The Dutch choral conductor, René Verhoeff, studied choral conducting, piano and a minor, organ at the former Instituut voor R.K. Kerkmuziek h in Utrecht. Then he continued his choral conducting studies with Kurt Thomas in Germany. The Dutch government awarded him a scholarship to New York to study with Leonard Bernstein. Then he studied conducting with the Dutch conductor Paul Hupperts.
René Verhoeff is conductor of the Philharmonisch Koor Hagacantare, Koninklijk Mannenkoor "Die Haghe Sanghers", Koninklijke Zangvereeniging Rotte's Mannenkoor, Gemengd koor Hagasonare and Voorne's Dameskoor. He is also conductor of the Schola Cantorum and the Gemengd Koor of Hartebrugkerk te Leiden. Since 1984, he is President of the Foundation for Organ Leiden City (Stichting Orgelstad Leiden). He is also a member of several juries.
In addition to concerts in his own country, René Verhoeff has conducted at the festivals of Avignon, Athens and Istanbul. He has also made tours to Belgium, France, England, Germany, Russia, the Czech Republic, former Yugoslavia and Canada.
Many compositions of Dutch and foreign composers were premiered by him. Thus, under his direction in May 1995, Beatus Vir by the Polish composer Górecki was premiered in the Netherlands, and in September 1995, Campana Vocalis by the Dutch composer Jaap Geraedts was first performed to mark the official opening of the new town hall in The Hague.
In 1997, Rene Verhoeff received from the Mayor W.J. Deetman the City Medal of the church in The Hague. On April 5, 1998, he received France's highest award from the Société Arts-Sciences-Lettres and the gold medal for the promotion of French music. On May 27, 2000, he was appointed Knight of the Order of Orange Nassau on occasion of his 25th anniversary as conductor of the Philharmonisch koor Hagacantare. On May 13, 2001, he received from the Mayor I. Opstelten the Erasmus Medal for his cultural achievements for the city of Rotterdam.
Many LPís and CDís were created under his direction. Some remarkable sound recordings: a Christmas album with the participation of soprano Elly Ameling, a CD of works by B. Martinu, including the Polni Mse, performed by the Koninklijk Mannenkoor "Die Haghe Sanghers and baritone Bernard Kruysen; "Joodse Liturgische Muziek" (Jewish Liturgical Music), also by Die Haghe Sanghers and the tenor Ludwig van Gijsegem. Finally, 3 CDís with Gregorian chants performed by the Schola Cantorum of the Hartebrugkerk te Leiden.