With the Netherlands’ biggest cultural export being dance music, it was long expected that one of the country’s successful DJs would compose the theme music for Eurovision 2020. However, the musical director of Eurovision 2020 is not Armin van Buuren nor Martin Garrix, but Eric van Tijn.
The Eurovision 2020 musical director is Eric van Tijn
To some Dutch Eurovision fans, it came as a complete surprise that veteran composer and arranger Eric van Tijn was chosen to be the music director for the 65th edition of the contest. Unlike Sweden, which chose the late DJ Aviici in 2013, the Netherlands has opted for a man who can master an orchestra.
Eric is certainly enthusiastic. He tells AD:
“I realised when we started discussing it that it would be much work. There will be three shows, there will be lots of music in every single show. And that’s a lot. I have a very strict planning. And then I will sit behind my keyboard or piano and then I will be just playing something. (…) I am doing a lot of project, which I am very proud of, but this is only for once. (…) It’s work, but it doesn’t feel like work.”
Who is Eric van Tijn?
When the average Dutch person thinks of Van Tijn’s work, they will reminisce about the 1990s. Then, Eric van Tijn had a fruitful collaboration with Jochem Fluistma. The duo produced many successful Dutch-language songs for famous local artists. In 1996, their own single “15 miljoen mensen” topped the domestic charts for several weeks.
The duo was also successful at Eurovision. In 1993, “Vrede” sung by Ruth Jacott, finished sixth. Five years later, Edsilia Rombley‘s rendition of “Hemel en Aarde” finished fourth, almost snatching victory.
Eric van Tijn’s career as a musical director
Thinking of Eric van Tijn as a rather dated composer would be unfair. Although less prominent in recent times, Van Tijn remains active. Next to that, he has plenty of experience that would qualify him for the job.
Since 2013, Eric van Tijn has worked as musical director for The Passion, a live musical and modern retelling of events around Easter. Van Tijn was responsible for picking its songs as well as arranging them for broadcast.
Under the musical supervision of Van Tijn, The Passion became one of the most viewed events on Dutch television.
Actor Jeroen van Koningsbrugge‘s interpretation of Marco Borsato’s ballad “Wit Licht” was named as one the highlights of Dutch television in 2015.
Do you think that the Netherlands was right to choose someone with a classical background rather than a DJ? Let us know in the comments below!