Craenen, Paul

is a composer, researcher and Chair of Music, Education and Society at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague. After obtaining a degree in music he taught piano and experimental music for fifteen years. He initiated pioneering educational projects in new music and the use of new media in part-time arts education. Since the late 1990s he has also been working as a composer and sound artist. His compositions are characterised by conceptuality, use of electronics as well as choreographic and audiovisual elements. 

He embarked on postgraduate research at the Orpheus Institute in Ghent and later pursued it through docARTES, a doctoral programme for practice-based research in the arts. In 2011 he received his doctorate from the Leiden University on the basis of his performance portfolio and a thesis entitled Composed Performers – the music-making body from a compositional perspective. Its revised version was translated into English and published by the Leuven University Press in 2014 as Composing under the Skin. The music-making body at the composer’s desk

In 2012–18 he was the director of Musica, a Flemish organisation for art education and participation; under his leadership, the organisation received the YEAH award for the Most Innovative European Youth Production, in the Performance category (2015), and the EFFE Quality Label for the AlbaNova Festival (2017). Since 2018 Paul Craenen has been research professor at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague, where he is in charge of several research teams, focusing on the science of musical training, creative practice, curatorship and engagement. Thanks to his expertise combining research, artistic practice and education, he is in frequent demand as a project advisor or curator, gives lectures, and writes articles for specialist publications and festivals. 

Selected works: Falco tinnunculus for piano (2000), Mouvements trouvés for viola and steel guitar (2000), Atman for piano, bass clarinet and amplified breathing (2001), Palindroom for performer, live electronics and sound engineer (2002), for harp and string sextet (2002), Re:activ for piano and electronics (2004), A Fragile Imbalance, feedback installation (2004), Mondstuk for three recorders (2005), Tubes, feedback performance (2007), Going Double for dancer, performer, projection and feedback (2008), Das Wohlpreparierte Klavier for piano and ring modulation (2009), Close Harmonies, installation (2018–19).