Rocco Havelaar is a composer and violist. In his teens he was admitted to the School for Young Talent at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague to study composition and violin, later switching to viola. He continued his composition studies at the Royal Conservatory with Diderik Wagenaar and subsequently at the Rotterdam Conservatory with Klaas de Vries, graduating in 1998. He continued his viola studies at the Conservatory of Tilburg, with Gisella Bergman and Ferdinand Erblich, graduating in 1999. In the Netherlands and later in the US he worked as a freelance violist, substituting in several major Dutch orchestras, such as Het Brabants Orkest, het Noord Nederlands Orkest and Holland Symfonia as well as a variety of other groups.
As a composer he completed a number of commissioned works ranging from solo pieces to works for small orchestra and several vocal works. These works have been performed by ensembles such as the Zephyr String Quartet, het Koor Nieuwe Muziek, reed quintet Calefax, Ensemble Wendingen and others. He won the Marez-Oyens Prize  for a project with violinist Lydia Forbes, and in 2001 he attended the Composers Conference at Wellesley College, where his Second String Quartet was performed. Since 2005 Rocco has lived in the US, raising three kids. His String Quartet no. 3 was commissioned by the DaPonte String Quartet in Maine, and performed in the summer of 2016. In May 2017 his String quartet no. 4 was performed by the Omer String Quartet at Amherst College in Massachusetts. His ‘Night, Dreams’ was commissioned by the Rhode Island College Symphony Orchestra and performed in April 2018. Currently Rocco is working on a piano trio.

Selected list of works:


Night, Dreams (2018) for Symphony Orchestra

String Quartet no. 4 (2016)

Adagio to Sophocles (2016) for string quartet

String Quartet no. 3 (2015)

Song of Neptune (Rain in Maine) (2013) for piano 4-handed

‘Concierto para Quinteto’ and ‘Soledad “Silfo y Ondina” nr. 3’ (Piazolla) (2008) arranged for clarinet, piano, violin, viola and cello

Romance (2005) for French horn, strings, harp and percussion

Kwintet (Quintet) (2005) for reed quintet Calefax

Two movements for violin (2003)

Nocturne (2002) for cello and piano

Een doorwaadbare plaats (2001) – 5 songs for mezzo-soprano, violin, cello and accordion

Sonata for violin and percussion (2000)

String Quartet no. 2 – for Sandra (1999/2000)

Some long breath could softly bring the fool in me to peace (1998) for contrabassoon solo

Atemzüge eines Sommertags 2 (1998) for chamber choir and string quartet

Gebroken Zang (1997) for string orchestra, harp, celesta and percussion

Viator – De vlakte die ik zag (1996) for piano

String Quartet no. 1 – Atemzüge eines Sommertags (1996)

Lemming (1995) for two violas, double bass, clarinet and accordion

Octet (1991) for flute, clarinet, vibraphone, harp, harpsichord, piano, viola and cello