Jan Koetsier was born on 14 August in Amsterdam.
His parents were the singer Jeanne Koetsier and the teacher Jan
The family moved to Berlin, where Jeanne
Koetsier had been awarded a scholarship to study singing. Jan
Koetsier-Muller worked in Berlin as a language coach for actors,
including teaching at the Acting School of the Deutsches Theater.
Studied at the Hochschule für Musik
in Berlin, beginning in Waldemar Lütschg’s piano class.
He quickly decided to change to conducting, and studied with Walther
Gmeindl (score reading and music theory) in preparation for the
entrance examination. He studied conducting with Julius Prüwer
from 1932-33 and also took clarinet lessons with his fellow student
Harald Genzmer. Decisive influences on Koetsier’s career
as composer and conductor were his friendships with Artur Schnabel,
who taught at the Hochschule, and with the pianist Leonard Shure
and the composer Siegfried Borris.
Répétiteur at the Stadttheater
Joined the Berlin touring companies ‘Deutsche
Musikbühne’ and ‘Deutsche Landesbühne’.
Conductor and pianist at the short wave broadcasting
station Berlin, for which he composed numerous works and arrangements
of folk songs from around the world.
Because of the German occupation of Holland,
Koetsier was unable to return to his homeland as he had planned.
Instead, he accompanied the dancer Ilse Meudtner as pianist on
tours throughout Germany.
Conductor of the newly-founded Kammeropera
in The Hague; tours throughout Holland.
Second conductor of the ‘Concertgebouw
Orchestra’ in Amsterdam. Collaboration with Willem Mengelberg,
then chief conductor of the orchestra, together with numerous
guest conducting engagements.
Conductor of the ‘Residentie Orkest’
and conducting teacher at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague.
Principal conductor of the ‘Symphonieorchester
des Bayerischen Rundfunks’, Munich (chief conductor, Eugen
Jochum). Numerous studio productions with the performing groups
of Bavarian Radio.
Professor of conducting and conductor of
the orchestra at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater, Munich.
After retiring, Koetsier concentrated mainly
on composing at his home in Rattenkirchen, Upper Bavaria. Numerous
commissioned works for brass chamber groups resulted from his
collaboration with ensembles, for example with the ‘Philip
Jones Brass Ensemble’, the ‘Slokar Quartet’,
the ‘Rennquintett’, the trombonist Armin Rosin and
his ‘Brass Philharmonie’, the ‘Leipziger Hornquartett’,
the ‘Münchner Blechbläsersolisten’ and other
ensembles. His compositions also include many orchestral works,
chamber music for various combinations of instruments, piano and
organ music, songs, choral works and an opera (‘Frans Hals’,
Jan Koetsier was awarded the Order of Merit
of the Federal Republic of Germany.
Jan Koetsier died on 28 April in the Augustinum
Home in Munich.