Composer Merlijn Twaalfhoven is best known for the remarkable projects he creates, connecting styles and cultures, but most of all people. Twaalfhoven’s intention is to bridge worlds of contrast, and to mix unusual elements into a new unity. Classic, modern, western, oriental, groovy, and subtle music is combined into a living musical metaphor for today’s world.
With the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, he created “Symphony for All”, a composition that included 150 children, non-professional musicians and even the audience. As another example, he took “bridging the gap” literal and positioned 400 musicians on rooftops on both the Greek and Turkish side of the buffer zone in Nicosia, the divided capital of Cyprus. In 2008, Merlijn worked in Jordan and Palestine, combining the Amman Symphony Orchestra with Palestinian refugee children, creating a musical bridge across the separation wall in the Occupied Territories. He also organised a hidden festival in the Old City of Jerusalem so that cultural diversity could be celebrated by the local people.