Heykens, Jonny

Jonny Heykens was a light classical music composer from the Netherlands, best known for his playful Ständchen (Serenade) No. 1 Opus 21. Groningen was the birthplace of Heykens. Eugène Ysae taught him violin at the Brussels Conservatory. He was a member of many orchestras until forming his own in Groningen in 1914. He toured Europe after the First World War and gained a lot of popularity, particularly in Germany. Heykens wrote orchestral works as well as songs and romantic comedies. His albums were well-received. During World War II, he began to travel across Europe. He entered the National Socialist Party of the Netherlands (NSB), a fascist party. He retained discriminatory beliefs against Jews and black people and entertained at parties organized by high-ranking Nazi leaders. His popular melody, "Sells his people and homeland for six loose cents," was transmitted by resistance movements. In Hilversum, he died in jail.

Despite government attempts to exclude Western cultural elements, the Serenade became a famous song in Japan, and it was chosen as the signature melody of "The Evening Show for the Front Line," a radio program to entertain serving Japanese soldiers and sailors, in 1943 by NHK, The Broadcasting Corporation of Japan. Japan National Railways (JNR) used a portion of the serenade in its commuter cars during WWII. On some Japan Railway (JR) trains, it is also in operation.

Violin Compositions of Jonny Heykens | Animato Strings


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