Maarten ter Horst (1987) started playing the violin at four years old. He enjoyed a rich musical development throughout his childhood, thanks to his highly involved violin teacher Koen Rens and his mother, who taught the piano at home and practised the violin with him daily. His interest in music broadened at the age of fifteen and he started composing. In the following years, this resulted in some early works for violin and piano.
After initially choosing a different direction, Ter Horst felt the urge to write music again in 2017 at the age of 30. This resulted in his two highly autobiographical string quartets, which he completed during the lockdown in 2020. The works form a personal journey of love, doubt, fighting and hope. The Helikon Quartet recorded Ter Horsts String Quartets No. 1 and 2 in 2021 on the Cobra Records label. Sheet music is published by Donemus.
For Ter Horst, composing is a way of sharing emotions. He writes parts that drive each other up in a quest in which dreams and longings try to reconcile themselves with reality. What stands out is the timeless, melodic musical language. With this, he shows a surprising new perspective on a classical tradition.
In the words of the Helikon Quartet: “A promising young composer with a strong personal message and gift for compositional storytelling.”
Brahms and Beethoven [are] very prominent in style, design and overall atmosphere, but there is a clear Ter Horst accent. The composer can suddenly give the sweetest melody a different twist with a well-placed dissonance or a surprisingly poignant chord
De Nieuwe Muze
What he brings forth in his first two string quartets is an abundance of ideas, strong emotions, and forceful communication
The language of Romanticism – of the nineteenth century – resounds in his two string quartets