Koninklijke Harmonie van Thorn

The “Koninklijke Harmonie van Thorn” (Royal Harmony of Thorn), also known as the “Bokken van Thorn” (the Bucks of Thorn), was founded in 1812 as the Philharmonic Music Society of Thorn and aquired in 1865, rare for the time, the title "Royal" from king Willem III.

Conductor Jean Tonnaer directed the orchestra more than 40 year before handing over the baton to Max Guillaume in 1907. Under his inspiring leadership the orchestra grew to a musical level that was unique in amateur music.

From 1945 the orchestra made it’s mark in the history of wind music at home and abroad, under it’s conductors Harrie Ramakers, Henri Arends, Jean Claessens, Leo Sevriens, Harrie Biessen, Will Jacobs and Sef Pijpers.

Since 1957 the orchestra has been awarded the national championship nine times in the top rankng of the Dutch Music Association FKM contest. On several occasions the wind orchestra has performed on radio and television and given concerts during the Holland Festival.

The “Koninklijke Harmonie van Thorn” is well-known abroad. In 1959 they almost gained the maximum number of points on the Bree contest (B). In 1962 they became national champion on the World Music Contest (WMC) in Kerkrade (NL). In 1982 and in 1986 the orchestra gave several concerts in Valencia (E) and participated in the famous “Certamen Internacional de Bandas Musica Ciudad de Valencia”. In 1982 conductor Sef Pijpers led them to the highest result in the “seccion Primera” and in 1986 under Jan Cober they achieved the highest marks in the “seccion Especial B” and were awarded the special prize “Mencion de Honor”.

In 1990 the orchestra took part in the “Concours International pour Orchestres d'Harmonie” in Le Havre (F), where they sensationally obtained the trophy “Coup d'Essai”. At the WMC contest in 1993 the orchestra was awarded the best result for the test piece in the concert division (“Fourth Symphony” by Alfred Reed). In 1997 they again participated in the WMC in Kerkrade and became world champion in the concert division, both times conducted by Jan Cober.

During the 2001 conference of the “World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles” (WASBE) in Luzern (CH) the “Koninklijke Harmonie van Thorn” performed again directed by Jan Cober as well as giving numerous concerts at home and abroad.

Special care and attention is given to the balance of classical repertoire and new works specifically written for wind orchestra. Several original wind band compositions have been premiered by the “Koninklijke Harmonie van Thorn” including the recent first performance of the first symphony “Gilgamesh” by the young Belgian composer Bert Appermont.

Today the “Koninklijke Harmonie van Thorn” is conducted by Norbert Nozy. Under his direc-tion the orchestra became national champion in the concert division on October 19, 2008 in Venlo (NL) and on May 12, 2013 the orchestra gained 96,83 points at the “Concours Européen” in the Philharmonie concert hall in Luxemburg and won the contest.


Cerebral Vortex - Øyvind Moe

Symphony No. 4 - David Maslanka

Daphnis et Chloë - Maurice Ravel, arr. Norbert Nozy

Visit their webpage here, but be warned, the language is not english!

Picture from Concours Européen pour Fanfares, Harmonies et Brass-Bands. Foto: J.M. "LUPO" Ludowicy. (Click to enlarge)

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