Pioneering guitarist and composer Aart Strootman (1987) throws a solid knock on the door of the music business of our times. His intellect and frank, fresh view on musical genres and styles justify a most prominent position in the music scene. He studied classical guitar and composition at Conservatory Fontys & Zuyd and at the University of Utrecht he obtained a MA in Musicology. Currently he is a PhD candidate at the university of Leiden via the DocArtes program.
Since 2009 Aart Strootman teaches music history, (advanced) ear training, analysis, philosophy and performance studies at the Fontys School of Arts in Tilburg. He is artistic leader of contemporary music ensemble F.C. Jongbloed. In 2012 he found his band TEMKO. As a core member/guitarist of ensemble s t a r g a z e he worked with Laura Mvula, John Cale,Terry Riley, Bill Frisell, Philippe Jaroussky, Shara Worden, Nils Frahm and many others.
In 2012 Aart Strootman was awarded “Brandstof” talent by the BKKC, followed the next two years by MuziekLab’s “New Arrivals”. In 2014 Aart was granted “Nieuwe maker” by the Dutch Fund of Performing Arts. With this support he follows masterclasses composition with Nik Bärtsch in Zürich. In September 2017 he won the prestigious Gaudeamus composition where the jury described him as a ‘complete original: a performer, an improviser, an inventor and a unique composer.’ In May 2018 he won the 1st prize at the prix Annelie de Man composition competition and in december of that year the 1st prize at the International Viola Congress. In 2019 he received the most important composition prize of The Netherlands, the Matthijs Vermeulenprijs.
He has played solo with Britten Sinfonia, the HR,WDR, SWR, Iceland Symphony Orchestra, and the New York Philharmonic. As a soloist he played recitals at the most diverse venues: from local museums to the Barbican Hall, from Amsterdam to Wellington. Most of these concerts are played on homemade instruments developed via elaborate collaborations with composers or in depth research.
Aarts music has been performed by F.C. Jongbloed, DissonArt Ensemble, TEMKO, KLANG, Storioni, Slagwerk Den Haag, Axolot, Bang on a Can, s t a r g a z e, Kaleidoscope ensemble L.A., Nora Fisher, Ramon Lormans, Jacqueline Hamelink, Jane Chapman, Sandbox Percussion, Vincent van Amsterdam and many others.