Rik Cornelissen

Started in: 2020
Musician type: composer, keyboard
University: Leuven University
Personal website:
Nationality: The Netherlands

Rik Cornelissen (1984) is an innovative and versatile Dutch accordionist, composer, band leader, educator and researcher. With a broad education and knowledge of jazz, latin, tango and classical music, Rik is always looking for new possibilities, new sounds and new ideas.

He collaborated with Bert van den Brink, Jeroen van Vliet, Ramon Valle, Juan Pablo Dobal, Oene van Geel, Izaline Calister, Ben van den Dungen, Rob van Kreeveld, Teus Nobel, Egon Kracht, Angelo Verploegen, Jan Menu, Francis van Broekhuizen, Claudio Jacomucci en Tuur Florizoone amongs others and participated in various projects for YoOpera, Opera Minora and Opera Zuid.

Rik studied Classical Music and Argentinian Tango (BA, Codarts, Rotterdam 2006), Jazz & Pop (MA, ArtEZ University of Arts, Arnhem 2009) and Advanced Accordion Performance and Alexander Techniek (Accademia Fisarmonicista Italiana, Urbino (I) 2011) with Claudio Jacomucci. Since 2013 Rik is a professor and lecturer at ArtEZ University of Arts in Arnhem (The Netherlands) for Accordion Jazz & Pop (BA & MA), band coaching and research supervisor.

Rik’s debut album Traveller (2014) received critical acclaim and was a personal 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.

Rik knows how to create a beautiful musical sound regardless of tempi, dynamics and range…a wonderful, exiting, intense and creative musician!” (Prof. Joan Sommers)

He recorded several albums as band leader (e.g., Birds of Paradise/2016, Dreamscape/2018, Sounds of Interstellar Space/2021, From Within From Without/2023) and as sideman (e.g., Catch my Kitsch/2017, Dances/2019, Ruud Houweling/2017, 2019, 2021, 2023).

Rik mostly composes for his own groups, although he also performs commissioned work. His compositions are often inspired by his travels and fascination with nature and the universe and navigate between jazz, classical music, Brazilian, Argentinian and other styles.


An Artistic Research on The Implementation of The Free-Bass System on Accordion Within Jazz (-related) Music.

Started in 2020

The research project ‘Practice and Aesthetics of the improvising accordionist in jazz music: An endeavor to the implementation of Free-bass’ aims to rethink the harmonic language by using the polyphonic free-bass system to implement/adapt pianistic concepts to the accordion. It results in…

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