Guitarist plugs in for classical music

Wiek Hijmans performs with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra on Sept. 24 at The Alex in Glendale. (Photo courtesy of Griet Vandepitte)

On Sept. 24, Glendale’s Alex Theatre will host electric guitarist Wiek Hijmans, who will perform with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra.

Hijmans, 44, a resident of Amsterdam, grew up in Holland with parents who were lovers of classical music. By age 10, he was playing classical percussion in his hometown of Middelburg, which he considered a boring place save for one exception: its annual festival of new music.

“I didn’t hate classical music but I loved the sound of The Beatles and the sound of the electric guitar,” he said. By age 17, he left school to study music in Amsterdam where, in his classical guitar class, “There was this very old guitar teacher who had an open mind to accept me to bring my electric guitar to the lesson.”

Hijmans has since performed around the world and considers it a wonderful challenge to perform with orchestras. “I’ve done more of it than I’ve seen it,” he said, which brings Hijmans back to his original vision, one he typed up at age 17 with his mom’s old typewriter, professing that his main goal in making music was to integrate the electric guitar in classical music.


“I’ve always wanted to do this,” he said, and his only plans are to continue to do so “in a subtle and beautiful, blending way.”