Nicolaas Cottenie (B; violin)

studied jazz violin in the conservatories of Antwerp (Belgium) and Arnhem (The Netherlands). He is currently developing a personal approach to free improvisation, inspired by Present-Time Composition, created by his mentor, Alan Bern.

He is the co-founder of Maggid, a band that takes Jewish traditional music into jazz and free improvisation. Winner of the 2011 “Mosche Beregovski Prize” for up-and-coming bands, Maggid has played at German, Dutch, Belgian and French world music festivals.  The band has released its first album, recorded at De Werf in Bruges, and created a new score for the Chaplin classic Modern Times in cooperation with composer Klaas Van Heddeghem, which toured Flanders in 2012-2014.

Nicolaas is the founder of Zahir Collective, which performs his compositions and those of other members. In September 2013, the band hosted Alan Bern to explore Present-Time Composition, leading to concerts in Antwerp, Bruges and elsewhere. He has also been part of many other projects, including The August Project Berlin (2013), the street theatre group La Machine’s production ”Symphonie Méchanique” (2010); a collaboration with the dance collective “Les Slovaks” (2011); as composer and violinist with the musical theatre group “Het Betoog” (2011); and the show “Cirque De Volonté” by Bolwerk (2006).

Photo: Kathleen Michiels