Studies and experience
In June 2022, Harmen has graduated as a baritone from ArtEZ Conservatory in Zwolle, the Netherlands. During his bachelor, he studied with tenor Harry van Berne and soprano Elena Vink. In his final year, Harmen did an internship at Cappella Amsterdam, conducted by Daniel Reuss. Before his studies in Zwolle, he studied with the Icelandic tenor Jón Thorsteinsson.
Harmen started singing in the National Boys Choir. In this choir, he sang well-known works such as Bach’s St. Matthew Passion and the 8th Symphony of Mahler, conducted by amongst others Iván Fischer, Jaap van Zweden and Mariss Jansons. After the boys choir, he entered the National Youth Choir. With this choir he participated in multiple classical festivals, often with guest conductors such as Sigvards Klava, Ed Spanjaard and László Nemes.
During his studies, Harmen participated in masterclasses by for example Dame Emma Kirkby, Lenneke Ruiten, Paul Phoenix, Paul Triepels, Anna Sims and Nico van der Meel. The latest masterclass was from the ensemble Voces8.
As a soloist, Harmen sang the role of Christ in Bach’s St. John Passion, the bass solos in Liszt’s Via Crucis and Mozart’s Krönungsmesse and some cantatas by Bach. He also sang in a shortened version of Hänsel und Gretel by Humperdinck, in which he was the father. He also took part in the modern opera Idiosyncratic during the 2020 Opera Forfard Festival of the Dutch National Opera. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this opera has unfortunately never been performed.
Throughout the years, Harmen has sung quite a few of Bach’s major choral works, such as the St. Matthew and St. John Passion, his Mass in B Minor and the Magnificat. Other large choral works are the Requiems by Mozart, Fauré and Duruflé. Apart from that, Harmen performed a diverse range of smaller choral works, from Poulenc to Brumel and from Pärt to Ligeti.
Duo with Hanke Scheffer
Since 2019, Harmen has formed a duo with pianist Hanke Scheffer. Together, they arrange diverse programmes with a focus on the Romantic art song. Thus, Schubert’s Winterreise is on their repertoire, but they also like to perform works that are heard less often, by Scandinavian composers such as Sibelius, Grieg and Backer-Grøndahl.