New York / New Music


New works written during New York years

YouOpera Fill the Present Day with Joy
Inspired by the ever increasing interest we have gained in ourselves and our own community, Fill the Present Day with Joy is an attempt to make a piece of music that is about the listeners themselves, rather than a historical hero. The lyrics are all taken from Facebook updates, reaching from a quotation of Wordsworth, via loving wall posts, to automatically generated texts by Facebook itself. In particular, the piece deals with the love we share online.

For the Deviants
Deviant Septet The Deviant Septet plays a tribute to the deviant voice, inspired by the Faustian morale of today's Dutch politicians. For L'Histoire du Soldat ensemble.

Inspired by a night long discussion on economics, life and art on a music loving festival. (More information.)

End of Summer Overture
Short string trio inspired by the September vibe, that combines the ease of the past summer and the energy of new initiatives for the upcoming season. Unpretentious summer music as overture to all new music to come! Written for W4's End of Summer Concert.



Aspen Music Festival and School The Aspen Contemporary Ensemble plays Mainstream, expressing today's flood of information and choices and our own struggle to maintain an individual voice within this.

Wild Rumpus New Music Collective Commissioned by Wild Rumpus as part of their 2011 Commissioning Project, Euphoria covers our pursuit of happiness in today's hectic world, while dealing with an abundance of information and choices: ecstatic, jumping from peak to peak, and playing around. Also read this interview.

JACK Quartet The dazzling JACK Quartet plays JACKASS, a highly energetic journey with the pace of New York City through twelve tone melodies, 1990s dance 'house' harmonies and Balkan rhythms, sticking to a single love but still chasing wild adventure.

Compost Remixed
A remix of my oldest piece (1998) in my current idiom. Premiered by Brass Tacks at the UNL Chamber Music Institute 2011.

In June 2010, Ruben received the HSP Huygens Talent Scholarship from the Dutch government to study composition with Michael Gordon in a master's program at New York University. Since then, he has written for esteemed ensembles as the JACK Quartet and the Deviant Septet, and attended the UNL Chamber Music Institute and the Music11 Festival.