The teacher
Henry Kelder will start his 26th season as a conservatory teacher in the 2020-2021 season. Since 2010 Henry Kelder has been a professor of piano at the HKU Utrecht Conservatory, Utrecht University of the Arts. Here he is also a senior lecturer. Before that he was piano teacher at the Prince Claus Conservatoire in Groningen (classical music, light music, music teacher) and repetitor at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague (especially saxophone, oboe, bassoon, voice, cello, violin) and ArtEZ Conservatory in Zwolle (flute and horn). As a guest lecturer, he taught in China (Beijing, Guangzhou, HongKong, Foshan, Suzhou and Macau), United States (New England Conservatory in Boston, University of Colorado in Boulder, University of South Florida in Tampa, University of Arizona in Tucson, University or Northern Colorado in Greeley), Japan (Showa Tokyo) and in Europe (Italy, Spain, Estonia and Poland).

Henry Kelder's class
Henry Kelder's class consists of about 12-15 students. A well-balanced group in terms of number of Dutch and foreign students, boys and girls, spread over Master, Bachelor and Pre-Class. Students from all over the world have found their way to Henry Kelder, such as pianists from Indonesia, Mexico, China, USA, Serbia, Italy, Greece, Spain, South Korea and United Kingdom. The class forms a close-knit group where the students can rely on each other. Experiences and tips are also exchanged. This group forms the backbone of the piano study and is necessary to be able to follow the study with great pleasure and confidence. They work hard, but there is always room for social activities.

Henry Kelder strives to provide tailor-made lessons and to challenge the student to learn to discover his or her personality, to make musical choices, without losing authenticity. He puts many questions to the students so that they can arrive at certain insights themselves. During the piano study, are a means of reflection. Much is required of the student's commitment and responsibility. In order to go into depth through the craftmanship, but also the breadth.
That depth consists of developing a perfect technique to be able to play relaxed, easy and free from the ground up. Forming a rich sound, understanding the architecture of a composition, playing with style, staying true to the score and performing are part of the learning objectives. During the lesson, a lot of attention is paid to hearing, self-reflection, the way you study, basics, understanding the score.
In addition to this basic formation and depth, there is a lot of room for width. Henry Kelder’s experience with teaching, composing, conducting, accompanying, improvising, chamber music, sight reading, rehearsing, orchestral playing, contemporary music, light music and entrepreneurship have proven invaluable, which he can impart to students. The students are taught to stimulate themselves musically, to maintain their individuality and to think out of the box

Henry Kelder’s school is a combination of all the great piano schools. In his teaching practice he combines the traditional Russian and Polish piano schools, but also the contemporary American and Dutch ones. With the aim of making the student a complete pianist. The "singing", the playing with the core, is an important factor in this.
The above is treated on the basis of repertoire from different style periods. Baroque, Classicism, Romanticism, Early Modern, Late Modern / Contemporary and studies and exercises.

Group lessons
In addition to individual lessons, group lessons are given in English. In these group lessons, a lot of attention is paid to repertoire for playing for each other, learning to give positive and constructive commentary to each other, technique, study tips, improvisation, contemporary music, listening sessions, discussions, issues, entrepreneurship, planning, exercises, muscle control, light music, treating methods, etc. teaching each other, reading prima vista, guiding etc. etc.

Other activities

  • Student concerts: every season Henry Kelder's piano class organizes five students concerts that take place in the fantastic concert hall of the conservatory, the Fentener van Vlissingenzaal.
  • Project weeks: every year, two project weeks are organized for piano students.
  • Composition: the piano section has a close collaboration with the composition department. This results in the rehearsing of new works by composition students and performing their world premieres.
  • Masterclasses: every year several guest teachers from abroad come to give master classes. These can be attended or students can be invited to participate and thus actively participate in classes.
  • Playing together: during the study, much attention is paid to making music together in chamber music, Lied classes, duo playing, two pianos, four hands, electronica and ensemble and orchestral playing.
  • Concerts: concerts are organized annually for students outside of school. Utrecht cultural center Tivoli Vredenburg in particular is an important stage for this. But churches and smaller venues in the area are also visited.
  • External productions: there is also the opportunity to organize extracurricular activities at MatchingArts, Henry Kelder's company. In this way the student can learn what is involved in a production.
  • Internships: students can also regularly visit Henry Kelder's activities to learn how the practice works.
  • Traveling: during their studies, some students are given the opportunity to travel with Henry Kelder. The United States has regularly been visited in recent years. During an intensive week, concerts are given, lessons are taken from different teachers in piano and chamber music and fascinating contacts are made that often result in long-lasting overseas friendships.

The Utrecht University of the Arts is one of the largest art universities in Europe with approximately 4000 students and consists of 10 locations (schools) spread throughout the historical city of Utrecht. The school (faculty) of Music (HKU Utrecht Conservatory) is located with two buildings in the beautiful center of the old city with a view at the Dom Tower.
For more information about the conservatory and studying in the nice student city of Utrecht: