Arno Stoffelsma about orchestras and judgments
He has a special hobby. Or combines two surprising careers. This inhabitant of Arnheim has a (more or less) hidden talent. In the first edition Arno Stoffelsma (b. 1982), first clarinet player at Het Gelders Orkest and legal assistant at Dirkzwager. A super musical jurist. Or a legally trained musician. It depends on how you look at it. Arno Stoffelsma at least mixes two special careers. All credits for his employer Dirkzwager. Because that’s how he succeeds in successfully combining both professions. When you look at his agenda, you become almost tired. Because Arno Stoffelsma almost literally flies back and forth between the concert hall of Musis (concert hall in Arnheim) and Dirkzwager Lawyers & Notaries. One time with his clarinet under his arm, the other time with a briefcase full of files and legal texts. “I’m never mistaken. I do not accidentally pick up my clarinet in the office and do not make any contracts during the rehearsal pause of Het Gelders Orkest. For that it is much too different worlds. But I am very happy that they have come together in Arnheim for three and a half years. “
Clarinet lesson at home
Arno has been playing the clarinet since he was seven years old. That may not be surprising with a clarinet player as a mother and a father who is a hobby horn player. “At home only classical music was recorded; we were really brought up with that. My brother and I were both encouraged to also play an instrument. I received clarinet lessons from my mother for four and a half years. Then I really went the ‘level music school’ and went looking for another music teacher. That was Herman Braune, clarinet teacher at the Amsterdam Conservatory. “
Arno had talent, that much was certain. At the age of twelve he was selected for the Young Talent class at that same Conservatory. “The clarinet is also physically good with me. With other people, playing after 5 minutes is already tickling, but I can keep up with that from an early age. And it makes a big difference that my mother immediately corrected me at home if I did something wrong. The flaming of wrong habits takes a lot more time and energy than the learning of new ones. I studied at least two hours of clarinet every day. The better you become, the more fun it is to play. That works extra stimulating. “
When he was sixteen, Arno was selected for the Netherlands Youth Orchestra, with whom he soon toured Japan. Later the European Youth Orchestra followed, under the direction of famous conductors such as Bernhard Haitink and Herbert Blomstedt. Arno: “Maybe I have jumped too young. At the age of 21, before I had a bachelor’s degree from the Conservatory, I got my first job at the Concertgebouw Orchestra. A dream job, of course, especially for someone without a notable professional experience. After that I worked as a freelancer for several years at various orchestras in the Netherlands and abroad, until I ended up at Het Gelders Orkest (HGO) in 2007. They call it ‘a warm bath’, and that’s what it is. I’m really enjoying it. Especially now that we are allowed to play in these beautiful new rooms of Musis. De Muzenzaal has been restored very cleverly to its former glory. The renovation has succeeded very nicely anyway, especially the Park Hall with all that glass and green. It is very special to be able to play in daylight and not in a closed box, which is the most concert halls. “
Role of law
Five years ago, that passion for classical music was the prelude to a new profession: a law school. “I find it interesting to think about legal issues and about the role of law in our society. And it has practical advantages: you can study law very well in your own time.” Arno graduated from the VU in Amsterdam where he still lives. He recently completed his Masters in Law at the Open University. For three and a half years Arno has been part-time legal assistant at Dirkzwager at Velperweg (Arnheim), where he has the freedom to work between the tight rehearsal schedule and the performances of HGO. As is known, the Arnheim law firm is very fond of the fine arts.
Arno, philosophizing: “Law and musicians may have similarities. You try to take someone else with you, to convince them. Sometimes quite literally, in a plea for the good cause or a client, the other time on the concert stage. Furthermore, of course, everything applies: if you stick to it, it will bear fruit. Making flying hours and going for it.” “Learning wrong habits takes much more time than learning new ones”
Tip from Arno:
Mozart’s Concert for clarinet and orchestra is a great opportunity for Het Gelders Orkest to show Zutphen, Nimwegen, Arnheim and Doetinchem the velvety tone of the clarinet.
From the explanation in the concert program:
We do not know how long Mozart worked at his clarinet concert, but everything indicates that the score was quickly on paper. A first version of the first part had been in a drawer for a while (written for bassethorn), so that a revision would suffice here. The concert is a wonder of a simplicity, grace and allure. It proves that Mozart’s music was by no means the vehicle of his emotional life: no trace of oppressive living conditions or psychological unrest. His Concert for clarinet and orchestra arises in these last months of his life. Mozart writes it for his friend Anton Stadler, who according to him can imitate the human voice with his instrument. Solo clarinettist Arno Stoffelsma performs with his velvety tone in Stadler’s footsteps.