Olaf Tarenskeen is one of the few Dutch musicians to have been trained in classical music as well as in jazz and improvised music. In the beginning of the 80's a solo television debute was followed by several performances with contemporary classical and improvised music ensembles.
Tarenskeen, who won the Wessel Ilcken Prize (a national jazz award) a few years later, is able to blend the techniques of classical music and jazz in a wholly natural way. After his studies at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague with the Uruguayan master Antonio Pereira Arias and Peter Nieuwerf concerning classical and jazz guitar he took a jazz-seminar at the Banff Institute of Arts in Canada with guitarist Kevin Eubanks ,bass player Dave Holland and other musicians like Steve Coleman and Kenny Wheeler.
In addition to being a classical guitarist, he has an extensive background playing in modern music. Starting in 80’, Tarenskeen took part in several well known modern music ensembles /orchestras in performing the ‘classic’ pieces concerning electric guitar. In a memorable performance we recall : the concerto for electric guitar and chamber-orchestra composed by the Dutch modern music composer Rob Zuidam ; the 0utput festival in Paradiso Amsterdam where he played Gavin Bryers's 'Requiem with members of the Mondriaan string 4tet ; the Schonberg/Asko ensemble (the music of Louis Andriessen),Ebony Band, Dutch Wind Ensemble, Amsterdam Sinfonnieta, Willem Breuker Collectief (400 years Dutch Music,Muziek Gebouw 2005), New Amsterdams Peil, and in Huddersfield the Modern Music Festival with the Spectra Ensemble(Belgium). In 2007/2008 he performed with the Dutch modern music Ensemble NAP on the Output Festival and in Huddersfield modern music festival with the Spectra Ensemble(Belgium).
He also performed with String Quartets such as Quator Danel string quartet (November Music 2005),Gustav Klimt string 4tet and Jargon.
This year he teaches Improvisation Skills in the Music Therapy Program at Codarts Conservatory Rotterdam