Jan Willem van Otterloo (December 27, 1907 – July 27, 1978) was a Dutch conductor, cellist and composer. Van Otterloo was born in Winterswijk, in the Netherlands, the son of William Frederik van Otterloo, a railway inspector, and his wife Anna Catharina Enderlé. He qualified to study medicine at Utrecht University but switched to studying cello and composition at the Amsterdam Conservatoire. While playing as a cellist in the Utrecht Stedelijk Orkest, he won a composition prize from the Concertgebouw Orchestra for his Suite No. 3, which he presented in his 1932 conducting debut, also with that orchestra. He held posts with the Utrecht Stedelijk Orkest, before being appointed chief conductor of the Residentie Orkest in The Hague (1949-1973).
He spent 11 years in Australia. From 1967 to 1970 he was chief conductor of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and in 1971 he was appointed chief conductor of the Sydney Symphony, where he remained until 1978.
Particularly prized for his performances of newer music, he made recordings, mostly for Philips Records, with Residentie Orkest, Concertgebouworkest, Berlin Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic, Orchestre Lamoureux and the Sydney Symphony.
He died in East St Kilda, Melbourne in 1978 from injuries suffered in an automobile accident. This occurred not long after his farewell performance with the Sydney Symphony. His body was flown to The Hague for cremation.
Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Symphony no 4 in F minor, Op. 36
Hague Residentie Orchestra
Willem van Otterloo