Paul Seelig, composer from Bandung, Java

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Paul Seelig, composer from Bandung, Java Paul Seelig (Funkenberg,Germany, 1876 – Batavia, 1945) lived most of his life in Bandung on the island of Java. Inspired by Javanese gamelan, kroncong, Comedy Stamboel and Malay pantun poetry, he composed a small but interesting oeuvre. He was quite successful abroad: in Siam, Austria, Australia and America. In Siam he was awarded the Order of the White Elephant, in Vienna he was called an Oriental Master, in Australia his Malaysian songs had great success and in America he was known as an expert of the indigenous music of Java. In the Dutch East Indies Seelig was characterized as a composer who mediated between the music of East and West. Although brought up in the German romantic tradition at the conservatory of Leipzig, he was sincerely searching for new ways of blending Western and indigenous music. The traditional music at the Court of Solo, where he held a position as Kapellmeister (conductor) of the western symphony orchestra, had a big influence on him. A few examples of his mixed compositions are the settings of Malay pantun, in which he made a charming blend of poetry, melody ad piano; the piano concerto in F-sharp, inspired by the gamelan; his popular Rhapsody javanaise; his Balinese Fantasy; Siam inspired orchestral works, his music for the theatre play Parvati (a Hindu legend) and his symphonic suites.

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