Emeritus Carillonist Asten, Utrecht, Eindhoven, and Oirschot | Emeritus Carillon Teacher | Advisor
The Netherlands

ARIE ABBENES (1944), studied carillon with Peter Bakker and with Piet van den Broek at the Beiaardschool in Mechelen in Belgium. He graduated with special distinction, or “Grote Onderscheiding,” in 1968.

Abbenes is known for his broad interest in all styles and aspects of the art of the carillon. Many compositions by prominent composers were premiered by him, and often the work was dedicated to him as well. Abbenes worked on projects with Mauricio Kagel and the Dutch composers Louis Andriessen, Daan Manneke, Piet Kee, and René Uijlenhoet.

Early music, too, has captured Abbenes’ interest, as evidenced by his annual concerts in the Early Music Utrecht Festival in The Netherlands. Inspired by this approach, he developed novel ideas with regard to carillon restorations and reconstructions. Most important projects include the Hemony carillons of Kampen and Antwerp, the van den Gheyn carillons of Nijkerk and Veere, and the reconstruction of the Noorden & De Grave carillon in the Park Abbey at Leuven. He recently completed the restoration of the Utrecht Dom carillon (Francois Hemony - 1664) and the carillon of the Majella church.

Arie Abbenes was city carillonneur of Asten, Eindhoven, Tilburg, and, until his retirement in 2011, city carillonneur of Utrecht. His teaching activities include the conservatories of Tilburg and Utrecht (Netherlands Carillon School). In the years 1971/73, Abbenes was Associate Professor of Music in Carillon and Campanology at the illustrious Indiana University School of Music in Bloomington, Indiana (USA).

He has received many prizes and decorations, including the UC Berkeley Medal of Honors, the improvisation prize at the Holland Festival, and city medals from Tilburg, Eindhoven, and Utrecht. In 2004, he was bestowed the title of Ridder in de Orde van Oranje Nassau (Knight in the Order of Oranje Nassau) and was made a citizen of honor in the city of Asten, Netherlands (NL).