Alexander Voormolen was born in Rotterdam on
March 3, 1895
. He died on
November 12, 1980
He studied piano at the music school in Utrecht with Willem en Marinus Petri and composition with Johan Wagenaar. The French conductor Rhené-Bâton invited Voormolen to Paris in 1916 where he met Maurice Ravel, Frederick Delius and began studies with Albert Roussel.
Back in The Netherlands (1923, in The Hague) he worked as a music critic for the Nieuwe Rotterdamse Courant and as a librarian at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague.
His first compositions are influenced by the French impressionism. Later typical Dutch influences entered his work. And so the two Baron Hop Suites for orchestra (1924 and 1931, inspired by the court life in The Hague) were created as well as Tableaux des Pays Bas for piano (1920 and 1924) and Pastorale for oboe and string orchestra (1940). As an admirer of the famous Dutch writer Louis Couperus he composed several orchestral works, inspired by his novels: Eline (1957) and Kleine Haagse suite (1939). The influence of Max Reger and Anton Bruckner can be heard in the orchestral works Sinfonia Concertante (1951) and Ciacona e fuga (1958).
In 1932 Voormolen received the Music Prize from the City of he Hague for his composition Air Willem V. In 1961 he received the Johan Wagenaar Prize for his complete works and the Visser Neerlandia Prize for Three songs on British verse (1948). In 1976 the City of Rotterdam awarded Voormolen with the Penning van de Rotte and in 1978 he became honorary member of The Hague Art Society.
A busy life: He divorced five times!
© ING - Den Haag. Bronvermelding: Eduard Reeser, 'Voormolen, Alexander Nicolaas (1895-1980)', in Biografisch Woordenboek van Nederland. URL:http://www.inghist.nl/Onderzoek/Projecten/BWN/lemmata/bwn3/voormolen [22-10-2008]