Dick van der Harst is a musician, arranger and composer. He has been composer-in‐residence at LOD from 1989 untill 2013. He has created musical theatre productions with people including
Thierry Salmon, Guy Cassiers, Alain Platel and Eric De Volder (Diep in het bos (Deep In the Forest) (1999), Achter ’t eten (After the Meal) (2003)). With admiration for skill but resistance against routine, Dick van der Harst makes use of jazz, classical and folk music in his compositions. He is always searching for what authenticity can mean today. The result is music for which there is no standard model: he listens to music from other times, other countries, other cultures, and intuitively connects the styles and genres with his own musical world, all of which gives rise to a new artistic language. Respect, honesty and traditional workmanship are at the forefront, as evident from projects such as Het huis der verborgen muziekjes I & II (The House of the Hidden Pieces of Music I & II) and the fanfare Banda Azufaifo.
In 2001, van der Harst received the Louis Paul Boon Prize “for his social commitment and the bond with mankind which can be found throughout his works”. In Achter ’t eten (After the Meal), he takes a new step in his search for the ultimate musical theatre, one in which there is no further disparity between the character that speaks and the character that sings. For this, he and Eric De Volder were awarded the ‘Grote Theaterfestival Prijs’ in 2004. In addition, Dick van der Harst was named ‘City Composer of Ghent’ from 2006 ‐ 2008.
In 2013, Dick van der Harst created a youth production for LOD based on the book The loneliness of the hedgehog by Toon Tellegen, in collaboration with Oxalys and Raven Ruëll.
For the special occasion of the twenty-fifth birthday of LOD, van der Harst made the production The house of forbidden music - the return match.