Royal Society for Music History of The Netherlands

Jaap van Benthem named an honorary member of the KVNM

During the General Members' Meeting of May 14, in Utrecht, Jaap van Benthem has been named an honorary member because of his special services to the association.


In the 56 years that Jaap has been a member of the (K)VNM, his involvement with the association has been and continues to be intense. In addition, Jaap has  committed himself to putting the KVNM on the international map.


Jaap is one of the 'permanent' authors of the TVNM. Jaap had already written his first article about Josquin when he started teaching music theory at the musicology department in Utrecht in 1972. His contributions to the TVNM followed with great regularity, reaching a peak in the 1990s. Quite a few of his articles on Ockeghem and Josquin quickly found their way into international literature.


From 1979, Jaap was active as a board member for ten years: from 1981 as vice-chairman, with Maarten A. Vente as chairman and Rudolf Rasch as secretary.

After that, Jaap was mainly active as an editor:
For New Josquin Edition (NJE) 27 (1987-1991), Jaap worked closely with the American professor Howard M. Brown, with whom the NJE was finally launched after a period of long preparation.
The Ockeghem Edition, Masses and Mass Sections: A proprietary series consisting of 12 volumes, completed in 10 years (1994-2005). With this innovative edition, Jaap has set a new standard for modern editions of Renaissance music.
This was followed by Johannes Tourout, a composer that nobody had heard of until recently. But Jaap was already convinced of the quality of his works, which had not been published until then. Four volumes of this series have already appeared, the last part is in the final phase of preparation. This project has led to intensive collaboration with colleagues and also musicians from eastern Europe in particular.


Initiator of the KVNM medal
An important achievement was the creation of the KVNM medal in 1981: created after a design by Jaap - with the l'homme armé melody on the back (as shown by the TVNM from 1982). This medal was awarded to the Residentie Orchestra for the first time during the 1983 Spring Meeting.

In 1986 the 'second international Josquin symposium' took place in Utrecht – the theme was the authorship of Josquin and contemporaries. For a while Utrecht and therefore the KVNM were the center of the world, because almost all Renaissance experts came over for this event. This meant a very hectic time for the board in the run-up to this congress and Jaap was naturally fully involved.


In 1989 Jaap retired as a board member of the KVNM, which certainly did not mean the end of his activities for the association. And his interest does not stop with the Renaissance composers, because in 1990 he published the Leo Michielsen edition, Selected songs in the DMF series.
It is therefore with great pleasure that the board of the KVNM proposes to grant Jaap van Benthem honorary membership of the KVNM.