Acknowledged by a Dutch newspaper as The Horror Composer (see bottom of the page) twenty years ago, Edward Top’s music since is finding a way out-of the pluralism of the postmodernist maze where he has replaced an ironic and contemptuous response to the grand narratives of modernism by a simpler tone of honesty and an economical use of material. Recurring motifs include the grotesque, sentimentality and the sublime. Top’s music is inspired by the symphonic tradition, Baroque forms, postminimalism, film noir, postrock, thrash metal, and the paintings of Hyronymus Bosch, James Ensor and Francisco Goya. His work often oscillates between different concepts using rich textures in detailed orchestrations.
Born in The Netherlands in 1972 Edward Top has lived and worked in London, Bangkok, and Rotterdam. With his wife and son he now lives in Vancouver where he served as Composer-in-Residence with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra from 2011-2014. In 2014, Edward took on the position of Head of Composition at the Vancouver Academy of Music. He studied composition himself with Peter-Jan Wagemans at the Rotterdam Conservatoire in The Netherlands where he also majored in violin. He later studied musicology at King’s College London. He also worked with composers Klaas de Vries, Pierre Boulez, Luciano Berio, Peter Eötvös, Wolfgang Rihm and George Benjamin.