Theo Nederpelt (1933) comes from a musical family: his father was a pianist and a passionate choir conductor, his mother had a beautiful, clear singing voice.
When Theo was four years old, he was already playing songs on the piano, he loved and lived for improvisation when he was five, using both hands – one for the melody and one for the accompaniment. When he was six he played at his father’s students’ performances, when he was seven, he played two-part pieces by Bach from memory.
He studied the piano under Jan de Man at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague, from which he graduated with honors, with a grade average of 10/10 and two prices to his name. For his final examination, he could play by heart Bach’s entire Well Tempered Clavier, the examination comitee only needed to choose. He later followed lessons with Eugène Traey, one of Belgium’s most renowned pianists, and composition classes with Kees van Baaren, the most leading composer of his day. Furthermore, he studied direction and school music.
In 1970, Theo was appointed Director Holland of the International Bach Society by its founder, famous Bach performer Rosalyn Tureck. Theo has performed and given lectures at this Society’s summer courses in New York.
His concert repertoire includes nearly all of Bach’s keyboard pieces, as well as Mozart’s complete sonatas, a large number of Beethoven’s sonatas, all of Schubert’s Impromptus, and music by Chopin, Brahms, Franck, Mussorgsky, Debussy and others.
As a composer, he has produced pieces for harp trio, for the string orchestra, the clarinet quartet, the piano and choir music. He has also composed a number of songs.
As a Bach specialist Theo wrote a book on Bach’s last composition, ‘The Art of Fugue’, a work consisting of twenty separate fugues. He played the entire piece on Bach’s 300th birthday (march 21, 1985). As a composer he finished the last fugue in Bach’s style.