He is a
singer, composer and musician born in Amsterdam, Netherlands into a musical family where his father
was a classical flautist.
He took his
musical studies in composition and flute at the Amsterdam Conservatorium
and also studied the History of Art at Amsterdam University.
He later entered the Geneva Conservatoire and took lessons in orchestration,
organ and piano and received his degree in flute.
Performing from an early
age, he became the leader of a jazz band while he was still at school and
then later progressed to singing and playing flute with the band Shaffy.
When he was 21, in 1969, he became a member of a trio that and
backed many musician from the Netherlands and were known for a mix of their own material and cover
songs made popular by the group Traffic.
Late in 1969 the trio
were joined by Jan Akkerman and they became the successful
duth group known as Focus. Their recording output into the
1970s brought them the internationally successful hit singles “Sylvia”
and “Hocus Pocus”
and the two gold albums Focus III
and Moving Waves which was a
re-release of Focus II.
In 1973 he released
his solo album Introspection where he played the classical flute
accompanied by a full orchestra.
This reached gold status and there has now
been 5 of these albums released over the years which have gained more than
half a million sales.
By 1976 Thijs was the only original member of Focus left after
an ever-changing line-up and in 1978 they made the decision to disband.
In the early 1980s he
toured and collaborated with the singer Miguel Rios as a flautist and
keyboardist. He also featured
on his 1981 Extranos en el Escaparate,
his 1982 Rock & Rios and his
1983 El Rock de Una
Noche de Verano.
Midway through the ‘80s
he and Jan Akkerman got back together to form
Focus 1985 but this was just a brief reunion.
During the 1990s he worked
with the composer Arjen Anthony Lucassen’s on his music project Ayreon and made a guest appearance on the ensuing album
Into the Electric Castle.
In 2002 he created
yet another Focus line-up and they have since released Focus 8 and Focus 9/New
Skin. They also toured Britain in 2006 and have returned several times for
appearances ever since.
He released his 20th
album in 2008. The Home Concert is music made at
his home and can only be heard in concert or through its availability online. In September of the same year he was
recognised for special services to music and became a Knight of the Order
In 2005 and 2009 he
appeared on recordings by the Thomas Blug Band
and in 2010 he celebrated four decades of “imaginative music” in
concert with Raccomandata Ricevuta
In 2013 he appeared
in a one-man concert about his life and music and Focus released the new
album Focus 10.