Jörgen van Rijen


"van Rijen and Aho turned the trombone into a fount of melodic grace and gambolling"

The Times

"Wim Van Hasselt and Jörgen van Rijen appear to find a golden thread to weave through remarkably diverse musical traditions"


"There can’t be many trombonists who could match van Rijen’s dazzling virtuosity"

Dallas News

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Principal trombonist of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Jörgen van Rijen is also much in demand as a soloist with a special commitment to promoting his instrument, developing new repertoire for the trombone and bringing the existing repertoire to a broader audience. He is a specialist on both the modern and baroque trombone.

He performs as a soloist with distinguished conductors and orchestras all over the world, such as the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, BBC Symphony, Dallas Symphony, Orchestre de Suisse Romande, Czech Philharmonic, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Antwerp Symphony, Radio Symphony Berlin and Tokyo Philharmonic.

Jörgen actively promotes new repertoire for his instrument, and various composers have written new pieces for him, among which are James MacMillan, Bryce Dessner, Kalevi Aho and Tan Dun.

Besides winning several international solo competitions, he received the Netherlands Music Prize, the highest distinction in the field of music by the Dutch Ministry of Culture and the Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award.

At the invitation of maestro Claudio Abbado, he became principal trombonist of the Lucerne Festival Orchestra as well. As guest principal he has performed with many different orchestras, such as the LA Philharmonic, Bavarian Radio Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic.

Jörgen teaches at the Amsterdam Conservatory and is Visiting Professor at the Royal Academy of Music in London. He is an active chamber musician in ensembles like the New Trombone Collective, RCO Koper and Brass United and is a member of the musicians collective Splendor in Amsterdam.

He has recorded several solo CD’s on the labels Channel Classics and BIS, and plays exclusively on Antoine Courtois Trombones.

This biography is for information only and should not be reproduced.

Tan Dun - "Three Muses in Video Game" (world premiere), Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra

Het Concertgebouw, 5 November 2021

…during the solo in the second movement, van Rijen’s staggering mastery becomes evident.

Rahul Gandolahage, NRC Handelsblad *****

His (Tan Dun’s) video game heroes, the “muses”, three ancient Chinese instruments, are masterfully summoned by solo trombonist Jörgen van Rijen. He is able to manipulate the sound of his instrument subtly but effectively, sounds like a bili (reed instrument) in one moment, and a xiqin (a two-stringed, bowed instrument) the next moment.”

Rick van Veldhuizen, De Volkskrant *****

Van Rijen delivered a top performance, playing his trombone in ways that everybody thought impossible, and proving them wrong. From rough, raspy trills to sensual glissandi, from cascades of full staccati that were delivered with the precision of a machine gun to beautifully lyrical, long cantabile lines. That’s what van Rijen does like none other – he sings on the trombone even in the very highest registers.

Peter van der Lint, Trouw****

Bryce Dessner Trombone Concerto

Wurttembergisches Kammerorchester Heilbronn (world premiere), Dallas Symphony Orchestra (Sep-Oct 2020)

I wonder how many trombonists could match van Rijen’s virtuosity, or his command of tones from matte-finish to high gloss.

Scott Cantrell, Dallas Morning News

Trombonist Van Rijen, who performed the work’s world premiere in September in Cologne, Germany, here presented the excruciatingly demanding solo part with energy, unfailing technical virtuosity, and insightful musicality.

Wayne Lee Gay, North Texas Performing Arts News

CD: Macmillan, Verbey, Berio, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra

(October 2019)

All the qualities of the trombone are highlighted: march-like, virtuosic and not to mention singing, Jörgen van Rijen, principal trombonist of the Concertgebouw Orchestra, utilizes all chances and possibilities … Grand master Van Rijen once again shows us his formidable abilities with Ivan Fischer.

Gerard Scheltens, Luister

Selected Quotes

...all give Jörgen van Rijen the opportunity to show rich tone, outstanding technique, and thoughtful interpretations.

American Record Guide

One of the world's finest trombonists -

Audiophile Audition

…his virtuoso technique need fear no comparison with the best in this field


Rijen's accounts of the well-known 18th-Century alto trombone concertos surpass anything I have heard, in both solo and orchestral parts. He is a world-class artist

American Record Guide

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