamo [Cantiamo Women’s Choir].

The 2006 theme was the first Haiti opera « Le Mariage Lenglensou » [The Blood Marriage), by the Haitian composer Ipharès Blain and the Haitian writer Rassoul Labuchin. Not only did René Nieuwint complete the libretto and the music, but he also formed the choir, the orchestra and the soloist ensemble, conducting twelve performances throughout Haiti.

On 28 September 2007 the documentary Hans Fels made about this project for the VPRO broadcasting company was premiered during de Nederlandse Filmdagen [the Netherlands Film Days]. Meanwhile, a DVD has been released with a live recording of the full performance of this opera.

In 2007 he made his first appearance since 2005 with the Koor Nieuwe Muziek. The oratorio « Voices » by the Dutch composer André Arends was premiered in April 2007.

In February and March 2008 René Nieuwint again toured Haiti to show the documentary by Hans Fels and to promote the DVD of the opera. This trip was extremely successful. Thousands of people have watched the film and the opera recording, both in halls and out in the open.

During the last years he is conducting the chamber choir Puisque tout Passe in Haarlem and the choirs Odeon and Sancta Maria in Noordwijkerhout.

And he founded a new organization called « Mizik Vivan » [Living Music] which will restore, publish and perform classical music from Haïti.