Rik Cornelissen is a renewing and contemperary jazz and classical accordionist. With his broad education and knowlegde of styles he knows how to present the accordion as a modern and versatile instrument. Rik debuted with his solo album Traveller in 2014, where he recieved excellent reviews. He collaborated with Bert van den Brink, Ramon Valle, Juan Pablo Dobal, Ben van den Dungen, Rob van Kreeveld, Angelo Verploegen, Miranda van Kralingen, Francis van Broekhuizen, Wim Warman, Taco Nieuwenhuizen, Enrique Firpi, Jan Menu, Egon Kracht, Maciej Domaradzki, Claudio Jacomucci, Tuur Florizoone, Marc van Rooij, Vincent Houdijk, Teus Nobel amongs others. He worked in many different projects for YoOpera, Opera Minora and Opera Zuid (as musical leader) and as a session musician for the movies Zwartboek (Paul Verhoeven), Van Gogh: een huis voor Vincent (Pim Hoeve) and Theatershow NU! (Mini & Maxi).
At ArtEZ, University of Arts in Arnhem, Rik is connected as main subject teacher Accordion Jazz & Pop, one of the rare places to study Jazz accordion in the world.
Rik studied Bachelor Classical Music and Argentian Tango (Codarts Rotterdam 2006) and Master Jazz & Pop (ArtEZ, university of Arts, Arnhem 2009). After his studies he travelled through South- and Central America for over 9 months and continued his education in Italy with one of the leading classical and contemporary accordionist Claudio Jacomucci.
Rik’s debut album Traveller was a search for new possibilities and sounds on accordion within the jazz and Latin-jazz; focusing on and comparing with the richness of the piano tradition he managed to cross musical boundaries and combine classical techniques with improvisation and groove. This is characteristic for Rik’s playing; introvert, thoughtful and cogitating and then exploding, powerful, virtuosic and groovy.
In 2015 Rik released with his group Tocar the album ‘Birds of Paradise’, in collaboration with Radio Filharmonic String Quartet (now: Carezza String Quartet), containing three of his compositions. The reviews where outstanding. In 2016 they where guests at VPRO’s Vrije Geluiden at the Bimhuis in Amsterdam.
As a composer and arranger his main goal is to create new music for accordion, either solo as for different groups and ensembles he is working with. His compositions are often inspired by Rik’s travels and fascination for nature and universe, levitating between styles varying from jazz and classical to Brazilian, Argentinian and other South-American music.