If music be the food of love
play on William Shakespeare
Create – Connect – Conduct
Ronald Slager is driven to establish musical productions to which all who are involved feel connected. Musicians, soloists and audience: anyone should be able to identify with what’s to see and surrender to what’s to hear.
This is only possible when everyone involved in the creative process believes in the concept, in his own abilities and feels free to contribute to the overall production. Ronald’s mission as a conductor is to create an atmosphere where this is possible. By making people part of his passion and vision, he makes this passion sound through the music.
Ronald Slager conducts the Frisian Chamber Orchestra, the symphonic wind orchestra Groot Excelsior from Amsterdam and concert band Crescendo from Ermelo. He is also a regular guest conductor with the Dutch Police Band.
With the Frisian Chamber Orchestra he recently performed Jean Sibelius’ Third Symphony, Etienne Méhul’s First Symphony in G-minor and both Carmen Suites by Georges Bizet. With pianist Florian Verweij he performed Grieg’s Piano Concerto and with cellist Wytske Holtrop Bruch’s Kol Nidrei..
Under his inspiring leadership, Groot Excelsior regurlarly performes transcriptions of great symphonic works, as for instance Finlandia by Sibelius, Rhapsody in Blue by George Gershwin and Symphonic Dances from West Side Story by Leonard Bernstein. On April 23rd 2016 – William Shakespeare’s 400th death anniversary – Ronald paid homage to Shakespeare with Groot Excelsior and British actor Philip Curtis. The programme included the fantasy overture Romeo & Juliet by Tchaikovsky, Coriolanus by the Hungarian composer Frigyes Hidas and music from the Kenneth Branagh film Henry V by Patrick Doyle, arranged by Johan de Meij. On April 15th 2018 Ronald held a lecture on Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade in the Amsterdam Library, illustrated by excerpts that were performed live by the orchestra, followed by the complete performance of the composition.
As a conductor he wants to inspire and instruct his musicians in a positive and constructive way. His energetic style of conducting characterises the passion in his performances.
Jurycommentaar Jacob Slagter, dirigent en voormalig solohoornist van het Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest
Robert Hindsley, Amerikaans muziekuitgever n.a.v. de uitvoering van Mark Hindsley’s transcriptie van Tsjaikovski’s Romeo and Juliet
Study and work
Ronald Slager, born 1974, studied French horn at the HKU University of the Arts in Utrecht. He completed his bachelor in 1998 and his master in 2000. As a horn player, he played with the Dutch Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, the Radio Chamber Orchestra and the Brabant Orchestra. In 1996 he was a member of the ensemble that played the Dutch version of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Evita.
During his studies he took part in many chamber music master classes, among others at the Janáček Academy in Brno (Czech Republic) and in Mühlheim an der Ruhr (Germany).
From 1999 he studied orchestral conducting with Kenneth Montgomery and Jurjen Hempel at the HKU University of the Arts in Utrecht, followed by wind band conducting at Codarts in Rotterdam. In 2005 he finished his master, highly acclaimed by the jury.
In July 2004 he took part in a wind band conducting master class at the Jungfrau Music Festival in Interlaken (Switzerland) by Jan Cober.
Between 1999 and 2009, Ronald conducted several wind bands, among others Jong Excelsior in Amsterdam.
Besides these conductorships, he conducted ensembles in all forms and sizes, like the symphony orchestra of the HKU University of the Arts in Utrecht in a performance of Bizet’s Carmen and the Jupiter Symphony by Mozart and the Utrecht Wind Ensemble in M is for Man, Music and Mozart by Louis Andriessen. In 2004 he was assistant conductor to Arie van Beek, performing De Profundis on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of Dutch composer Klaas de Vries.
Next to his activities as a conductor, Ronald was editor and coordinator of the recording studio at Hal Leonard-MGB in Heerenveen from 2006 until 2013. Since 2017 he works for the Frisian Music Archive in Leeuwarden.