Sinta Wullur, Dutch citizen, born in Indonesia began her musical career with the classical piano. After finishing her conservatory training in the classical piano she decided to delve into in the area of Indonesian/Asiatic music. This resulted in studies in Balinese gamelan, Javanese gamelan and song and Indian song. At the same time she began her compositional activities, first in theatre music, and later in modern music. She began her composition studies with Ton de Leeuw at the Sweelinck Conservatory and followed this, in 1988,  with Theo Loevendie and Louis Adriessen at the Royal Conservatory of the Hague which she finished in 1991.


Her compositions have been performed by diverse Dutch orchestras/ensembles and soloists, among others The Netherlands Ballet Orchestra, Percussion Group Den Haag, Asko Choir, Ensemble Gending, Ananda Sukarlan, Eleonore Pameijer, Aurelia Saxophone Quartet, Ensemble Multifoon, Lavinia Meijer, Esther Apituley and Duo mares. They have been performed on the established Dutch venues for new music and broadcast on the radio both nationally and internationally. Outside the country various performances of Wullur’s work have taken place, such as in Indonesia at the International Gamelan Festival,Yogyakarta Contemporary Music Festival, in festivlas in New York, Berlin, Bremen, Freiburg, Kyoto, Toronto and Wellington. Her compositions can be found on CD’s from Ensemble Gending, Eleonore Pameijer,

To be Sung, Duo Mares and Ensemble Multifoon.


In 2002 Sinta Wullur was voted the “National Female Composer Laureate” . In November 2003 the three day festival “Gamelan Movements and Voice Expeditions” presented by the Foundation for Women and Music and the Music Centre the Ijsbreker. took place around her work. On the occasion of a trip in to space by a second Dutch Astronaut, Andre Kuipers on April, 19th, 2004, Wullur was given a composition commission by the Ministry of OC &W.


In her compositions she strives for an integration between East and West. When the compositions are for Western instruments the influence of Gamelan or Indian music can be found in the rhythms, the structure of the tonal systems or the use of certain modes. When written for Gamelan instruments then structures and stylistic principles taken from Western music are present. In the Gamelan Opera “Ramayana through Flashbacks” a bridge is laid between her love for the integration of East and West and Theatre music, making use of the special developed gamelan in the western chromatical tuning initiated by Foundation Multifoon.


According to Sinta Wullur, ‘When one searches for East West composition techniques, then it is necessary to become familiar with both the Eastern traditions as well the Western music tradition’.

For this goal she has studied  Indian vocal classical music and Javanese / Balinese gamelan.

Hindustani Classical Vocal she started with Dhrupad in Amsterdam with Pandit Uday Bhawalkar. and Khayal with Koustouv Rai.


In 2007 when she started projects in combining special tuned chromatical gamelan with Indian vocal and instruments (sarod and bansuri) using raga in the gamelan structure and techniques. She was commissioned for the composition ‘Daya and Ranjit’ that was programmed in the Indian Music Festival in Amsterdam in 2008. For the research for this composition she got a grant to study in India for two months in Bangalore. In 2010 the ‘Indian – gamelan’ music projects resulted in the CD ‘Indi Go’ in collaboration with the Dutch sarod player Martijn Baaijens. Since 2011 she performed a mixture of Indian classical vocal repertoire together with a tabla player. In 2012 she set up an ensemble ‘Chameleon’ that plays her compositions / arrangements on Indian violin, vocals, piano, mbira and percussion. Here are attempts to put the raga in the piano music when the piano is playing together with the Indian violin / vocals. In 2014 she left the Netherlands for travelling to Kolkata ( 2,5 months) and Indonesia. In Kolkata she studied Dhrupad with Sanchita Chowdury and learned a set of Tagore songs.  For six Tagore songs she made an accompaniment on piano which has western classical music and gamelan elements. In Indonesia she gave concerts with duo Merpati (piano and vocals) in five cities. In the six Tagore songs and a composition called ‘Samudra’ she sang Indian music. With a tabla player she performed in several festivals in Indonesia and she made an arrangement of accompaniment of Indian music on Balinese gamelan, performed on a festival in Bali.


As a composer; the research in how letting the classical piano sound Indian and how to bridge Indian music and Indonesian gamelan still goes on. Recently she worked on two new ensembles which are specialized in Indian music cross over. As a pianist with the bansuri player Aura Rascón in a duo named ‘Taradhin’ As a singer in the formation ‘Samasa’ together with guitar- / sarod- player Martijn Baaijens / drum Kim Wimhof and bass player Daniel van Huffelen, .


For the Holland Festival Proms in the Concertgebouw Amsterdam 2017, Wullur composed 'Temple of Time' for a musical installation consisting of 80 gongs where four world religions are exposed in a performance with 9 singers and 7 percussionists.

© 2017 photos & website by Hans Thé  /

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