Willem van Twillert studied from 1965 both the organ and harmony at the Regional Music School in Amersfoort with Henk Seldentuis. From 1970 van Twillert studied organ at the Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam. His teacher in Amsterdam was Piet Kee, with whom he also studied improvisation and composition. Whilst in Amsterdam, van Twillert also studied with Willem Brons (piano), Rober Heppener (music theory), Mrs. Belinfante (composition, analysis, harmony and counterpoint) and Jan Pasveer (choral conducting). In 1975 he began 3 years of orchestral conducting studies with Anton Kersjes. In 1976 he obtained the diploma for Church Music and in 1978 the diploma of Performing Musician “cum laude”, with a teaching-endorsement for improvisation. A scholarship afforded him the opportunity to specialise in old music between 1978 and 1981, including studies with Gustav Leonhardt (organ), Anneke Uittenbosch (harpsichord) and Klaas Bolt (stylistic-improvisation). International Courses for organ literature with Daniel Roth and Ewald Kooiman, and for organ improvisation with Hans Haselböck, Zsigmond Szathmáry and Peter Planyavsky, completed his education.
In 1976, van Twillert was the first Dutch organist to reach the final of the Grand Prix de Chartres in France.
Willem van Twillert has composed many Psalm and Chorale arrangements, the earliest of which were influenced by his studies of 18th century German organ literature. These have been printed in the Netherlands, and have also been issued on CD. Since 2006 he has also composed for orchestra, and for various ensembles including choir, while studying composition with Henk Alkema.
As an organist he has become a well-known performing musician both at home and abroad, thanks mainly to his concerts in the Netherlands, as well as in the U.S.A., Italy (including, in 1996, a concert for the Academia di Musica Italiana per Organo in Pistoia), Germany and England. In 1991 van Twillert was invited by the American Guild of Organists to act as a jury member for the regional competition for young professional organists in Ohio, where he also gave a lecture about the history of Dutch psalm singing at the Calvin College in Sioux-center.
Van Twillert is also known internationally for his recordings of little-known organ literature through his series of CDs, MUSICQ VOOR HET ORGEL. Willem van Twillert has edited music for various Dutch music publishers. For information about his latest series, LITERATA, begun in 2006, please email email@example.com As an editor, his most extensive project to date has been the series of 15 volumes entitled ORGANIST COMPOSERS of the 18th and 19th CENTURIES. For information regarding this series, please email firstname.lastname@example.org . In Germany his Toccata ‚Thine be the Glory’ in Romantic Style, is published by Dr. J. Butz, music publishers, Sankt Augustin. Email@butz-verlag.de
Willem van Twillert taught organ at the municipal academy of music in Zwolle between 1980 and 1988. As a church organist he has, since his appointment following a competition in 1979, accompanied the services of three co-operating churches in Amersfoort. The organ lovers of the Netherlands also know him as one of the editors of the monthly magazine de Orgelvriend (the Organ Friend), a function he fulfilled between 1985 and 2006. From 1976 until 2003 van Twillert was the owner and director of a private music school in Bunschoten, and, in 2004 he was invited to give a masterclass at the music academy of Sarajevo (Bosnia) on behalf of the Alkmaar foundation, Musicians without Borders.
Willem van Twillert’s performances have been featured in several Dutch radio series,
including The Historic Organ in Holland (1999) and Dutch Organs (2004). Selections from these recordings were chosen by producer Okke Dijkhuizen for the CD Box Het Historische Orgel in Nederland, while a recording made in 2003 of the organ in Noordwijk aan Zee was selected for the sequel box Orgels in Nederland.
In 2003 he was invited to act as a jury member for the composition competition initiated by the Dutch newspaper het Reformatorisch Dagblad and the magazine the Orgelvriend entitled „Who can compose the best chorale prelude?“. In 2000 and 2004 he was a jury member for the amateur organ competition of the Stichting Groningen Orgelland. As a composer he won the second prize and the audience prize at the Hinsz Composition Competiton 2005 at the Bovenkerk in Kampen, with his Toccata a la Chaconne for Organ.
In 2008 he obtained the PRIX GASTON LITAIZE for organ compositon PAR LE TEMPS at the „Concours de composition 2008 de la Fondation pour la Musique Comminges. France.
In October 2006, van Twillert performed the British premiere of the work, at the Annual
Festival of New Organ Music in London. The performance is available for download at www.afnom.org
Since 2001 Willem van Twillert has also been active as a producer of CDs and DVDs on his own label. To date 4 DVDs have been produced by the Stichting Promotie Orgelprojecten featuring historic organs in Bolsward, Kampen, and Aarle-Rixtel.
For information about Willem van Twillert’s publications, and the productions of the Foundation Promotion Organ Projects, please visit www.willemvantwillert.nl or e mail email@example.com