In memoriam Piet Kee
Piet Kee (Zaandam, August 30th 1927-Haarlem May 25th 2018)
Born in Zaandam, Netherlands, Kee studied organ, piano and composition at the Amsterdam Conservatory, obtaining the Prix d'Excellence, and won first prize at the annual Haarlem International Improvisation Competition three times in succession (1953 to 1955). This was the start of a worldwide career as a concert organist.
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 of the Hagerbeer-Schnitger organ in St. Laurens church in Alkmaar from 1952 to 1987, and city organist of the world-famous Müller organ at St. Bavo church in Haarlem from 1956 until 1989.
Kee's improvisation skills are renowned. His compositions include the "Haarlem Concerto", which received its first performance by Thomas Trotter in March 2006. His numerous recordings, several of which received awards, include a series of CDs on the Chandos label, covering the repertoire from Sweelinck to Messiaen, recorded on important European historical instruments.
In 1988, with Olivier Messiaen, Kee received an Honorary Fellowship from the Royal College of Organists.
In February 2014, several of Kee's compositions were performed in a "Composer's Portrait" concert at the Orgelpark in Amsterdam. This included a version of The Organ for five pipe organs.