On this page, you’ll find a list of the compositions that I wrote in recent years for other ensembles than my own. Besides pure concert music, you’ll find quite some ‘music theatre’ or downright ‘opera’, because of my love for a narrative/theatrical dimension to the music.

In the process of composing, I enjoy the fruitful collision of (a)tonal structures with more intuitive writing. I always like a clear underlying concept, but at the same time, I want to let every composition evolve in a natural way. These constructions form roads into other worlds, the consequent intuitive approach keeps them connected to my soul. This compositional dialogue is the nucleus of my music.

If the music is not abstract, I enjoy blending and tearing apart elements of many styles, in search of new expressions. Composer Theo Loevendie wrote in the liner notes of my opera Hildegard: ‘Steven Kamperman has the rare ability to make every style of music sound like his own.’

Aspects that may capture the ear are the use of modality and elements of folk music. Influences of early European and non-western music (specifically Turkish) are to be found in many of my projects. From 2002 to 2013, I had the luck to work intensively together with Behsat Üvez, in our mutual project band Baraná. It turned out to be a decade-long submersion in his remarkable Turkish melodic/rhythmic way of thinking; an invaluable experience for me as a Dutch composer.

Der müde Tod (2021, commission by Wishful Singing, 1h 37 min)

This is music I wrote for the vocal ensemble Wishful Singing, to accompany the epic film classic by Fritz Lang: Der müde Tod (1921). The music was performed live by five voices, harmonium, bass recorder, cello, percussion, and an electronic tape for the parts in the realm of death.

Mavi, Turkuaz, Kirmizi ve Sari for Vier! (2021; commission by Oorkaan, not yet recorded, 12 min)

A Turkish-inspired suite based on the four Turkish colors blue, turquoise, red, and yellow.

I’d rather be together than not alone (2019; commission by Wishful Singing, not yet recorded, 5 min)

For the vocal ensemble Wishful Singing. The vocalists slowly develop the text, both singing and using morse machines. Musical accompaniment by baby piano.

The humpbacked flutist (2019, commission by Concordia, not yet recorded due to Covid, 16 min)

A semi-theatrical piece for wind orchestra, based on the fairy tale of the humpbacked flutist.

Hildegard Opera (2018; 1 h 30 min)

Intertwining with one of the first music-theatre works ever, Hildegard’s Ordo virtutum, I wrote an opera about the decisive year 1151 in Hildegard’s life, using elements of her own music as a golden thread.

Nilüfer (commission by Ceylan Ertem, 2017, 3:40 min)

When I worked in Baraná we did a project with the then rather unknown Ceylan Ertem, who was a spectacular experimental pop singer residing in Istanbul. During our years of concerts, she already became rather famous, and in recent years she has become one of the top Turkish vocalists. Since she always had continued to sing the songs we wrote for her, she asked me in 2017 to write a new song for her new album. Here is the official video clip.

The more you see, the less you speak (2017, commission by Oriental landscapes Festival, 11 min)

This is a composition I wrote as an assignment for the Oriental landscapes Festival in 2017. The arab lyrics are by Al-Niffari, a 10th century mystic, who in fact was not too fond of words. Thus the phrase for which he is perhaps most known: ‘The more you see, the less you speak’.
Al Niffari believed that the mystic voyage kept you in certain stages for a while. In my piece, the listener travels through seven stages, starting with bitonality, going to various stages of  even three tonalities/modalities, finally ending in a unisono melody in the arab maqam of Bayati, touching on silence.
The recording has been made live at the Bimhuis Amsterdam in june 2017, by the New European Ensemble with special guest the Syrian/American soprano Dima Orsho.

Familie van Nielie (2018; commission by Kwatta & Oorkaan, 1 h)

The Familie van Nielie is a theatre production for youth by Kwatta and Oorkaan, december 2018 – march 2019. The story is about a family who magically gets transported to a camping side in the summer time. The son receives a surprising birthday present: a mansize robot. With the robot he is the man to hang out with, but the robot is soon broken, and the boy feels very lonely. He decides to crawl into the robot, and act as if it is fixed again. Philosophical questions about what is real form the main thread of the performance. Musically, the bass clarinet and marimba that accompany the robot transform into two cheap shaky casio’s with the same sounds.

Roodhapje (2015; Yamaward 2016, commission by Holland Opera, 1 h)

60 min youth opera performed by Holland Opera, december 2015. Leonie van de Wal (Roodkapje), Madieke Marjon (Mother/Grandmother), Niek van Idelenburg (Wolf), children’s choir, Jurgen Burdorf (guitar), Christiaan Saris (vibrafone, marimba, glockenspiel, drums)