The Dutch conductor and organist, Klaas Stok, studied at the conservatoires of Arnhem, The Hague and Rotterdam: organ with Bert Matter and Hans van Nieuwkoop, improvisation with Bert Matter, harpsichord with Kees Rosenhart, and choral conducting with Hans van den Hombergh and Barend Schuurman. He has won various top prizes at important national and international competitions in improvisation and interpretation. He won, for instance, 1st prize at the organ competition in Leens and at the international Dollard Festival, and was winner of improvisation competitions in both Bolsward and Nuremberg (Johann Pachelbel Prize). He was also a finalist at the International Schnitger Organ Competition and at the International Organ Improvisation Competition in Haarlem.
Klaas Stok began building up his choral experience at a young age, singing in the Deventer Vocaal Ensemble, which he now himself conducts. In recognition of the many concerts he has given with this choir he was awarded the cultural prize of the city of Deventer, the “Golden Eagle”. Since 1996 he has been the musical director of Audite Nova. He has conducted several other ensembles, such as the the chamber choir Arte Vocale from Enschede. He was freelance-repetitor of the Nederlands Kamerkoor and the Collegium Vocale Gent.
Klaas Stok is currently Choirmaster of the Nederlands Kamerkoor, in which capacity he is responsible for monitoring and maintaining the overall quality of the choir. As well as being the choir’s main repetiteur, Klaas has in recent seasons also conducted various productions of choral music from the 16th century until the present day, including world premières of works by Hans Kox, Mauricio Kagel and Geija Kancheli. This season (2008-2009) also sees him conducting several projects, with concerts in such locations as Marseille, Budapest, Monte Carlo and Fribourg, and CD recordings of works by Kagel and Jan Vriend. In the first concert of the Nederlands Kamerkoor’s own series at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam he conducted the choir and Amsterdam Sinfonietta in Joseph Haydn’s Stabat Mater.
Klaas Stok has also conducted many other choirs and ensembles, including Capella Frisiae, Musica Treize (Marseille) and the Irish National Chamber Choir. Together with Philippe Herreweghe, and in collaboration with the Flemish conservatoires and the Royal Flemish Philharmonic in Antwerp, he was co-founder of the “Kooracademie” (Choral Academy). He is is also conductor and artistic director of the semi-professional choir Consensus Vocalis, who perform with, among others, Concerto d'Amsterdam, Combattimento Consort Amsterdam and Netherlands Symphony Orchestra. Under his direction the choir has not only given the annual performance of one of J.S. Bach’s major works, but also of Monteverdi’s Maria Vespers and Johannes Brahms’ Requiem. His performances of J.S. Bach’s St. Matthew Passion (BWV 244) in the Bergkerk in Deventer have gained a national reputation due to their unique spatial arrangement of the choirs and orchestras. He also fulfilled for a year the function of guest choir director of Hogeschool voor de Kunsten (College for the Arts) in Utrecht. Klaas also conducts the professional chamber choir Capella Isalana, with whom he has performed premières of various new compositions. Consensus Vocalis and Capella Isalana are going to work together in the “Muziekhuis van het Oosten” collaborative project.
As an organist Klaas Stok gained several first prizes on national and international interpretation - and improvisation competitions and has given concerts in his homeland and abroad. At present he is organist of the Sint Walburgiskerk in Zutphen and he also holds the post of city organist in Zutphen, where, as successor to his teacher Bert Matter, he regularly plays the famous Henrick Bader organ in the church of St. Walburgis. Here he has built up a flourishing concert series, with organ recitals, choral concerts, musical theatre productions, market concerts, walking concerts and vespers with choir and organ. He has given organ concerts both at home and abroad, e.g. Germany, France, Austria and Switzerland. Together with organist colleague Johan Luymes he has also performed a series of children’s concerts throughout Holland.
Klaas Stok has made recordings for radio, TV and CD, including some in the Czech Republic. He has made series of organ recordings for the KRO. His most recent CD with works by J.S. Bach received the highest praise from the press, including the maximum rating of 10 from Luister magazine.