The Dutch conductor, Peter Dijkstra, began singing as a boy in the Roder Jongenskoor (The Roden Boys Choir), singing most of the solo-parts until his voice changed. He was invited for many solo-performances, for example in opera-productions like Die Zauberflöte at The Netherlands Opera Foundation in Amsterdam (1987). Also as a boy-soprano he worked with Gustav Leonhardt, Sigiswald Kuijken and Max van Egmond in a complete series of Bach Cantatas in Amsterdam.
Peter Dijkstra studied choral conducting, orchestral conducting and voice at The Royal Conservatory of The Hague, and graduated Cum Laude with Decoration for both specialisms. Then he continued studying at the Hochschule für Musik in Köln with Marcus Creed. Furthermore he followed master-classes with leading choral conductors like Tonu Kaljuste and Eric Ericson.
In 2000 Peter Dijkstra was assistant-conductor of the Nederlands Radio Koor (Netherlands Radio Choir) Hilversum, after which he was invited to work as guest-conductor with this ensemble. In 2002 he was awarded the Kersjes-van de Groenekamprize for young orchestral conductors. Following that he studied orchestral conducting at the Royal Conservatory in Stockholm with professor Jorma Panula. The winning in October 2003 of the first prize at the Eric Ericson International Competition for conductors in Stockholm launched his international career.
Peter Dijkstra now works on a regular basis with professional choirs in Europe, such as the Nederlands Kamerkoor (Netherlands Chamber Choir), Cappella Amsterdam, RIAS-Kammerchor Berlin, Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks, SWR Vokalensemble Stuttgart, Schwedischer Rundfunkchor (Swedish Radio Choir), Finnish Radio Choir, and the Nederlands Radio Koor. There he displays a control of a broad repertoire, from early music to premiers of newly composed works. But he is also an appreciated guest with outstanding orchestras like the Munich Radio Orchestra, the North Netherlands Philharmonic and the Bochumer Sinfoniker. Future engagements are with the Danish National Choir and Collegium Vocale Gent.
In September 2005 Peter Dijkstra was appointed artistic director of the Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks in Munich. There he co-operates with conductors such as Mariss Jansons, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Riccardo Muti and Claudio Abbado. He has also recently been appointed first guest conductor of the Nederlands Kamerkoor and the Schwedischer Rundfunkchor.
In the Netherlands Peter Dijkstra is conducting the vocal ensemble of the Royal Conservatory of The Hague and is artistic leader of vocal ensemble MUSA (www.musa.nu), a mixed choir based in Utrecht, and vocal ensemble The Gents in Holland (www.thegents.nl). With this all-male ensemble he won many prizes on international festivals and toured in Japan, Spain, Sweden and the UK. They made recordings for the label Channel Classics. In November 2003 the ensemble received the Kersjes-van de Groenekanprize.