Willem Breuker (Amsterdam, 1944-2010) has played a unique role in the Dutch and international music worlds for over 45 years. He is one of the most striking and versatile makers of "people's music" as he preferred to call it. As a jazz and improvised music innovator and as the creator of a new form of Dutch musical theatre, he broke through established traditions to create new forms and new possibilities for himself and for other musicians who performed with him as well as younger musicians from the next generation or two. As a composer and arranger, he created unique musical events never before realized, in which he gave both professional and younger musicians a chance to participate. Breuker's instinct for innovation and his preference for the unusual and unpredictable are all trademarks of his music and do not seem to interfere with the public's appreciation of his work. His 10-piece orchestra, the Willem Breuker Kollektief, has been performing worldwide for some 36 years now - on stages from Amsterdam to Peking - to increasingly enthusiastic audiences What makes his work so authentic is that he maintained an openness to experimentation within his own compositions, into which he incorporated a broad assortment of musical styles including elements from theatre and vaudeville. He drew from an enormously deep well of experience, which was further fed by his boundless curiosity and interests that were kindled in his childhood.