A brief chronicle

Relevant dates of a life in music

1918 - 2016
Born on June 4th 1918 in Oostzaan (Netherlands)
Died on November 25th 2016 in Zwijndrecht (Netherlands)

Musical studies

Piano lessons by Jb.I. Hovenier

Piano lessons from Henk Zanen
Violin lessons from Joh. van de Woude
The first compositions: Trios and piano works (destroyed in 1935)

School for Music 'Toonkunst' in Rotterdam
Piano lessons from Emile Eberle
New start in composing
Introduction to Willem Pijper

Study at the Conservatory in Rotterdam:
Piano lessons from Jaap Callenbach
Violin and viola lessons from Johan Warnars
Composition and Conducting lessons from Willem Pijper

Not at the Conservatory:
Private organ lessons from Ferd. Timmermans

Advanced studies with Willem Pijper


At the School of Music 'Toonkunst' in Rotterdam (connected to the Conservatory)

At the Conservatory in Rotterdam
Subjects: theory of harmony, counterpoint, music theory and musical composition.
At the School of Music: piano

At the 'Brabants Conservatory' in Tilburg
Subjects: music theory (principal subject), musical composition, orchestration

At the 'Royal Conservatoire' in The Hague
Subjects: music theory (principal subject), analysis and general theory of composing

Performing musician

Church organist, conductor and accompanist of several amateur choirs and orchestras

Music critic

At the 'Algemeen Handelsblad'
Contributions to a great variety of books and magazines

Positions in governing bodies and musical activities (1947 until 2016)

.Examiner for the State Examinations in Music (later also a member of the Examination Regulations Committee)
.Member of the jury in counterpoint, fugue, harmony, analysis and composition at the Academies for Music in Brussels and Gent (Belgium)
.Member of the jury at a variety of musical contests
.A position on numerous boards relating to cultural policy (among which the 'Koninklijke Nederlandse Toonkunstenaars Vereniging' (the Dutch Association of Musicians), the 'Genootschap van Nederlandse Componisten' (the Society of Dutch Composers) and several Cultural Advisory Bodies
.Co-founder of some 'Youth and Music' sections
.Co-founder of the Gouds Symphonie Orkest (the Gouda Symphony Orchestra)
.Co-founder the Nederlandse Pianola Vereniging (the Dutch Pianola Association)


Visser Neerlandia Award (for Concertino I for piano & orchestra)
Visser Neerlandia Award (for Jardin public for flute & orchestra)
Willem Pijper Award (for Musica Sacra II)
Culture prize of Noord-Brabant (for complete works)
Honorary citizenship of the city of Gouda (for musical merits to the community of Gouda)
Hertog Jan Prize of the province of Noord Brabant for his contributions to the musical culture in this province.

A long life in music

Jan van Dijk was born in Oostzaan on 4 June 1918 and died in Zwijndrecht on 25 November 2016.

Jan van Dijk was a composer, conductor, pianist and music theorist. He was a teacher at the academies of music in Rotterdam, Tilburg, Den Haag and Amsterdam.
(Composition, harmony, counterpoint, analysis, main subject theory of music).

Jan van Dijk was a member of the jury at the academies of music of Gent and Brussels in Belgium. For many years he was the conductor of the Gouds Philharmonic Orchestra, he was a music critic for magazines and newspapers and was co-editor of books on music. Apart from that he was very active in the field of music education and its policy-making.

Jan van Dijk studied piano at the music academy in Rotterdam with Jaap Callenbach and composition and conducting with Willem Pijper.

Jan van Dijk leaves an impressive body of musical works, in all 1264 opus numbers, among them 18 symphonies, 12 string quartets, 7 piano sonatas, 75 sonatines for piano.

He wrote symphonic poems - also for symphonic wind orchestra - among others Wallenstein and Breeroo. He composed many choral works, also for choir and orchestra.

He set to music the 150 Psalms for various a capella (choir) formations. He composed solo concerts, among them a Concerto for pianola and orchestra.

In addition to this van Dijk wrote chamber music, sometimes in unusual line-ups, organ works and work in the genre of 31-tone-music. And he is the composer of an extensive oeuvre for carillon.

He came up with numerous compositions for amateur musicians, very well playable to the satisfaction of this group of singers and players.

Jan van Dijk twice received the Visser Neerlandia prize, the Willem Pijper prize, the Culture Prize of the province of Noord-Brabant and the Hertog Jan Award of the province of Noord-Brabant.

He was Honorary Citizen of both the municipality of Gouda and Tilburg, Honorary Master of the Lodge "De waare Broedertrouw" in Gouda.

(Jan van Dijk was married, had one married son, one married grandson and one greatgranddaughter).