28th January 1825
9th January 1899
The Hague, Netherlands
Johannes Meinardus Coenen studied at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague. After a brief employment as a bassoon player in the Court Chapel he continued his career as a bassoon virtuoso. In 1851 he was appointed conductor at the Grand Théâtre of the Van Lier Brothers in Amsterdam, and in 1856 at the Hollandsche Schouwburg; in 1857 he was also put in charge of the orchestra of the Felix Meritis society, as successor of the renowned J.B. van Bree.
He resigned both functions when charged in 1865 with the organization and leadership of a new orchestra for the Amsterdam Paleis voor Volksvlijt (Palace of Industry), which he headed until its dissolution in 1891. Since 1869 he also took responsibility of the Amsterdam Militia Band.
His oeuvre includes an oratorio, two symphonies, concertos, cantatas, and a large number of ballets. Many of his works were lost in the fire which destroyed the Palace in 1929.
J.M. Coenen was married to the actress Christina van Ollefen. His four sons were members of the Palace Orchestra and later settled in London. J.M. Coenen is not related to the musicians Frans and Louis Coenen