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Piet Kee (Organ)

Born: August 30, 1927 - Zaandam, Holland

The Dutch concert organist and composer, Pieter [Piet] William Kee, studied with his father Cor Kee, and later organ, piano and composition at the Amsterdam Conservatory, with Anthon van der Horst, among others. He played several instruments: piano, organ, violin, clarinet. His studies were honoured with the Prix d'Excellence. He won first prize at the annual Haarlem International Improvisation Competition three times in succession (1953 to 1955).

Piet Kee taught at the Music Lyceum and Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam from 1954 until 1988, and at the Haarlem International Summer Academy for Organists. He was organist at St. Laurens church in Alkmaar from 1952 to 1986 (or 1987), and city organist of the world famous Müller organ at St. Bavokerk in Haarlem from 1956 until 1989.

Piet Kee made concert tours all over the world in Europe, America, Asia and Australia. His improvisation skills are renowned, and he is a frequent jury member at organ festival competitions. His compositions now include the Haarlem Concerto, which received its first performance by Thomas Trotter in March 2006.

Piet Kee has made numerous recordings, several of which received awards. His earlier recordings can be found on the Telefunken, HMV, Philips and Guild labels. Starting in 1989 he made a series of eleven recordings for Chandos, including works of Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck, Johann Pachelbel, Nicolaus Bruhns, Dietrich Buxtehude, J.S. Bach, Felix Mendelssohn, Frank, Alain, Max Reger, Paul Hindemith, Andriessen and Messiaen on notable European instruments including St. Bavo Haarlem, St. Laurens Alkmaar, Roskilde Cathedral Denmark, Basilika Weingarten, Martini Church Groningen and the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. Several of these recordings are now available as MP3 downloads.

In 1988, with Olivier Messiaen Piet Kee received an Honorary Fellowship of the Royal College of Organists.

Works (Selection)

Tryptich on Psalm 86 (1960)
Two Organ Pieces: Fantasia on "Wachet Auf", Passion Choral (1962)
Four Pieces for Manuals (1966)
Gedenck-Clanck 76 - Ode to Valerius based on 3 Dutch songs (1976)
Bios - in seven movements (1995)
The Organ - inspired by paintings of Peter Saenredam (2000)

Organ with other instruments:
Music and Space - for two organs, three trumpets and two trombones (1969)
Confrontation - for church organ and three street organs (1979)
Network - for main organ plus positiv organ or electronic keyboard, alto saxophone and soprano recorder (1996)
Festival Spirit - for main organ and four positiv organs, commissioned for performance by jury members of the St. Albans International Organ Festival competition, UK (2001)
Bios II - for organ, solo violin and percussion (2002)
Haarlem Concerto - for organ and orchestra (symphonic wind ensemble, alto and tenor saxophones, double basses, percussion and harmonium) (2005)

The World - on a text of Henry Vaughan for mixed choir, four vocal soloists (SATB) and ad libitum continuo instrument (1999)
Heaven - on a text of George Herbert for unaccompanied mixed choir and two soprano soloists (2000)

Frans Hals Suite: Luidstuk (Ringing Piece); Sarabande voor Judith Leyster; Frans Hals Toccata (1990)
Daaaee (1999)

Flight - flute solo (1992)
Opstreek (Up-bow) - for violin and piano (1997)
Winds - for reed quintet (2000)

The Secrets of Bach's Passacaglia - The Diapason, June 1983
Astronomy in Buxtehude's Passacaglia - Ars Organi (1984), Reprinted in Organist's Review, August 2007
Number and Symbolism in the Passacaglia and Ciacona - John Loosemore Association 1988
Haydn's Last Symphony: Input from London? - The Musical Times, Vol.147 No.1897 (Winter 2006), pp.57-62

Source: Wikipedia Website (from Sadie, S. (ed.) (1980) The New Grove Dictionary of Music & Musicians, [Vol. 9]; Donemus Website
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (October 2007)

Piet Kee: Short Biography | Recordings of Instrumental Works

Links to other Sites

Piet Kee (Wikipedia)
Donemus: Piet Kee

Musicus index legum! Interview with Piet Kee by Hans Fidom

Biographies of Performers: Main Page | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z
Explanation | Acronyms | Missing Biographies | The Sad Corner


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