Frank Nuyts

Category:componist, solist, docent, hedendaagse componist, koor
Oostende, 03.02.1957
Genre(s):21ste eeuw / hedendaags, Klassiek
Actual/previous member of:Hardscore

Short description

Composer of mainly up-tempo music, inspired by neo-diatonic possibilities. Post-modern composer & professor of composition at the Royal Conservatory Ghent.


"Serial and electronic music prepared the path that I only dared to strike in 1986 with the piece ‘Rastapasta’, re-introducing in it tonal elements, fast tempi and rhythms which playfully pulse and metrical systems. Since then, musical textures became brighter again while eschewing early 20th- century expressionism, and harmony was once again based on triadic relationships, unburdened by their so-called historical doom. All this results in a kind of ‘complex simplicity’ which admits nevertheless all possible musical reference." (Frank Nuyts)

Frank Nuyts was born on 3 February 1957 in Ostend. He received his musical education at the Royal Conservatory in Ghent, where he earned higher diplomas in percussion and chamber music. After submitting several compositions written during his studies, Nuyts was invited by the composer Lucien Goethals to study composition and analysis of 20th-centruy music. The study of Goethals' own music, together with that of Webern and other modernists had a particularly profound influence on Nuyts. The first official compositions produced in this period were thus composed in a post-serial idiom. A further source of inspiration was found by the composer in contemporary literature, which would be a constant throughout his career. In addition, his involvement in the reception of Chilean refugees led to the writing of various works in which the composer emerged as a politically committed artist, and in which the influence of Latin-American music is clearly evident. In this period, Nuyts applied his talents as a percussionist, premiering several works especially composed for him by such composers as Buckinx, Goethals and Goeyvaerts. In 1977 he met his future wife, the pianist Iris De Blaere, who would subsequently premiere many of his works.

In the period from 1979 to 1985, Nuyts began to enjoy recognition on the new music scene, winning several prizes including the Belgian Radio and Television's Tenuto Prize for Composition in 1979 for Alsof de hand nooit meer weggaat (As If the Hand Never Parts Again) and an award for the soundtrack (the composition Bombos del Sol for the abstract animated film Kosmogonia at the Brussels Film Festival. He undertook a concert tour to Hungary in 1982 and also premiered works for a number of important occasions (including Philtre at the Gaudeamus Festival for New Music in Amsterdam in 1984 and Squib to conclude a conference on neo-tonal music in Seoul in 1985). In 1985, Nuyts was appointed a teacher of composition and percussion at the conservatory in Ghent.

In 1986, after a period of reflection, Nuyts' interest in non-classical music and his friendship with the composer Boudewijn Buckinx took him in a new direction, as he became – together with Buckinx – one of the most important representatives of postmodernism in Flanders. His first important postmodern works, Rastapasta and Woodnotes, were premiered in 1987 together with several works by Buckinx in a controversial concert in Ghent. In 1989, the group Hardscore was founded, in order to ensure appropriate and accurate performances of his works. Nuyts wished in this way to build a bridge between more commercial music and contemporary classical music. Further important facts from the period from 1986 to 1995 were the collaboration with the Vooruit art centre in Ghent (premieres of B-Side Art, Music to Raise Hell, Ga.n and Le concert impromptu), the contacts with the composer-conductor Dirk Brossé (premieres of When the Tombs of Brass Are Spent and the Second Symphony), several concert tours to Glasgow and Vienna and in 1992 the Prix de la musique contemporaine de Québec for his complete chamber music oeuvre. In 1995 Frank Nuyts received the city of Ghent's five-yearly culture prize.

Selective bibliography
- Y. KNOCKAERT, De Postmodernen, in Nieuwe Muziek in Vlaanderen, ed. by M. DELAERE, Y. KNOCKAERT and H. SABBE, Brugge, 1998, p. 134-158

©2002 Lieven Van Ael, for Flanders Music Centre and MATRIX
Scores: see

Since 1999 Professor of composition at University College Ghent, Faculty of Music. • Close artistic co- operations with Ensemble Leporello (B) and Songcompany (Australia).

1989 Founder and leader of the cross-over band Hardscore.

1979-1998 Professor of percussion and chamber music at the Conservatory of Ghent.

1978 Graduated in percussion and chamber music at the Conservatory of Ghent. • Composition studies at IPEM (Institute of Psychoacoustic and Electronic Music).


Key works:

INNOCENCE IN ADMIRATION (2008) a concerto for
piano and ensemble.

X-RAYING MY RADIO (2008) "the Volharding version" for large ensemble.

SONATAS 1-7 (2002-2008) for piano solo.

THE ABDUCTION OF THE EAST (2006) for bass-baritone and ensemble.

BAJADILLAS (2005) trio for clarinet, violoncello and piano.

RATS AND RABBITS (2005) for chamber ensemble.

DIFFERENT FROM HABIT (2004) for symphonic orchestra.

AIDEVEDE (2002) for six voices.

THIRD SYMPHONY (1997) for chamber orchestra.

RASTAPASTA (1986) for flute, double bass and strings or 2 piano’s.


Selective discography

Bajadillas - Music for clarinet by Frank NuytsBajadillas - Music for clarinet by Frank Nuyts (2009)
20th century
Frank Nuyts, Frank Nuyts, Tom Van Landschoot, Tineke Van Ingelgem, Tae Yoshioka, Tamara Cuypers
Lexicon van de muziek in West-Vlaanderen 2Lexicon van de muziek in West-Vlaanderen 2 (2003)
20th century
Frank Coppieters, France Springuel, Collegium Instrumentale Brugense, Vlaams Radiokoor (VRK), I Musici Fiamminghi, Symfonieorkest Vlaanderen, BRTN Filharmonisch Orkest, Filip Suys (...)

Selectieve discografie als componist

Paternel. A chamber opera by Frank NuytsPaternel. A chamber opera by Frank Nuyts (2014)
21st century / contemporary, musical theatre
Frank Nuyts
Frank Nuyts - Integrale Pianosonates deel 3Frank Nuyts - Integrale Pianosonates deel 3 (2013)
21st century / contemporary
Frank Nuyts, Marc Masson, Gabi Sultana, Johan Duijck
Frank Nuyts - Integrale Pianosonates deel 2Frank Nuyts - Integrale Pianosonates deel 2 (2013)
21st century / contemporary
Anastasia Koszushko, Frank Nuyts, Elisa Medinilla, Ralph van Raat
Frank Nuyts - FetishFrank Nuyts - Fetish (2013)
21st century / contemporary
Erwin Deleux, Frank Nuyts, Raf De Keninck, Vlaams Sinfonietta
IPEM. 50 years of electronic and electroacoustic music at the Ghent universityIPEM. 50 years of electronic and electroacoustic music at the Ghent university (2013)
Electro-Acoustic music
Diverse uitvoerders, Louis De Meester, Lucien Goethals, Didier Gazelle, David Van De Woestijne, Stefan Beyst, Helmut Lachenmann, Boudewijn Buckinx (...)
Fingerprints - Signaturen van componerend VlaanderenFingerprints - Signaturen van componerend Vlaanderen (2011)
21st century / contemporary, 20th century
Bert Van Herck, Filip Rathé, Spectra Ensemble, Simon De Poorter, Annelies Van Parys, Klaas Coulembier, Stéphane Vande Ginste, Noor Sommereyns (...)
Nuyts Frank - Thoughts about stacking, stomping and starting outNuyts Frank - Thoughts about stacking, stomping and starting out (2009)
21st century / contemporary
Elisa Medinilla, Benjamin Van Esser, Marc Masson, Frank Nuyts
Bajadillas - Music for clarinet by Frank NuytsBajadillas - Music for clarinet by Frank Nuyts (2009)
20th century
Frank Nuyts, Frank Nuyts, Tom Van Landschoot, Tineke Van Ingelgem, Tae Yoshioka, Tamara Cuypers
Transit Festival - World premieres 2006Transit Festival - World premieres 2006 (2006)
21st century / contemporary
Trio Fibonnaci, Schlagquartet Köln, ChampdAction, Collectief ReFLEXible, Nicolaus A. Huber, Frank Nuyts, Denis Bosse, James Harley (...)
Frank Nuyts - Sonatas & PreludeFrank Nuyts - Sonatas & Prelude (2005)
20th century
Saori Oya, Benjamin Van Esser, Frank Nuyts

Author of

Bakens van het leven
Bakens van het leven

Related Items

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2 Sabam Awards voor Milow (19.11.2013)
Frank Nuyts ontvangt Cultuurprijs Provincie Oost-Vlaanderen (16.05.2012)
Frank Nuyts te Utrecht (05.01.2012)
Creatie kamersymfonieën Frank Nuyts op Festival van Vlaanderen Kortrijk (16.05.2011)
OPERA XXI presenteert drie wereldcreaties (12.05.2011)
Creatie pianosonates van Frank Nuyts (25.11.2010)
Organisations:HRDSCR (uitgever, muziekorganisaties)
Documents:Contemporary Music in Flanders II (book)