Rick van der Linden

From the late 1960s through the mid-'70s, Rick van der Linden bid fair to be Holland's answer to Keith Emerson, as the leader and keyboard player in the classical rock band Ekseption. Born near Amsterdam, he was initially raised in Rotterdam, and took up the piano at age seven -- after a break of four years and a move to Haarlem, he resumed studying under Piet Vincent at the Haarlem School of Music. He enrolled in the Haarlem Conservatory of Music at age 17 -- his own musical taste was extremely eclectic, ranging from Baroque music to contemporary rock & roll, especially after the beginning of the British beat boom. Van der Linden entered the Hague's Royal High School of Music when he was 19 and became one of the school's top students, winning multiple awards.

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