Joop de Waard (1937-1999)

Much of what I am and do I owe to my father, Joop de Waard. He died in 1999, but I decided to create this little momument on the internet in his memory.

My father was born in 1937 in the Dutch city of Venlo as the fifth child of a former militairy employee and a nurse. After the Second World War they moved to Nijmegen (incidentally the family lived in the same street as I do now). My grandparents were rather old when my father was born and he was a bit the oddball of the family. At a very early age Joop developed an interest for Dutch history and classical music, mainly nineteenth century music of Czech origin. He was not very interested in high school, but rather pursued his own interests. In 1958 he won a radio quiz on the subject of Antonin Dvorak and subsequentely went to live for a few months in Prague with Dvorak's daughter-in-law. His father forced him to return to The Netherlands, as he didn't approve of his son living in a communist country. Upon return Joop wanted to study History in Utrecht, but failed to get necessary money for studying and was forced to find work. He took on a job at a forklift company, called Hyster, in Nijmegen, where he became manager of all transport affairs.

In 1963 he married Lottie Hellegers and they had two children; Antonin (1964) and Frans (1965). In his spare time Joop wrote a book on Dvorak, but despite various attempts nobody wanted to publish this book. In the early seventies he picked up History studies, combining this with his daytime job. But it was an impossible combination, so he dropped out of university again. He picked up studying the life and works of Marnix of Saint Aldegonde (1540-1598), the alleged writer of the Dutch national hymme and assistent to Dutch arch-father Willem van Oranje. His aim was to write a large book, collecting all the writings of and about Marnix. A side interest lead to his first published book, an iconographical survey on all portraits of Marnix.

In the late 1980's he got in contact with Gottmer publishers who were about to release a series of books on composers. My father asked whether they would consider him writing the book on Dvorak, which they did. After the success of that book (one of the few in the series that was actually new and not a translation of a previous published foreign book) they invited him to write the part on Bela Bartok, which he gladly did.

Upon retiring in 1997 he continued his main work on Marnix, but illness struck and he had to take care of his health. After being sick for a short period in the Summer of 1999, he died of cancer on August 21st, 1999.

Joop de Waard was an open man with wide interests in music, history, art and a strong debater. Not always the easiest man, but with a strong belief in personal freedom and self-expression. As said, much of what I do is in his spirit.

Frans de Waard


The work Joop de Waard was compiling on Marnix is in it's uncompleted form to viewed at:

Joop de Waards book on the portraits can be read online at: