Thorwald Jørgensen

Last updated
Thorwald Jørgensen
Thorwald Jorgensen, theremin.png
Background information
Born Zaltbommel, Netherlands
Genres Classical, Electronic
Instruments Theremin

Thorwald Jørgensen (born 1980, Zaltbommel) [1] is a Dutch classical musician who specialises in the theremin, an electronic musical instrument.

Zaltbommel Municipality in Gelderland, Netherlands

Zaltbommel is a municipality and a city in the Netherlands.

Theremin electronic music instrument

The theremin is an electronic musical instrument controlled without physical contact by the thereminist (performer). It is named after the Westernized name of its Soviet inventor, Léon Theremin, who patented the device in 1928.



Jørgensen took up playing percussion instruments at age 14 and began playing in orchestras. He took up classical music as a career full-time after graduating from the Utrecht and Tilburg Conservatory. He became influenced by the theremin after hearing the work of Clara Rockmore and began researching the instrument's history and teaching himself how to play one. [2] As well as watching old videos of Rockmore, he consulted a friend who played the cello for musical advice. [3] He learned Rachmaninoff's "Vocalise," which has become one of his favourite pieces. [2] He has subsequently played over 100 concerts using the theremin, including in Saint Petersburg and a tour of the United States. [4] In 2014, Jørgensen performed at the Music and Beyond festival in Ottawa, performing Daniel Mehdizadeh's "The Awakening of Baron Samedi". [5] Together with Dutch harp player Renske de Leuw, Thorwald premiered "Sirenum scopuli" by Canadian composer Victor Herbiet at the X Rio Harp Festival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 2015. [6]

Clara Rockmore American musician

Clara Reisenberg Rockmore was a classical violin prodigy and a virtuoso performer of the theremin, an electronic musical instrument. She was the sister of pianist Nadia Reisenberg.

Cello musical instrument

The cello ( CHEL-oh; plural cellos or celli) or violoncello ( VY-ə-lən-CHEL-oh; Italian pronunciation: [vjolonˈtʃɛllo]) is a string instrument. It is played by bowing or plucking its four strings, which are usually tuned in perfect fifths an octave lower than the viola: from low to high, C2, G2, D3 and A3. It is the bass member of the violin family, which also includes the violin, viola and the double bass, which doubles the bass line an octave lower than the cello in much of the orchestral repertoire. After the double bass, it is the second-largest and second lowest (in pitch) bowed string instrument in the modern symphony orchestra. The cello is used as a solo instrument, as well as in chamber music ensembles (e.g., string quartet), string orchestras, as a member of the string section of symphony orchestras, most modern Chinese orchestras, and some types of rock bands.

Vocalise (Rachmaninoff)

"Vocalise" is a song by Sergei Rachmaninoff, composed and published in 1915 as the last of his 14 Songs or 14 Romances, Op. 34. Written for high voice with piano accompaniment, it contains no words, but is sung using any one vowel of the singer's choosing. It was dedicated to soprano Antonina Nezhdanova.

Jørgensen has been described as "one of the most important exponents of classical music on the theremin". [7] In interviews, he has said he considers the theremin capable of being a serious instrument, rather than the novelty it is normally perceived as. He believes he can reproduce all the sounds in a typical classical string section from double bass to violin. [3] In concert, usually after a performance of "Vocalise", he likes to explain the operation of the instrument to the audience, saying the performance "should be about the music and not about me playing in the air". [2] He has assembled a library of theremin music from stock libraries in both the Netherlands and worldwide, and has lectured on composition at the Conservatory of Amsterdam and Rotterdam Conservatory. [8]

String section section of a larger symphony orchestra composed of string musicians

The string section is composed of bowed instruments belonging to the violin family. It normally consists of first and second violins, violas, cellos, and double basses. It is the most numerous group in the typical Classical orchestra. In discussions of the instrumentation of a musical work, the phrase "the strings" or "and strings" is used to indicate a string section as just defined. An orchestra consisting solely of a string section is called a string orchestra. Smaller string sections are sometimes used in jazz, pop and rock music and in the pit orchestras of musical theatre.

Double bass Acoustic stringed instrument of the violin family

The double bass, or simply the bass, is the largest and lowest-pitched bowed string instrument in the modern symphony orchestra.

Violin bowed string instrument, usually with four strings tuned in perfect fifths

The violin, sometimes known as a fiddle, is a wooden string instrument in the violin family. Most violins have a hollow wooden body. It is the smallest and highest-pitched instrument in the family in regular use. Smaller violin-type instruments exist, including the violino piccolo and the kit violin, but these are virtually unused. The violin typically has four strings tuned in perfect fifths, and is most commonly played by drawing a bow across its strings, though it can also be played by plucking the strings with the fingers (pizzicato) and by striking the strings with the wooden side of the bow.

Outside of classical music, Jørgensen has also played theremin on the Dutch progressive metal band Satinoxide's album "Still in the Sun". [9]

Progressive metal is a fusion genre melding heavy metal and progressive rock that combines the loud "aggression" and amplified guitar-driven sound of the former with the more experimental, cerebral or "pseudo-classical" compositions of the latter.

Related Research Articles

Léon Theremin Russian inventor

Lev Sergeyevich Termen, or Léon Theremin in the United States, was a Russian and Soviet inventor, most famous for his invention of the theremin, one of the first electronic musical instruments and the first to be mass-produced. He also devised the interlace technique for improving the quality of a video signal, still widely used in video and television technology. His listening device, "The Thing", hung for seven years in plain view in the United States Ambassador's Moscow office and enabled Soviet agents to eavesdrop on secret conversations.

Lydia Kavina Russian musician

Lydia Yevgenyevna Kavina is a Russian-British theremin player.

Saint Petersburg Conservatory music school in Saint Petersburg

The N. A. Rimsky-Korsakov Saint Petersburg State Conservatory is a music school in Saint Petersburg, Russia. In 2004, the conservatory had around 275 faculty members and 1,400 students.

Eugene Rousseau (saxophonist) American musician

Eugene Rousseau is an American classical saxophonist. He plays mainly the alto and soprano saxophones.

<i>Le cygne</i> music piece by Camille Saint-Saëns, the part of suite The Carnival of the Animals

Le cygne, pronounced [lə siɲ], or The Swan, is the 13th and penultimate movement of The Carnival of the Animals by Camille Saint-Saëns. Originally scored for solo cello accompanied by two pianos, it has been arranged and transcribed for many instruments but remains best known as a cello solo.

Lavinia Meijer Dutch musician

Lavinia Meijer is a South Korean-born Dutch harpist.

That 1 Guy musician

Mike Silverman, better known as That 1 Guy, is an American musician based in Las Vegas, Nevada. He frequently performs and records as a one-man band, singing and using a variety of homemade musical instruments.

Anis Fuleihan was a Cypriot-born American composer, conductor and pianist.

Sean Michaels is a Canadian novelist, music critic, and blogger. Based in Montreal, Quebec, he has written about music for publications such as The Guardian, McSweeney's, The Believer, Pitchfork, Maisonneuve, The Observer, The Wire and The National Post. His weekly music column, Heartbeats, debuted in The Globe & Mail in 2015.

Jan Boerman Dutch composer

Jan Boerman has been a composer working in electronic music studios since 1959. He was born in The Hague. The Delft Polytechnic in Utrecht, from which the Institute of Sonology was developed, housed the first electronic music studio in the Netherlands after the Philips laboratory in Eindhoven, which was not generally open to composers.

Carolina Eyck German musician, Theremin virtuosa

Carolina Eyck born on December 26, 1987, is a German musician specialising in playing the Theremin, an electronic instrument. Her performances around the world have helped to promote the unusual music instrument.

Ondes Martenot

The ondes martenot or ondes musicales is an early electronic musical instrument. It is played with a keyboard or by moving a ring along a wire, creating wavering, theremin-like sounds. A player of the ondes martenot is called an ondist.

Camille and Kennerly Kitt American twin actresses and harpists

Camille and Kennerly Kitt are American identical twin actresses and electric/acoustic harpists, who compose, arrange, and perform as The Harp Twins. The Kitt sisters have released over 100 singles online, as well as six physical cover albums. As actresses, the Harp Twins have appeared in several films.

Vasily Shcherbakov Russian musician

Vasily Shcherbakov is a Russian pianist, professor and composer.

<i>Us Conductors</i> book by Sean Michaels

Us Conductors is a debut novel by Canadian writer Sean Michaels. Published in 2014 by Random House in Canada and Tin House in the United States, the novel is a fictionalized account of the relationship between Léon Theremin, the inventor of the theremin, and Clara Rockmore, the musician regarded as the instrument's first virtuoso player.

Peter Pringle is a Canadian musician and television personality, most prominent in the 1970s and 1980s.

Natasha Theremin

Natasha Theremin is a Russian musician.


  1. Bas Moerman, Bommelse thereminist speelt in eigen stad, 10 May 2016.
  2. 1 2 3 Mclennan, Pam (8 July 2014). "Thorwald Jørgensen: Good Vibrations Make the Music (+Video)". Epoch Times. Retrieved 2 April 2015.
  3. 1 2 "Theremin no novelty act, player says". Ottawa Citizen. 4 July 2014. Retrieved 2 April 2015.
  4. "Voor ieder wat wils bij concerten van Dordrechts Philharmonisch orkest" (in Dutch). Alles over Dordrecht. 1 October 2013. Retrieved 2 April 2015.
  5. "Music and Beyond puts contemporary music on the stage". Ottawa Citizen. 10 July 2014. Retrieved 2 April 2015.
  6. "No Rio, tudo é mais relaxado". O Globo (in Portuguese). 1 June 2015. Retrieved 8 June 2015.
  7. "El instrumento que no se toca tiene su propio festival en GAM" (in Spanish). Diario Uchile. 6 November 2014. Retrieved 2 April 2015.
  8. "Thorwald Jørgensen - bio". Thorwald Jørgensen (Official Website). Retrieved 2 April 2015.
  9. "Satinoxide verweeft metal in prikkelende variaties". PZC (in Dutch). 11 August 2011. Retrieved 2 April 2015.