Marnix van de Poll is the founder of Crazy Initiatives. He is a connector and inspiration and as a creative and analytical thinker he looks beyond walls.

New ideas come every day. The need a way forward, they need to be tested. And the need energy. Everyone around him helps him with this. Involvement and creative input from others take ideas further and make them more interesting. That happens automatically. People have a natural tendency to think along, as long as you tell them what’s going on.

Like circles in the water when a pebble splashes into it. The circles get ever more wider.

Free improvising classical pianist

Free improvising classical pianist Marnix van de Poll creates projects in special locations. He uses his music as a means to an end, to bring about something in his audience. He gave many concerts in the intimate house of Simeon ten Holt, each time making a free improvisation. (He also stayed in that house four times as arist-in-residence.) This resulted in his first album In Simeon’s House, which received attention on TV, Radio 4 and Klara (BE).

He tours the country with his museum performance I’m Listening. He turns the tables: Marnix listens, the visitor tells. In the Listening Pavilion, designed by Dré Wapenaar, continuous one-on-one conversations take place in which Marnix starts from his own vulnerability. Marnix immediately responds to every conversation with a free improvisation. The project visits, among others: The Hermitage, Kroller-Muller, Bonnefanten, Singer Laren, Museum MORE.

Marnix gave concerts on the ferry across the IJ in Amsterdam Monday morning rush hour, and in the open air in the Japanese Garden in Park Clingendael in The Hague. With dancer Marjolein Vogels and storyteller Sahand Sahebdivani he presented the Parade Theatre Festival show Baba Yaga. Marnix played at Oerol Festival (in the dunes and in the open air), at the Return to the Beginning festival, in Dré Wapenaar’s pavilions at the Chabot Museum and DordtYart Sense of Music, and in the Bimhuis in Amsterdam.

In 2017 and 2018, Marnix was involved as a physical performer in A Woman and an Angel, a Karavaan Festival theater show. Karate performance combined with piano improvisations and organ music.

During the first year of the pandemic, Marnix gave about 80 concerts, half of them via the internet. At that time he spent six months during the winter period in the small southern Slovenian village of Fara. There he gave concerts via the internet and for his neighbours. This resulted in his second album, Winter in Fara.

His most recent project is Hello World, a duet for piano and nature. Marnix collected nature sounds in the immediate vicinity of Bergen NH. He combines these sounds with his music, to merge everything into an evening-long piano improvisation. The premieres took place in the Vredeskjerkje in Bergen aan Zee.

What others say

“When Marnix plays, I feel Simeon behind the grand piano again, with the strength of oak trees and the sensitivity of birds” – Colette Noel, partner of Simeon ten Holt

“What a beautiful performance. And what a wonderful touche with that beautiful sound of the Steinway” – Bert Barten, composer

“Marnix brings the music history to life in an engaging way with his virtuoso piano playing and his engaging stories” – Rick de Leeuw, musician, writer, poet

“I inspire with stories, but compared to Marnix I am a stutterer. He manages to let the music speak to the audience”  – Marc van de Giessen, mental caretaker

“It is remarkable how Marnix manages to evoke many personal reactions from a group of about 40 people who did not know each other – Peter van Peski, Managing director Hof Hoorneman Bankiers

“Marnix is a talented pianist. His interpretation of Shostakovich moves and stimulates the mind” – Ernst-Jan van Batenburg, Strategic Marketing & Innovation Manager, FlyWheel Business