Biography

Xavier van de Poll was born in 1995 in Tilburg, the Netherlands, and started music at the age of five when he started playing the violin. He discovered a love for orchestral music and opera at the age of thirteen upon joining the Netherlands Youth Orchestra, where he played the most well-known concert repertoire as well as contemporary works for fourteen consecutive concert seasons. From 2005 until 2011 he was a student at the youth department of the Fontys Conservatory in Tilburg with Jenny Spanoghe and Thijs Kramer. Afterwards he took private lessons with Natalia Gabunia and Wouter Vossen.

He started composing at the age of nineteen and received his first education in composition at the Conservatory of Amsterdam for two years where he was taught by Joël Bons. Simultaneously he followed the bachelor’s programme in Musicology at the University of Amsterdam, where he graduated in 2018 with his thesis “What’s the matter with atonality?: on the perception of atonal music from a neuropsychological viewpoint”. He finished his degree in Composition with a 9,5 from the Fontys Academy of Music & Performing Arts (AMPA) under the tutelage of Kees van den Bergh and Anthony Fiumara. He subsequently continued his education at the Royal College of Music in London where he was taught by Kenneth Hesketh and graduated with Distinction. He simultaneously enjoyed lessons in Conducting from Howard Williams. Xavier is a Kit and John Gander Award Holder and received additional financial support from the Prins Bernhard Cultural Foundation, VSBfoundation, Hendrik Muller Fund and the Vrijvrouwe van Renswoude Foundation.

At present, Xavier is a PhD candidate at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music under the supervision of Chen Musheng. He decided to pursue his interest in eastern and specifically Chinese music and culture after competing in a composition competition in Beijing in 2019 and subsequently decided to obtain his PhD in China after his graduation from the Royal College of Music. He was granted a full scholarship under the joint EU-China HPPD (High-Level People to People Dialogue) Program and is expected to obtain his doctorate degree in 2026.