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Paul Van Hooff
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Paul Van Hooff, born and bred in Leuven (Louvain), had three main interests in his youth: astronomy, photography and music. As both his parents were amateur pianists, and the Academy of Music in Leuven was nearby, the path to a musical education was quickly chosen. He decided to study the violin. J.S. Bach was his first shining example, and from this there grew a strong interest in Baroque music. The ongoing historical performance practice at that time aroused his keen interest, and so he began to study the recorder and harpsichord at the Royal Academy of Music in Brussels.
He performed a number of concerts on these instruments at home and abroad. He founded amongst others the Chelysenemble, and released the single Christmas Meditation, a composition of his own, with this group.
Meanwhile, an interest in films and film music was growing. The work by the American composer John Williams was a revelation. Composers such as Max Steiner and E.W. Korngold also took centre stage. He therefore rounded off his studies in the history of music with the thesis “Film Music as Real Art”, which earned him great distinction. Since then, he has published articles on film music (e.g. in Knack, and Film and Television), and written accompanying texts to CDs and concerts. He taught film music for a year at the Academy of Music in Brussels, and gave several presentations with this music as the topic. On the anniversary of a century of films, he was asked to compile an audio-visual concert programme. He was able to fully show his knowledge of film music, photography and video techniques in this project. The programme was supported by the Vlaamse Gemeenschap (Flemish Community), and was put on in various cultural centres. One of the things he composed for this was an arrangement for Moon River for soloist, choir and orchestra.
Paul Van Hooff is a teacher at the Academies of Music in Anderlecht and Antwerp.
He holds also the post of organist at the church of Saint Mary (Abbey of Vlierbeek, Kessel-lo).
As a photographer, he has produced series of photographs of important film composers, among whom Maurice Jarre, Ennio Morricone, Leonard Rosenman and John Williams. His photos have been published in both Belgian and foreign magazines, and in books such as Listening to Movies by Fred Karlin.
As a composer, Paul Van Hooff has written music for cartoons, songs, and various pieces for the blockflute such as People And Art, Syncopated Fun, The Umbrella Waltz. Recent compositions are Millenium Themes for Brass and Ivory, A Festive Wave Through The Cathedral and Sounds of an Autumn Forest, a descriptive piece for cello and piano.
From Stars and Galaxies is a new composition, which expresses his interest in astronomy. The beauty, the collosal energy and the brilliance of our closest star after the sun is translated into sounds, after which the timeless mystical glow of the Orion Nebula is lit up in the second part.
Also recent works are nine pieces for the inauguration of the restored organ of Vlierbeek, Meditatione per Tromba e Orchestra Da Camera for trumpettist Steven Bossuyt and Lignum Sonoris, a piece commissioned by the Flemish Blockflute Trio “Aquil’Altera”.