Hardy Mertens (1960) was born in the small Dutch town of Nieuwenhagen.
He studied musicology at the Utrecht University, composition and band conducting at the Utrecht Conservatory.
Before starting his worldwide musical career, he joined the Netherlands Royal Military Band as arranger and clarinet player.
Besides teaching band conducting at the Tilburg Conservatory, Hardy Mertens conducts the Netherlands Police Band and several Dutch community bands, with numerous championships as a result.
As guest conductor, clinician and lecturer he has been playing an active role in the Singaporean band scene since 1990 and in the Italian band scene since 1995.
Occasional guest conducting brought him to many European countries, the U.S.A., Canada, Israel and Hong Kong.
Compositions by Hardy Mertens are played worldwide, have been recorded by top bands and have been chosen as compulsory contest pieces for the World Music Contest and various international contests.
His music is rooted in the European orchestral tradition and often influenced by folk music from different continents.
Traditional tonality, extended melody lines and percussive patterns are often combined with humorous surprises and unusual sounds.
This complexity usually results in a high grade of difficulty and sometimes this causes controversy with conductors and musicians.
Occasionally Hardy Mertens is active as composer and arranger in the field of jazz and light music.
Several positions in the Dutch hit charts have been the result.