Rohrbach Connection is all about connections, as the name suggests. It is the connection between a musician and their instrument, between an ensemble and its audience, between classical and jazz, but most of all between brothers who often understand one another with just one look. The Rohrbach Connection is a duo consisting of drummer Pieter Rohrbach and his older brother, pianist Herman Rohrbach. The brothers have played in bands together before, but at the time lacked the musical maturity to express their musical ideas to their own satisfaction. Things finally fell into place on a sunny day in September 2015, and simultaneously with their first piece Rush Less Time, the Rohrbach Connection was born.
Herman's classical and Pieter's jazz education combine to form harmonically and rhythmically complex music that sounds novel and pleasantly recognisable at the same time. Both of the brothers have performance experience, having been on stage in various bands and as solists. Add to that their unique chemistry and highly entertaining concerts are the result.
The Connection's influences include classical composers such as Claude Debussy, Sergei Rachmaninov, Philip Glass and Frédéderic Chopin, as well as jazz giants such as Duke Ellington, Miles Davis and Max Roach. Hints from other genres can be heard throughout the repertoire, making it varied, powerful and infinitely surprising.
Pieter Rohrbach (drums)
Pieter, born in 1991, has master degrees in Psychology and Media Technology at Leiden University. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the Leiden Medical University Centre on the subject of e-mental health. Playing drums since he was 13 years old and playing in bands from when he was 14 years old yields a reasonable amount of playing experience, both individually as well as with others. In bands such as Never Forget and The Hearted, Pieter learnt to play tight rock and punk grooves as well as the importance of energy during live performances. After trying multiple genres his focus now lies on playing jazz. This approach makes that he is not only a technically solid drummer, but also tries to bring melodies to the drum set to enhance or complete the phrases from melodic instruments. Pieter has had lessons throughout his drumming career. First at the music school in Alphen aan den Rijn and later at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague.
Herman Rohrbach (piano)
Herman, born in 1989, started playing keyboard in the summer of 2005, when his parents got them a keyboard as compensation for the drumkit bought for Pieter. Their keyboard teacher, Ype van der Werf, whom they met in the fall of 2005, was so impressed with the progress they had made over the summer that he advised them to switch to classical piano. Over the course of three years, urged on by Ype, their love for the piano grew ever deeper, leading them to apply for the Practicum Musicae program, a collaboration between Leiden University and the Royal Conservatory of The Hague. They continued their piano studies under the tutelage of Marcel Baudet, a renowned piano teacher of international importance. Both their pianistic skills and their understanding of music theory reached new heights, and it is this combination of skills that forms the basis for their compositions for the Rohrbach Connection. In recent years, they have studied jazz, musical composition and audio production in their free time to broaden their perspective even further.
Herman is currently a Ph.D. candidate in pure mathematics at the Bergische Universität Wuppertal. They obtained their master's degree at Leiden University. Mathematics has taught them the importance of form, while their love of poetry keeps them searching for emotional profundity, all of which resonates in the music the Rohrbach Connection composes.