In Memoriam Piet Kee (1927-2018)
On 25 May the well-known organist, composer and teacher Piet Kee (90) died In his hometown Haarlem . In addition to the post of Haarlem City Organist and the position of teacher at the Amsterdam Conservatory, he was the organist of the Grote of St. Laurenskerk in Alkmaar from 1952 to 1987.
With the many activities that he developed after his appointment in Alkmaar, he contributed to a large extent to the global reputation gained by the two organs of the Grote Kerk in the second half of the last century. The many recordings on record (and later on CD) and the concert series he initiated, such as the still existing Cheese Market and Summer Evening Concerts, should be mentioned. In order to organize this, he took the initiative in 1956 to establish the still active Foundation Friends of the Organ in Alkmaar.
When in the 1970s it became apparent that a large and costly restoration of the Van Hagerbeer / Schnitger organ was necessary, he set up the "Organ '78" committee, which collected the required amount of money within a few years. During the successful restoration, carried out in the period 1982-87, he was closely involved with the project as one of the advisers.
Piet Kee has never hidden his great love and admiration for the Alkmaar organs. In later years he also regularly visited the Grote Kerk in Alkmaar , as he did in 2012 in connection with a DVD recording featuring both organs. Even in July 2015 he visited the biennial Orgelfestival Holland, where during the final concert his compositions for two organs and wind instruments were performed. Despite his old age, he enjoyed the festival intensely and he was closely involved in the preparations.
Alkmaar Organ City commemorates Piet Kee with great gratitude and respect.
Frank van Wijk, june 2018
Photo: Piet Kee, Pieter van Dijk (r) and Frank van Wijk, final concert OFH 2015. [photo Jan Zwart]