Maurice Verheul (1964-09-29)is a biology assistant at the Barlaeus High School in Amsterdam, as well as a piano instructor and a prolific composer. His repertoire includes over 750 works for various instrumental forces, from solos and chamber music to ballet, orchestral, and large-scale music. His music has been performed internationally, including performances by the acclaimed pianist Geoffrey Madge. Recently, one of his solo violin pieces – MUSICA SACRA – was premiered during the Vox Novus Festival in Romania by the violinist Daniel Mihai. Maurice began his musical career as an aspiring pianist. Self-taught as a child, he quickly progressed in his piano lessons, playing Chopin Etudes within 4 years of his first lessons. An accident and an unsuccessful surgery put a stop to his piano career, but during recovery, music theory and composition became an obsession and revelation. His main musical inspirations include works by Bach, Chopin, Stravinsky, Messiaen, and Sorabji, as well as Renaissance music, and Ars Nova. He self-describes his compositional style as new colorfield romantic.
For 6 years, Maurice organized a foundation for amateur performers, who gathered regularly to perform and provide critique. Currently, he is the co-founder of the Société des musiciens extraordinaires, which is an organization dedicated to the performance, discussion, and dissemination of modern music. Currently he and his web-designer partner are working on what will hopefully become the largest online database on modern and contemporary music.
The Société des musiciens extraordinaires (Somextro) is an organization where musicians can present new classical compositions to each other through performance and discussion. Through regular meetings, the members of Somextro build a network of musicians who provide deep insight into the problems and successes of new Classical music. Somextro aims to increase the well-deserved recognition for new Classical music in the Netherlands and in the rest of the world.
Since its inception, Somextro has held bi-yearly meetings in The Hague, which have included chamber music performances and improvisations including piano, violin, guitar, saxophone, voice, electronics, recorder, and more. The meetings have also included intense discussions about melody, harmony, form, sound, and other problems related to composition and interpretation. The styles of the music presented have varied greatly, from neo-romantic and neo-tonal styles, to experimental sound worlds and avant-garde expressions. In this vain, Somextro is unique, and continues to welcome the gamut of compositional styles that exist today.
For those not able to attend the meetings, Somextro has set up an online community. With over 100 members, composers and performers can discuss music and collaborations through this online medium, as well as share any upcoming performances and projects, write articles for the Somextro Blog, and network with other members around the world. To date, the Somextro website has been viewed thousands of times by music enthusiasts across the world, and its influence is only growing.