Meet the Makers: Daniel Verstappen

Published: Thursday 21 March, 2024


This April, be serenaded by the acclaimed award-winning pianist and composer Daniel Verstappen. Following his world tour of Europe and USA, including performances at Carnegie Hall, the Auckland Town Hall is the next cab off the rank, catch renditions of famous classic masterpieces such as The Hall of the Mountain King, Danse Macabre, and Swan Lake and his neoclassical compositions of his album Reconnection.

We had the pleasure of sitting down with Daniel Verstappen and chatted with him about his inspirations, beginnings and all things about his show coming up on the 21st April.

Grab your tickets below!


Introduce yourself and your arts practice.

I was around 5 years old when I started to play music – a little boy from Belgium who asked his mother for a piano. The piano soon became my soulmate, the instrument where I could reflect my emotions, where I could dream away... (my song Soulmate will be played during the concert).

Now I call myself a cross-over pianist and composer, combining my background as a trained classical pianist with modern sounds and techniques. I try to connect with younger generations, so they will also enjoy music as much as I do, maybe start to play the piano, even play some Daniel Verstappen songs! (There is songbook accompanying the Reconnection album, available in hard copy and online).


What's your favourite thing about what you do?

Connecting people with my music over the world. That’s the most exciting thing for me. It’s always amazing to reach more and more people through my music, and this makes me truly happy. I am looking forward to all the concerts on my Reconnection Tour in New Zealand, and performing for people, face to face.


What's the hardest thing about what you do?

For me, the hardest thing is maintaining your energy, your focus, and your dedication to your artform. Besides performing and composing, there are so many other side activities to do – organising rehearsals and promotion, preparing for interviews, photoshoots...I could go on. It sounds glamorous, but it’s actually hard work!

To keep fit and to relax, I try to play a little sport and exercise, even when I am touring. The coming months will be challenging, especially the tour to Australia and New Zealand. This part of the tour runs over 3 weeks, with 6 concerts, starting at Sydney Opera House on the 7th of April. The tour ends with the concert in the Auckland Town Hall Concert Chamber on the 21st of April. It’s going to be huge.


What's the best advice you've ever received?

Never give up!


What's the best show you've seen this year?

Like other performers and artists I know, it’s sometimes hard to get out and see shows. However, I did get to see my good friend and collaborator, Beth Georgiou, do a small, intimate promotion launch of her dance music project, Lux Symmetry. It’s moody and cool – you should check it out! Beth is performing on violin in the Reconnection Tour. She’s totally amazing, by the way.


Who are your favourite artists/theatre companies/musicians etc. and why?

A while ago, I had the chance to share the stage with Andrea Bocelli. Words can’t describe the experience. I love the sound of his voice – it’s so warm and pure. On top of this, the way he shares his passion for music is magical.

I also love movie music, and that’s why I’ll be performing a few pieces of Hans Zimmer soundtracks in my programme.

In the classical world, Vivaldi and Bach are my idols. One of the songs in my Reconnection album is called Toccata, which is my modern version of Bach’s epic composition.


Tell us about your show...

Having performed in Queenstown, Christchurch and Hamilton, I am really looking forward to performing in Auckland - New Zealand’s biggest city. 

My show is a total audience experience. You will hear songs from my album Reconnection, together with violinist Beth Georgiou, and renditions of famous classic master pieces, such as The Hall of the Mountain King, Danse Macabre, Swan Lake…epic music, lights, great sound, fabulous costumes, some awesome local talent too.

Intrigued? Buy your tickets now

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