Avocations: Tim van der Hagen

Most people know him as President of the Executive Board at TU Delft, but outside of academia Dr. Tim van der Hagen is a bit of a rock star. He has been the keyboardist in a cover band called Make My Day for over 30 years.

The self-taught musician started playing guitar around the age of 15 and later picked up the keyboard. “Back then you had to listen to the radio, use a tape recorder and learn the chords by listening over and over again,” he said. “It took a lot of time.”

After playing in various bands throughout high school and university, Van der Hagen helped found Make My Day when he moved to Delft in 1985. The same six musicians, who all come from different professional backgrounds, have stuck together over the years. When they started, they wrote their own songs, but quickly learned that people preferred listening to cover songs. They now perform at weddings, sports events and private parties several times a year, playing hits from the 70’s to present.

According to Van der Hagen, who is referred to as the “musical genius” by his bandmates, there is a relationship between science and music. He is particularly interested in the theoretical side of music. But the self-proclaimed Latin jazz lover said there’s more to it than that. “Music really connects people. Irrespective of your background or culture people are united by music.”

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