Rogier van Otterloo

Born: December 11th, 1941, Amsterdam (the Netherlands)
Died: January 29th, 1988, Bilthoven (the Netherlands)
Nationality: Dutch

Rogier van Otterloo was the son of Willem van Otterloo, the renowned conductor of the Residence Orchestra, The Hague. As an adolescent, he was a percussionist in various jazz bands; after his military service, he studied at the Music Lyceum in Amsterdam, specializing in music theory and the flute. In 1966 he became a professional musician, his first job being pianist of the Lurelei cabaret group. As an arranger, he often worked with singer-songwriter Jules de Corte. Between 1972 and 1979, he arranged all four ‘Introspection’ albums by flutist Thijs van Leer. The 1970s marked the breakthrough of Van Otterloo, who regularly conducted TV shows, such as the Grand Gala du Disque Populair and ‘Music All-In’. He proved his genious as a soundtrack composer by penning the music to ‘Turks fruit’, ‘Soldaat van Oranje’, and ‘Help de dokter verzuipt’. Between 1980 and his untimely death in ‘88, he was the chief conductor of the Metropole Orchestra, succeeding Dolf van der Linden who had led the orchestra since it was founded in 1945.

In 1980, Rogier van Otterloo was the musical director of the Eurovision Song Contest, held in The Hague; although, at that time, Dolf van der Linden was still chief conductor of the Metropole Orchestra, he disdained having any part in the event and left it to his successor-to-be. Between 1980 and 1987, Van Otterloo conducted five Netherlands Eurovision entries, including ‘Amsterdam’ (1980) and ‘Ik hou van jou’ (1984) – both songs were arranged by Dick Bakker, with whom Van Otterloo worked extensively and who would eventually become his successor as leader of the Metropole Orchestra.

In due course, a more extensive biography of Rogier van Otterloo will be published on this website



Songs conducted
1980: Amsterdam
1981: Het is een wonder
1982: Jij en ik
1984: Ik hou van jou
1987: Rechtop in de wind

Musical director
1980: The Hague