In memoriam: Klaas Kos (1939–2017)

Klaas Kos, former principal trumpet of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, died at his home in Koog aan de Zaan, the Netherlands, on Wednesday, November 8, 2017.

Kos received his first trumpet lessons from Piet Pranger. Kos began his trumpet study at the Amsterdam Conservatory with Freddy Grin and continued his studies with Marinus Komst. Kos was principal trumpet of the Kunstmaandorkest (later renamed Amsterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, currently named Dutch Philharmonic Orchestra). He was often featured as a soloist with the orchestra. During his career, he frequently performed challenging contemporary and avant-garde works.

Kos joined the Concertgebouw Orchestra in 1963 as assistant principal trumpet, next to his former teacher Marinus Komst, who was serving as principal. After the departure of Komst in 1972, Kos, was appointed principal trumpet. He served for nearly three decades, retiring from the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra on January 1, 2001.

After his retirement, Kos continued to follow the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and listened to every concert that was broadcast. His style of playing was characterized by a great musicality, a powerful tone, and a beautiful vibrato. His sound blended beautifully with both woodwinds and strings. His interpretation of the posthorn solo in Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 3 is legendary. He is also well remembered for his performance of Mahler's Symphony No. 5 during the 1986 Christmas concert, as well as his performance of Strauss's Alpine Symphony, both under Bernard Haitink.

As a teacher, Kos held teaching positions at the Stedelijk Muzieklyceum in Arnhem and the Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam.

Klaas Kos (November 15, 1939 - November 8, 2017)

Source: Ralph Henssen

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