Dirk Luijmes, who took conservatory degrees in organ, harpsichord and church music and a university degree in musicology, is active in various fields in the music world. He won prizes at a number of (inter)national organ contests, including the European Organ Improvisation Competition. In recent decades he got known as one of very few musicians in the world who perform professionally on the harmonium. More than twenty-five composers have written compostions for him, including Willem Breuker, Daan Manneke and Guus Janssen. As a performing musician he has appeared from New York to Vilnius (Lithuania) and from Santiago de Chile to Bergen (Norway). He has worked with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the RIAS Chamber Choir, the Netherlands Chamber Choir, the Orchestre des Champs-Elysées and ensembles including Amsterdam Sinfonietta, the ASKO-Schönberg Ensemble and Oxalys.
Luijmes has collaborated in various special productions, including the world premiere of the 1919 version of Stravinsky’s Les Noces, performed for the Dutch Royal Family. He has played in the Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), the Musikverein (Vienna) and the Teatro Colon (Buenos Aires). In 2010 he gave the American premiere in New York’s Carnegie Hall of Martijn Padding’s First Harmonium Concerto, dedicated to him and accompanied by the ASKO-Schönberg Ensemble directed by Reinbert de Leeuw. Luijmes is artistic director of Stichting Longen & Tongen, is active as a text writer for the Amsterdam Concertgebouw and for many years produced programmes for Dutch radio. He has recorded various CDs, including a suite by Froberger that he discovered himself. His recording of Padding’s Harmonium Concerto with ASKO-Schönberg received an Edison Award in 2011. The CD on which he accompanies Capella Amsterdam in Janacek’s Otce nas was likewise crowned with an Edison. His 4-cd box Harmonium Atlas (spring 2019) got many good reviews in Dutch quality papers. As a clavichord player Luijmes premiered in 2019 Padding’s Clavichord concerto ‘This is a loud world’.
Harmonium Repertoire from the 19th-21st Century (incl. pieces for Harmonium & Pianoforte)