„The Rotterdam Philharmonic responded to his every gesture and truly rose to the occasion in this performance of the highly emotional last two movements of Tchaikovsky’s 6th symphony. A very controlled crescendo where he really held the orchestra back, confirmed to all that his interpretation would reign supreme.“

C. Varney, The Spidy Editor



Belgian conductor Martijn Dendievel is designated chief conductor of the Hofer Symphoniker and associate conductor of Symfonieorkest Vlaanderen. After winning the 2021 German Conducting Award and obtaining laureate awards at the Donatella Flick Competition as well as the International Conducting Competition Rotterdam, he is invited to orchestras across the world where he is often appraised for his thorough knowledge of the repertoire and his vivid and expressive conducting.

Besides his engagements with the Hofer Symphoniker and Symfonieorkest Vlaanderen, Martijn regularly appears with orchestras and theatres such as Philharmonie Zuidnederland, Teatro Comunale Bologna, and Sinfonia Varsovia. In the current season, he will make his debut with the Dortmunder Philharmoniker, Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano, and Concerto Köln, whilst returning to the WDR and MDR Sinfonieorchester as well as the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra. In recent years, Martijn had acclaimed debuts with renowned orchestras such as the Tonkünstler-Orchester Wien, Orchestra Sinfonica Siciliana, Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de Liège, and he has conducted the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, Staatskapelle Weimar, and the Rotterdam Philharmonic, amongst others.

Growing up in family of musicians, he showed a great interest for music during his childhood and took his first musical steps on the violin at the age of three. A few years later, he switched to the cello and started playing the recorder, percussion, and the harpsichord. As an instrumentalist, he gained orchestral experience in various youth orchestras, and has performed in halls such as the Konzerthaus Berlin, the Concertgebouw Amsterdam and BOZAR in Brussels.

At the age of 14,  he was exceptionally admitted to the Royal Conservatory in Brussels, where he obtained a bachelor’s degree in music theory with distinction, whilst studying cello with Jeroen Reuling. Martijn then moved to Germany to study conducting at the HfM Franz Liszt Weimar with Prof. Nicolás Pasquet and Prof. Ekhart Wycik. In July 2022, he finished his master’s degree in orchestral conducting. Martijn has been mentored by Bernard Haitink, Paavo Järvi, Christian Thielemann and Iván Fischer.

Apart from the music language, he is fluent in Dutch, German, English and French, and has an extensive knowledge of Italian and Swedish.

„Something was about to happen here that would be talked about for a long time to come. Not so much about the works themselves, but about that unknown young conductor’s approach to those works, his collaboration with the orchestra members, with the soloists, the fusion, his expressive facial expression, …. Martijn Dendievel, remember the name. He is one of these rare great conductors.“

L. Van Mechelen, Klassiek Centraal

Programming the Future


Classical music is facing the big challenge of keeping up with the pace of a fast-changing society. Most orchestral concerts still serve the same three-course menu of an overture, a concerto, and a symphony by Beethoven, Brahms or Bruckner. Whilst this format has proven its success and should without doubt be continued in the future, there are more concert formats and program combinations worth exploring, which can help to both attract new audiences as well as diversify the standard orchestral repertoire.

One way in which a program combination can take shape, is through storytelling – in Martijn’s words:

“Telling a story with a program and curating the whole concert as a unique experience is the key in dissolving the subconscious dogma that a concert will only be good with known repertoire on the program, and gradually building up the audience’s trust in the artistic vision of an orchestra.”

Shifting the focus of a concert to a certain theme creates the necessary space for seldomly played works to become part of a program; something which is crucial to broaden the classical tradition.

Some examples are:

The Year 1919 (Concerts in January 2019)

E. M. Domenech – Divertimento for Orchestra (world premiere)
E. Elgar – Cello concerto (premiered 1919)
K. Atterberg – 4th symphony (premiered 1919)
M. Weinberg – Polish Tunes (Weinberg was born in 1919)


A. Dvořák – The noon Witch
N. Westlake – Spirit of the Wild (Oboe concerto)
J. Suk – Pohádka Op. 16 (Fairytale, large symphonic poem in 4 movements)

Composers in Exile

E. W. Korngold – Much ado about nothing suite
P. Hindemith – Violin concerto
A. Schönberg – Notturno for strings and harp
K. Weill – Symphony No. 2


J.-Ph. Rameau – Suite from several ballets
J. Adams – Violin concerto
F. Mendelssohn – Symphony N° 5

Re-thinking classical music doesn’t stop at creative programming. Changing other variables of a concert, such as the location, setting, length and/or combining music with other art forms, are elements to play around with.

Concerts for passing-by trains

In the Beethoven year 2020, Martijn partnered up with the performance art collective Datenstrudel for a special staging of Beethoven’s “Ode an die Freude”. Passengers in passing-by trains were given FM radios to listen live to a performance on the fields outside. This effectively created the world’s largest orchestra pit, involving more than 100 musicians spread over 2,7 kilometers.

Stories at an exhibition

Martijn has worked closely with Philzuid (formerly philharmonie zuidnederland) to develop a project called “Stories at an Exhibition”. Local residents are asked to share a personal story which is linked to a specific classical piece. The story is then read out aloud, and that piece is played in an intimate, living room-like setting where the borders between orchestra musicians and audience will be dissolved. The project has had its first performance on April 14th 2022, and will be repeated in Maastricht in the coming years under the name “The People’s Salon”.

Bringing contemporary music closer to people

Programming contemporary music is often equally challenging for musicians performing a piece, as well as for the audience listening to it. Key reference points and recognizable structures, which are needed to understand the sound and message of a piece, are usually missing. Martijn regularly gives small introductions as part of the concert, i.e., for all visitors in the hall, embedding the orchestra on stage by having it play small excerpts from the piece and offering the audience a listening guide. The latest stagings of this concept included concerts with Symfonieorkest Vlaanderen (Daan Janssens: …en attendant personne…) and Phion (Kaija Saariaho: D’om le vrai sens).



Adams, John
Short Ride in a Fast Machine
The Chairman Dances
Saxophone concerto
Absolute Jest

Adams, J. L.
Become River

Arutiunian, Alexander
Trumpet concerto

Atterberg, Kurt
Symphony 4 “Sinfonia Piccola”

Bach, Johann Sebastian

Barber, Samuel
Violin concerto

Bartok, Bela
Concerto for Orchestra
Rumanian Folk Dances
Dance Suite
Violin concerto 2

Beethoven, Ludwig van
Symphonies 1 – 9
Piano concertos 1, 3, 4
Violin concerto
Ouverture to Egmont
Ouverture to Coriolan
Ouverture to Leonore (2 and 3)
Triple concerto for violin, cello and piano

Berg, Alban
Violin concerto

Berlioz, Hector
Symphonie Fantastique

Bernstein, Leonard
On the town: three dance episodes

Boulanger, Lili
D’un soir triste

Brahms, Johannes
Symphonies 1 – 4
Violin concerto
Double concerto for violin and cello
Academic Festival Ouverture
Tragic Ouverture
Piano Quartet (arr. Schönberg)

Britten, Benjamin
Simple Symphony
Variations on a theme by Frank Bridge
Sinfonia da Requiem
Four sea interludes from Peter Grimes
Violin concerto

Bruch, Max
Violin concerto

Bruckner, Anton
Symphonies 4, 6, 7, 8

Chopin, Frédéric
Piano concertos 1, 2

Copland, Aaron
Fanfare for the common man
A letter from home

Debussy, Claude
Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune
La Mer

Dvořák, Antonin
Symphonies 6, 7, 8, 9
Cello concerto
Violin concerto
Serenade for Strings
The Noon Witch
The Waterman
Carnival Overture

Dukas, Paul
Villanelle for horn and orchestra
The sorcerer’s apprentice

Elgar, Edward
Cello concerto
Serenade for Strings
Enigma variations

Fauré, Gabriel
Masques et Bergamasques Suite
Pelléas et Mélisande Suite

Franck, César
Symphony in d minor

de Frumerie, Gunnar
Horn concerto

Freiberg, Daniel
Clarinet concerto “Latin American Chronicles”

Gaubert, Philippe
Violin concerto

Gade, Nils
Hamlet Overture

Gershwin, George
Porgy and Bess Phantasy (arr. I. Farrington)
Catfish Row
Cuban Ouverture

Gervasoni, Stefano

Glazunov, Alexander
Saxophone concerto

Grieg, Edvard
Piano concerto
Peer Gynt Suites 1, 2

Gyöngyösi, Levente
Piccolo concerto

Henderickx, Wim
Le Visioni di Paura

Haydn, Joseph
Symphonies 49, 66, 90, 98 – 101, 104

Hindemith, Paul
Mathis der Maler Symphony

Honegger, Arthur
Symphonies 3, 5
Pastorale d’été
Le Roi David

Ibert, Jacques
Flute concerto

Ives, Charles
Variations on “America”

Janáček, Leoš
Lašské Tance
Glagolitic Mass
Suite for strings

Koppel, Anders
Marimba concerto 1

Korngold, Erich
Symphonie in Fis
Violin concerto
Cello concerto

Laks, Szymon
Poème for violin and orchestra

Laporte, André
Transit (for 48 Strings)

Lekeu, Guillaume
Adagio for strings (Adagio pour quatuor d’orchestre)

Lutosławski, Witold
Symphony 4

Mahler, Gustav
Symphonies 1, 4, 6, 9

Martin, Frank
Symphonie pour grande orchestre
Polyptyque for violin and double string orchestra

Mendelssohn, Felix
Symphonies 1, 3, 4, 5
Violin concerto
A Midsummer night’s dream: Overture, Scherzo, Intermezzo, Notturno, March
Ouverture The Hebrides (Finals Cave)

Milhaud, Darius
Le Boeuf sur le Toit
La Création du Monde
Marimba concerto
Scaramouche – Suite for saxophone and orchestra

Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus
Symphonies 25, 29, 35, 39, 40, 41
Divertimenti for Strings
Clarinet concerto
Flute concerto 1 and 2
Violin concertos 3 – 5
Piano concertos 9 and 12
Don Giovanni Ouverture
Zauberflöte Ouverture
Nozze di Figaro Ouverture

Mussorgksy, Modest
Pictures at an exhibition (orch. Ravel)
Pictures at an exhibition (orch. Gorchakov)

Nielsen, Carl
Symphony 2
Pan & Syrinx
Violin concerto

Pettersson, Allan
Symphonies 7, 8
Violin concerto (second version)

Pop, Adrian
Hore for orchestra

Prokofiev, Sergei
Symphony 5
Romeo and Juliet (all Suites as well as large parts of the ballet)
Piano concertos 1 – 2

Puccini, Giacomo

Rachmaninov, Sergei
Piano concertos 2, 3

Raskatov, Alexander
Paradise Lost (for wind ensemble)

Ravel, Maurice
Piano concerto
Daphnis et Chloé Suite 2
Pavane pour une infante défunte
Ma mère l’oye (Suite and complete ballet)

Rimsky-Korsakov, Nicolai
Symphony 2 (Antar)

Rossini, Gioachino
Ouverture to Il Barbiere di Siviglia
Ouverture to L’Italiana in Algheria
Ouverture to Semiramide

Saint-Saens, Camille
Cello concerto 1
Danse macabre

Schubert, Franz
Symphony 8 “Unfinished”
Symphony 9

Schumann, Robert
Symphonies 3, 4
Cello concerto
Piano concerto
Manfred Ouverture

Schoenberg, Arnold
Pierrot Lunaire
Kammersinfonie 1 (Opus 9)

Shostakovich, Dmitri
Symphonies 5, 7, 9, 11, 15
Cello concerto 1
Violin concerto 1
Festive Overture

Sibelius, Jean
Symphonies 1, 2, 5, 7
Violin concerto
Valse triste
Karelia Suite
En Saga
The Swan of Tuonela

Smetana, Bedrich
Ma Vlast: n°2 (Moldau), n°4 (From Bohemian Woods and Fields)
Three Dances from “The Bartered Bridge”

Strauss, Richard
Tod und Verklärung
Aus Italien
Oboe concerto

Suk, Josef
Pohádka (Opus 16)

Stravinsky, Igor
Le Sacre du Printemps
Jeu de Cartes
Firebird Suites 1919 and 1945
Concerto for strings
Symphonies for wind instruments

Tchaikovsky, Pjotr Ilych
Symphonies 1, 4, 5, 6
The Nutcracker Suite
Romeo and Juliet, fantasy ouverture
Violin concerto
Piano concerto 1
Serenade for Strings

Veprik, Alexander
Dances and Songs of the Ghetto

Wagner, Richard
Lohengrin: Prelude to Act I and III
Meistersinger: Prelude to Act I
Tannhäuser Ouvertüre

Weber, Carl Maria von
Ouverture to Freischütz
Ouverture to Oberon
Clarinet concerto 1 (f minor)

Weill, Kurt
Symphony 2
Suite from “Der Silbersee”

Weinberg, Mieczyslaw
Symphony 1
Polish Melodies
Rhapsody on Moldavian Themes
Cello concerto

Widmann, Jörg
Messe für großes Orchester

Wienawski, Henryk
Violin concerto 2

Wolschina, Reinhard
Klangspiele für Flöte und Ensemble

Bizet, Georges

Mozart, Wolfang Amadeus
Die Zauberflöte
Le Nozze di Figaro

Puccini, Giacomo
La Bohème

Rossini, Gioachino
Selections from Barbiere di Siviglia

Sondheim, Stephen



Hofer Symphoniker

From the season 2024/25, Martijn will be the chief conductor of the Hof Symphony Orchestra (Hofer Symphoniker). The contract initially engages Martijn for four seasons, in which he will lead the subscription concerts in the Freiheitshalle as well as leading guest performances in the region of Upper Franconia (Oberfranken).

Highlights of his first season as chief conductor include Tchaikovsky’s Manfred Symphony, the German premiere of the piano concerto by Doreen Carwithen, with soloist Alexandra Dariescu, as well as the h-moll-Messe by Bach. In the 2023/24 season he will already return for the New Year’s concerts as well as two subscription concerts with soloists Vadim Gluzman and Liya Petrova, also conducting Holst’s The Planets in the season finale concert.

More Info

Symfonieorkest Vlaanderen

Martijn was named associate conductor of Symfonieorkest Vlaanderen (Flanders Symphony Orchestra) in January 2022. He previously served as assistant conductor there from 2018 to 2021. He remains in charge of the youth orchestra SOV Young as well as the SOV Composers’ Academy and will also conduct one production per season from September 2023. In these concerts, he will conduct concert programs he has put together himself, themed around the personality of Antonin Dvořák.

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Forum Dirigieren

The Forum Dirigieren (formerly Dirigentenforum) of the German Music Council was established for talented young conductors and promotes young orchestral and choral conductors. Artistic encounters of the young generation with nationally and internationally renowned conducting experts as well as with renowned orchestras is the central task of Forum Dirigieren. In addition, workshops on career planning, public relations, etc. are organized. Furthermore, the organisation and execution of the “German Conducting Award”, which Martijn won in 2021, is in the hands of Forum Dirigieren.

Since 2018, Martijn has been a scholarship holder of Forum Dirigieren and attended courses with Gabriel Feltz, Pavel Baleff, Simone Young, Marko Letonja and Enrico Delamboye. He conducted the Dortmund Philharmonic, the WDR Funkhausorchester, the Bremen Philharmonic and the Staatsorchester Rheinische Philharmonie Koblenz.

In June 2021 he was nominated to the artist list “Konzertförderung Forum Dirigieren” (formerly “Maestros von Morgen”).


The Zirndorf-based company Woolwind produces concert clothing for musicians and conductors. At the start of 2022, Martijn joined Woolwind as a brand partner and advises the team behind the tailcoats and mandarin jackets on the specifics for conductors, such as increased freedom of movement in the chest area. In this way, he also supports the development of clothing made in the EU, an important matter for Martijn.

About Martijn