Meet the Artists
In May 2015, after a tenure of 25 years, Jean Anderson retired as pianist of North Country Chorus. The group was very fortunate to have Jan-Piet Knijff fill the post of keyboard accompanist from September 2015 through 2016.
Jan-Piet was born in Haarlem, The Netherlands, where he was a boy chorister at St. Bavo's Cathedral. He studied music in Amsterdam, concentrating on keyboard instruments. For some twelve years, he wrote about music for the world's oldest extant newspaper, Haarlems Dagblad, while performing at home and abroad.
After winning the International Bach Competition in Lausanne, Switzerland, Jan-Piet moved to New York, taking the doctorate with a dissertation on the German poet-composer Peter Cornelius. He has taught music at all levels, including some ten years at Queens College/CUNY, where he was instrumental in the major refurbishment of the Maynard-Walker Organ. He has also taught Research and Writing and Historical Keyboard Instruments in the graduate school at SUNY Purchase.
Following a period teaching music and Classical languages in university in Australia and performing extensively in the local community, Jan-Piet returned to the United States to earn an MA in Classics in the University of Kentucky's cutting-edge spoken-Latin program. After a year teaching languages and music in Louisville, Jan-Piet returned to the Northeast. He conducts the NEK Community Orchestra and the Lyndon State Community Chorus and is Organist and Choir Director of Barton United Church.
Jan-Piet's scholarly articles have been published in three languages and on three continents. A Fellow of the American Guild of Organists, Jan-Piet is a member of the Guild's Professional Certification Committee. He is currently overseeing the installation of a historic British organ in a church just outside New York City by a prominent Dutch organ builder.
A well-versed accompanist on three keyboard instruments, Jan-Piet has occasionally accompanied larger choirs in rehearsal and in concert. This in part led to playing organ/piano/reed organ parts in Bach's St. Matthew Passion, Britten's Saint Nicholas, Honegger's A Christmas Cantata, Orff's Carmina Burana, and Kurt Weil's The Flight of Lindbergh. An occasional singer, Jan-Piet recently sang the beautiful bass arioso "Betrachte" in two performances of Bach's St. John Passion with the Kentucky Bach Choir. His musical theatre roles have included Strephon in Iolanthe and Major Murgatroyd in Patience (Ridgewood NJ).
You can learn more about Jan-Piet at jpknijff.com.
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