The pianist Polo de Haas was born in Amsterdam. He studied with Jan Odé at
the Amsterdam Conservatoire and subsequently with Eduardo del Pueyo in
Brussels and Jacques Février in Paris.
He obtained his soloist diploma cum laude and won many awards such as the Silver Wreath of the Friends of the Concertgebouw and, in 1962, First Prize at the Amsterdam International Piano Competition. He has performed with virtually every Dutch Orchestra, including the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra under the baton of Bernard Haitink. He has also given recitals in most West as well as East European countries, the United States, Canada, Korea, Cuba and Japan, and had made numerous recordings for both radio and television.
Polo de Haas was both a classical musician and improviser as well as leading exponent of contemporary music. He also has a number of compositions to his name.
Partnering bass clarinettist Harry Sparnaay in the Duo Fusion Moderne (Gaudeamus Duo Prize 1972), he gave concerts at modern music festivals all over the world. Polo de Haas specialised in the music of the Dutch composer Simeon ten Holt: a compact disc recording of ‘Canto Ostinato’ by Ten Holt, made together with fellow Dutch pianist Kees Wieringa, was acclaimed by the international press.
In the words of the US journal Fanfare, ”It’s the pianists that really dazzle.” (Golden CD Award in 2001). For his services to Dutch music, Polo de Haas was awarded a Knighthood in the Order of the Netherlands Lion.
He also played jazz music with Boy Edgar prizewinner drummer Pierre Courbois and worked with many musicians as Greetje Bijma, Zoumana Diarra, Jos de Haas (New Cool Collective). His record Gong (with Pierre Courbois) was reviewed as a landmark in Dutch JazzHistory.
Polo de Haas was a member of the international group of Steinway Artists.
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