Welcome to vantichelen.name. This site is meant as a blog to share insights and finds about mandolin history.


The mandolin in the Netherlands (ca. 1750 – ca. 1850)

During my research about mandolin prints prior to 1850, I found some adverts for mandolin prints in journals from the Netherlands. Soon an image emerged of an interesting and previously unwritten part of mandolin history. Through the adverts, we can learn both about some well-known mandolin players who visited the Netherlands, but also about a …

Ernest Krähmer’s Rondo and Variations for mandolin and orchestra (Vienna, ca. 1820)

Discovery During my routine searches in library catalogues, I spotted something interesting in the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek München. Two manuscripts seemed to contain mandolin music with orchestral accompaniment which I never encountered before, even in the course of previous research of mandolin music in the same library. As it turned out, these manuscripts were part of …


Pieter Van Tichelen first laid eyes on a mandolin at the age of 6 and never recovered. After graduating with high honours at the music academy of Brasschaat, he pursued studies in musicology at the Unversity of Leuven. In 2000 he graduated magna cum laude to a Master’s degree in Musicology on a theses about 17th century mandolin history. Afterwards he took some mandolin classes at the Tilburg Cathorlic Conservatory with professor Benny Ludemann.

Pieter has enjoyed playing the mandolin with several of Belgium’s symphonic and opera orchestras (Vlaamse Opera, De Munt, VRT-orkest etc.). He also recorded several CD’s as session musician, and for a few years played in a Dutch-Belgian folk ensemble (Aerdewerck). For about 15 years he formed a permanent mandolin-guitar duo with guitarist Johan Dias, which occasionally still performs. Pieter is also a member of the mandolin orchestra of Brasschaat (Brasschaats Mandoline-Orkest).

As specialist in musicology and mandolin history, Pieter has uncovered several manuscripts and prints with parts for mandolin who were either though lost or even completely unknown. He was honoured twice with a guest professorship at the Antwerp Music Conservatory to teach early mandolin history (to ca. 1850). To this day he’s also a permanent member of the International Symposium of Mandolin History.

Also check out mandolinhistory.org

Part of my time in investigating mandolin history is also spent on an ongoing effort to document the historical sources. It is a huge undertaking and I won’t always have enough time to continuously add new items. However, with a planned update of the site I will likely reduce maintenance and updates will become easier (and hopefully more frequent). Over the year, mandolinhistory.org should become a haven for any mandolin enthusiast who wants to know more.