Olaf was born on August 19, 1977 in a true Salvation Army family. Both his parents and grandparents were Salvationists where his father and grandfather were active bandmasters in several corps.
He started playing cornet at the age of 10 and soon after that he started to learn to play the piano. From a young age Olaf developed and interest in composing and conducting. At the age of 22 he took up the baton to become bandmaster in his home corps.
Amsterdam Staff Band
Olaf is the current bandmaster of the Amsterdam Staff Band. He first joined the band in 2000 on solo cornet, and then became deputy bandmaster in 2006. When accepting his position as staff bandmaster in 2009 he joined a distinguished array of musical directors that helped build the Netherland’s fine brass band tradition, including such well-known musicians as Bernard Verkaaik, Fokke Palstra, Cor Nieuwland, Dick Krommenhoek and Howard Evans.
In 2011 he led the ASB in their herald contributions to the International Staff Band’s 120th anniversary celebration. The ASB featured as one of the eight recognized staff bands drawn from around the world.
Composing | Conducting
Ritman has developed into a fine arranger and composer, with a growing number of his works published by the Salvation Army in its’ brass band journals, and as demonstrated by works recorded on several CD’s.
In recent years he has been in demand as a guest conductor and teacher, including not only in Europe, but also in the USA at well-known summer camps like Star Lake Musicamp and the Western Music Institute. He also serves at his local SA corps band as both bandmaster and pianist.
After 20 years working in the corporate market, mainly in the role of IT Manager, Olaf started working as a teacher Information Technology for a vocational school in Ede, NL.
Olaf is married (2003) to Marleen and proud father of Julian (2006) and Meike (2009).