In 1976 he was appointed percussionist and timpanist of the four orchestras of the Netherlands Broadcasting Corporation (NOS). In 1984 he became a permanent member of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra. Initially as percussionist and second timpanist, but in 1986 he advanced to the position of principal percussionist.

In 2011 he was also appointed artistic advisor of the orchestra. He retired from the orchestra in 2013 and became a full time arranger in the classical genre.

During his 40 year career as a percussionist, he already produced dozens of arrangements of various kinds. For his fellow students he made some adaptions for percussion ensemble, of which his remarkable instrumentation of Mussorgski’s Pictures at an exhibition still survives. He wrote instrumentations for theatre and film productions as well as orchestrations for several occasions.

Henk de Vlieger (Schiedam, 1953) started his musical education at an early age, playing the harmonium of his grandfather. Ever since his childhood, he has been drawn to the challenge of writing music. After secondary school he studied percussion with Willem Heesen, and composition with Theo Loevendie and Klaas de Vries at the Rotterdam Conservatory.

He obtained international acknowledgement with his symphonic compilations of operas by Richard Wagner. These arrangements are now performed by major orchestras and great conductors all over the world.

More recently, he applied himself to orchestrations of works by Schumann, Brahms and Franck, remaining faithful to the instrumental principles of the composers. On the other hand, he also made adaptions of symphonic works for small ensembles. His main arrangements are published by Schott Music.

His own compositions, like the early works Mobile..., Toccata and Fresco, are qualified by strict constructions based on a minimum of material (which can be considered a Dutch characteristic). With his compositions Evocazione and Elegia however, he explored a more instinctive melodic style.


(Last update: May 23, 2018)

Recently published by SCHOTT Music:

Hector Berlioz - Les Nuits d’Été

Transcription for mezzo-soprano and

wind quintet by Henk de Vlieger


Recently released:

Cd ‘The Busy Drone’,

16 new compositions for barrel organ, including:

Henk de Vlieger - Fresco


Review by Thea Derks

Because Robert Schumann called Brahms’ early piano works ‘veiled symphonies’,

Because Clara Schumann felt that Brahms’ opus 34 cannot be called a Sonata, but requires an orchestra for its interpretation,

And moreover, because I love this pieces and felt the challenge, even the necessity to do so,

I recently finished the orchestration of two more Brahms-symphonies:

Symphony in C major, after the Sonata opus 1

Symphony in f minor, after the Sonata / Piano quintet opus 34