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Lighting designer Jan Thomas Hofstra was born in the Dutch city of Leiden in 1935. After first training as an instrument-maker, he went on to study electrical and radio engineering.
Between 1950 and 1961, he worked in the film industry, and then from 1961 to 1964 served as the technical director of one of the larger travelling production companies. In 1964, he wound up employed with the Dutch National Ballet in Amsterdam. During this period, he collaborated with numerous well-known choreographers and designers, including Peter Wright, Hans van Manen, Rudi van Dantzig, Toer van Schayk, Heinz Spoerli, Éduard Lock, Jean-Paul Vroom, Keso Dekker, Jan van der Wal and Kurt Jooss.
He handled the lighting for several of George Balanchine's choreographies, including Agon, Theme and Variations, Serenade and Symphony in C.  In addition, he has served as the lighting designer at many of the world's renowned ballet companies working on the ballets of Hans van Manen (Three Pieces for HET, 5 Tangos, Metaforen, Trois Gnossiennes) and Kurt Jooss (The Green Table).
Other examples of his wide repertoire include Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty, Les noces, Paquita, Graduation Ball, Grand pas Espagnol, Pas de deux Romantique, Canto Indio, 5/13, The Miraculous Mandarin, Les Caprices de Cupidon, The Firebird, Suite en Blanc, Time out of mind and Witch Boy.
Since 1994, he has also been the lighting designer for all of the Amsterdam National Museum's exhibitions.
In 2001, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands made him a Knight of the Order of Oranje-Nassau for his 40 years of artistic work.
Jan Hofstra