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“I am a Dutch composer born, raised and educated in Argentina" , is Carlos Micháns’ favourite answer when asked about his nationality. Born in Buenos Aires in 1950 into a family with roots in England, Scotland, Flanders, Cataluña, the French Basque provinces and even the USA, he moved to the Netherlands in 1982, later becoming a Dutch citizen. “Of course I am a combination of several cultural backgrounds and mentalities, like most people from countries built on immigration. Understandably, many believe to hear a tango or some other South American rhythm in my works, although only after they have heard my name or read somewhere that I was born in Argentina".


In his native Argentina he studied piano, organ and later composition with Susana Oliveto and Roberto García Morillo, one of the country’s leading composers. He also graduated in conducting at the University of Buenos Aires and the Art Institute of the ‘Teatro Colón’, South America’s major opera house. In Buenos Aires he was active as a composer, music teacher and choir conductor. In 1982 he was awarded a scholarship from the Dutch Ministry of Culture and Science, which enabled him to do postgraduate studies in composition and electronic music with Hans Kox, Tristan Keuris and Ton Bruynèl at the conservatory of Utrecht, where he obtained the Composition Prize in 1988. A new grant from the Ministry of Culture allowed him to continue his training in electronic music for a year.

Other awards

1977 - 1st Prize ‘Promociones Musicales’ (Argentina), (for "Tema, Toccata & Fuga for organ")
1990 - 1st Prize of the city of Gerona (Spanje), (for “Apparitions” for piano)
1993 - ‘Trinac’ (Tribuna Nacional de Compositores, Argentina), (for "String Quartet Nr. 2")
1996 - ‘Trimarg’ (Tribuna Musical Argentina), (for "Sinfonia Concertante Nr. 2")
2000 - ‘Trinac’ (for “Après Minuit” for ensemble)
2006 - ‘Trinac’ (for "Sinfonia Concertante Nr. 4")
2008 - ‘Toonzetters’: selected among the ten best Dutch compositions of 2007 (for "Concerto for Harp and Orchestra")
2010 - 'Salvatore Martirano Award' (Honorable Mention) of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (for "Trois Visions Tantriques" for harp and saxophone quartet)2010 - "C4-Commissioning Competition" (New Your, USA) for "Ave Maria - Pater Noster" for mixed choir a cappella.

Micháns' extensive catalogue includes works in almost every genre, among which five ‘sinfonie concertante’ for soloists and orchestra, two symphonic overtures, several compositions for choir and orchestra, a harp concerto, a saxophone concerto, quartets and quintets for a variety of combinations (strings, saxophones, clarinets and mixed ensembles), countless solo pieces and for small and large chamber groups. Most of them are commissioned by the Dutch Fund for Performing Arts for distinguished Dutch and international soloists and ensembles, such as Ronald Brautigam, Isabelle van Keulen, Liza and Dmitry Ferschtman, Arno Bornkamp, Lavinia Meijer, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Radio Chamber Orchestra, Holland Symfonia and many others. They are published in Hilversum (Holland) by Donemus.


Micháns about modernity in his work: “Modernity is in the ears of the listeners, and their concept of it will vary, develop and change according to their experience and ability to understand what they hear. As for my own music, I do believe it to be contemporary and to reflect some aspects of our time more strongly than others, our time meaning not just this very instant but the last few decades and even further. After all, we haven’t spent more than a thousand years creating and developing techniques, inventing and perfecting instruments in order to stick to the latest ones and discard the rest as obsolete."


Between 1995 and 2012 Carlos Micháns was in charge of “Podium Neerlandés”, a programme of Radio Nederland (the international Dutch broadcasting company) aimed at introducing Dutch concert life to Spanish speaking audiences around the world, mainly in Latin America. Micháns is also active in the field of literature. He has written and published several works in Dutch, Spanish and English, which include novels, poetry, short stories and essays on history and art. Since 1986 and thanks to financial support from Dutch and foreign funds, the Gaudeamus Foundation, music institutions and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Micháns has organized several international concert tours aimed at promoting Dutch musicians and contemporary music abroad. He has also been invited to lecture on his music by universities and institutes for higher education in India, Indonesia, North, South and Central America (Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Panamá) and Poland. 

Some names
University of Bowling Green (Faculty of Music), Ohio, USA.
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA.
University of Jakharta (Faculty of Music), Indonesia.
University of Yogjakharta (Faculty of Music), Indonesia.
Bandung Music School, Indonesia.
Bangalore School of Music, Bangalore, India.
Lady Doak College and American College, Madurai, India.
Escuela de Artes Musicales, Universidad de San José, Costa Rica.
University of Fortaleza (Faculty of Music), Brazil.
Conservatorio Nacional de Música, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
National University of Rosario (Faculty of Music), Argentina.
Lipinsky Music Academy, Wroclaw, Poland.


Listen to Carlos Micháns' music on YouTube





 1977  Tema, Toccata y Fuga, for organ

 1981-82 Diferencias y Fuga en Modo Arcaico, for organ

 1981-82 Aria, for organ

 1982 Tres movimientos perpetuos, for piano

 1983 Cinq pièces de clavecin (rev. 1995)

 1983 Sonata Nr. 1, for violin                                                                                             

 1983 Rapsodia, for viola or violin                                                                                      

 1984 Musique pour saxophone

 1986 In alta solitudine (Sonata Nr. 2), for violin

 1987 Sonata, for cello                                                                                                        

 1987 Three minimal preludes, for piano

 1990 Apparitions pour piano                                                                                              

 1990 Burlesque, for violin

 1993 Suite en noir, for bass clarinet

 1993 Sonata, for viola

 1994 Trois impromptus, for piano

 1995 Cinq réflexions (sur un thème de Béla Bartók), for violin

 2011 Cinq-plus-Cinq (Étude-variation pour la harpe á dix doigts)

 2011 Mouvements Éclatants (pour harpe à dix doigts)

 2014 Cinq Prières de Détresse, for organ

 2018 Deux Improvisations sur le Kyrie de la Messe "Cum Iubilo", pour orgue



 1988 Cinco canciones de amor (P. Neruda), for baritone & pn.

 1994 Vijf monogrammen (I. Gerhardt), for female voice & piano 

 1994 Terracotta (A. Heidweiller), for tenor & piano                       

 2008 The Fall (on words by John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester) for tenor and piano



 1982 Muziek voor twee violen (rev. 1995)

 1984 Musica funebris (rev. 1995), for clarinet, cello & piano

 1985 Music for harp and clarinet

 1986 Quatuor, for clarinets

 1986 3 Pezzi, for piano & marimba

 1988 String Quartet Nr. 1 (rev. 1990)

 1989 Four movements, for cello & piano                                                                           

 1989 Quartetto Nr. 1, for saxophones

 1990 Divertimento (Nr. 2), for fl., ob., vc. or fag. & harpsichord

 1992 String Quartet Nr. 2

 1996 Cadenza for J.C. Bach's Sinfonia Concertante in A Major for vl., vc. and orch.

 1998 Quartetto Nr. 2 for saxophones

 1999 Purana, for alto saxophone & piano    

 2001 Pianokwartet (vl., va., vc., pn.)              

 2000 L'Ange Maudit, for violin and piano (comp. for 18th Oskar Back vl. competition)      

 2003 Entre Nous (Trois Scènes pour Violon et Violoncelle)                                              

 2003 Trois Étoffes Anciennes, for viola and piano

 2007 Joy, three-piano version of the original version for orchestra (1987)

 2008 Trois Mélodies pour trompette et orgue (1977-80, rev. 2008)

 2009 Trois Portraits de l’Amour for viola and piano*

 2011 Del Sur, for violin, saxophone and piano

 2012 Four City Nocturnes, for tenor saxophone and piano

 2012 The Frozen Lake, for violin, saxophone and harp

 2013 La Marseillaise (after R. de L'Isle), for violin and viola

 2013 Fünf Kommentare zu 'Ich ruf zu dir...', for clarinet and harp

 2013 La Mort d'Euterpe, for violin, viola and organ (or harmonium)

 2014 Trois Airs Anciennes (after Crescentini, Méhul and Latour), for clarinet, cello and forte-piano

 2014 Ich ruf zu Dir, Herr Jesu Christ (after J. S. Bach), for violin, viola and organ

 2014 Improvisation sur 'Ich ruf zu Dir...', for violin and organ

 2016 Improvisation sur 'Ich ruf zu Dir...', for violin, clarinet (or saxophone) cello and harp

 2016 Triade, for violin and viola

 2016 Lacrimae (String Quartet Nr. 3)

 2018 Lacrimae Aeternae (for string quartet, after Dowland/Sweelinck)

 2019 Canta, canta mais (after Tom Jobim, for clarinet, violin, cello and harp)

 2019/20 Urban Suite for two saxophones

 2021 Trimurti for flute, clarinet & piano

 2021 Durga's Dance for soprano saxophone, bass clarinet & accordion

2022 Improvisation sur "Ich ruf'zu dir..." (version for string quartet)

2022 Le Fugitif (string quartet)



 1985 Divertimento (Nr. 1), for five trumpets                                   

 1986 Concerto per cinque Nr. 1, for cl., tr., vl., vc. & pn.

 1994 Kwintet, for 2 violins, viola, cello & piano

 1996 Ricorrenze (Concerto per cinque Nr. 2), for ob., cl., vl., va. & pn.                           

 1998 Après Minuit (Alternances II), for sop.sax., violin, harp, perc. & pn.

 2000 Divertimento (Nr. 3) for eight strings (Variations on a Tamil Lyric)

 2001 Igoriana (Three glances at The Rite of Spring), for cl., vl., va., vc., cb. & pn.

 2006 Trois Visions Tantriques, for harp and saxophone quartet

 2007/08 Dravidian Moods, for oboe and string quartet



 1989 Episodes for 18 players (fl, ob, cl, cl.b, fag, cor, 5 perc, pn, hp, 2 vl, va, vc, cb)

 1993 Concerto da camera, for violin & mixed ensemble



 1980 Tres piezas para orquesta de cámara

 1987 Sinfonia Concertante Nr. 1, for 2 violins & string orchestra   

 1990 Concerto Breve, for orchestra

 1987 Joy, minimal overture for orchestra

 1991 Mouvements concertants, for piano, percussion & string orchestra

 1995 Alternances, for saxophone quartet & string orchestra                                              

 1996 Sinfonia Concertante Nr. 2, for violin, cello & orchestra  

 1997 Phoenix, symphonic overture               

 2000 Kaleidos (Sinfonía Concertante Nr. 3), for clarinet, violin, piano and orchestra  

 2002 Sinfonia Concertante Nr. 4, for violin, viola and orchestra

 2006 Concerto for Harp and Orchestra 

 2009 Concerto for (soprano-alto) Saxophone and Orchestra

 2009/10 Sinfonia Concertante Nr. 5 (“Imaginaire”) for clarinet, harp and orchestra



 1990 Syrinx (Ovidius), cantata for choir & orchestra                        

 1991 Correspondances (de Nerval, Flaubert, Baudelaire), cantata for bar., choir & orchestra

 2004 Quid hoc dementiae est?(Erasmus), for double choir and orchestra

 2005/06 Sinfonia Trajectina,for mixed choir and large orchestra (words: C. Micháns)

 2007 And Nothing Death (Three Wilmot Songs), for soprano, choir and orchestra

 2008 Drie Drentse Gedichten (on words by Suze Sanders),for choir and orchestra    

 2008/10 Soy Manuela (on words by Carlos Micháns), aria for soprano and orchestra



 1975 Ave Maria, for choir

 1976-2014 J'ai étranglé mon frère (R. Char), for choir

 1978 Du Dunkelheit (R.M. Rilke), for choir  

 1978 Verklärter Herbst (G. Trakl), for choir

 1978 Sanctus, for soprano, choir & organ

 1985 Magnificat, for soprano & choir

 1986 Zes Gelderse gedichten (Gerhardt, v. Duinkerken, Achterberg), for choir

 1987 Twee lofliederen voor Hemelvaart, for female choir & pn. ad lib.                          

 1989 Herbstlieder (R.M. Rilke), for choir                                                                          

 1992 Salmos (F. de Quevedo y Villegas), for choir                                                             

 1993 Le Cortège d'Orphée (F. Apollinaire), for choir & accordion ensemble                   

 1993 Six épigrammes (Martialis), for choir, harp & string quintet (rev. 1995)                    

 1994 Dans les plis (H. Michaux), for choir                                                                         

 1995 ...Et nova sunt semper (Ovidius), for choir & wind quintet                                                  

 1999 Tres Plegarias (Micháns), for choir and 12 winds 

 2000 Dos Tangos (C. Micháns), for choir,bandoneón, piano, 2 vls., va., vc. and d-b      

 2002 Tirthánkara (C. Micháns), for choir and cello 

 2008 Dos Abismos (on poems by C. Micháns), for female choir a cappella                      

 2010 Ave Maria - Pater Noster, for choir

 2013 Apostrophe (R.S. Thomas)  for mixed choir a cappella

 2014 Cherished Dream (C. Micháns), for mixed choir a cappella



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