AbstractsPhilosophy & Theology

Vic Nees: "Godfather" of Belgian Choral Music

by Marvin H Dueck

Institution: University of Alberta
Department: Department of Music
Degree: Doctor of Music
Year: 2013
Keywords: Vic Nees; Choral Music
Record ID: 2019222
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/10402/era.30855


Vic Nees (b. 1936) is a prolific Belgian composer of primarily choral music who has had a profound influence on the culture of choral music in Belgium, Europe, and increasingly around the world. Through his long association with the Flemish Radio Choir, both as conductor and producer, he was instrumental in developing this chorus into one of the top-ranked professional choral ensembles in the world today. As adjudicator at many of the world’s most prestigious choral competitions he has promoted excellence in choral performance on a global level. As a composition adjudicator and clinician at many international composition competitions, he has stimulated creativity and artistic integrity within the participants, nourishing the demand for new choral music of merit. Finally, as a composer he has been recognized world-wide with numerous awards for his compositions, and honours for his contributions to choral music. Most importantly he has gifted the world with his art. This essay seeks to introduce Vic Nees and his body of work to the English-speaking world, specifically North America, where he is largely unknown. The main body of the essay includes an overview of Nees’s place in the continuum of Belgian music history, an outline of his formative music training and experience, and his contributions as a conductor and choral composer, and a discussion of his stylistic characteristics found in his music. Appendices provide interview questions provided to Nees, verbatim transcripts of interviews conducted with Nees in 2008, and a listing of his compositions. The interviews provide true insights into his philosophy, his musicianship, his artistry, and his towering intellect. Exposure to Vic Nees’s music is a rewarding experience, and if the reading of this paper entices more musicians to seek out and perform his music, this paper will have served its purpose.