De Vries studied oboe with Jaap Stotijn at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague and with his son Haakon Stotijn at the Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam. He won many prizes in his youth, including the Prix d’Excellence in 1962. He was a founding member of the Netherlands Wind Ensemble in 1960.
In 1963, at the age of 22, he became principal oboist at the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. He remained with the Concertgebouw Orchestra for seven years, after which he focused on chamber music and a solo career. He was a member of the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra and in 1973 he joined the Danzi (Wind) Quintet. Instigated by Frans Brüggen, De Vries has played baroque oboe besides the modern oboe since 1970, at which time this was still unusual.
In 1964, he was appointed professor at the Sweelinck Conservatory, where he subsequently taught for almost three decades. Among his students have been Christopher Bouwman, Peter Bree, Frank van Koten, Wolfgang Lange, and Bart Schneemann. Later he limited himself to giving masterclasses.
As a soloist, De Vries has toured Europe, Japan, Australia, and North and South America, with a repertory of baroque, classical, romantic and contemporary music. He has made many recordings, one of which (of the oboe sonatas of Schumann, Bartók, Ben Haim, Poulenc and Shinohara with pianist Rudolf Jansen) won an Edison Award in 1973.
Among the composers who have dedicated music to him are Louis Andriessen (Anachronie II, musique d’ameublement (“furniture music”), to the memory of Erik Satie. 1969), Peter Schat (Theme op. 21, 1970), Bruno Maderna (Oboe Concerto No 3, 1973), Morton Feldman (Oboe and Orchestra, 1976), and Willem Breuker (Oboe Concertos I and II, 1992, 2000). Most of these pieces employ unorthodox techniques for oboe like multiphonics, fluttertonguing, and glissandi, as if to emphasize De Vries’ wide range from baroque to postmodern music.
De Vries has a deep interest in the history of oboes and oboe music. He has a large collection, or rather a small museum of historical oboes. He also has edited Baroque oboe repertoire, published previously unpublished old oboe music, and pursued lost oboe music like Beethoven’s oboe concerto.
In 1997, he was named an Officer in the Order of Orange Nassau.
Edited by garageolympo on 15 Dec 2009, 16:34
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