BiographyPeter Dijkstra is one of today’s most sought-after choral conductors. Born in 1978, he studied at the conservatories of The Hague, Cologne and Stockholm, and graduated summa cum laude with distinction. In 2003 he won first prize at the Eric Ericson Competition in Stockholm, which launched his international career.
Since 2022 Dijkstra holds the position of Artistic Director of the Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks in Munich, a position which he also held from 2005 to 2016. During his tenure the ensemble became one of the leading international choirs and expanded its repertoire significantly. After a long period of being the choir’s first guest-conductor, in 2015 Peter Dijkstra became Chief Conductor of the Nederlands Kamerkoor. From 2007 to 2018 he was also Music Director of the Swedish Radio Choir, which appointed him its Conductor Laureate in 2019.
Next to his work with these ensembles, Peter Dijkstra is a regular guest of leading European choirs, such as the RIAS Kammerchor Berlin, the WDR and NDR Rundfunkchöre, Danish National Radio Choir, the SWR Vokalensemble, Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir and BBC Singers, to name a few. Also a sought-after guest with orchestras, he has conducted a.o. the Symphonieorchester and Rundfunkorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, the Deutsches Symphonieorchester Berlin, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, Stavanger Symphony Orchestra, the Netherlands Radio Orchestra, the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Münchener Kammerorchester and early music ensembles such as Concerto Köln, Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, Freiburger Barockorchester and B’Rock.
Dijkstra’s work encompasses a wide range of repertoire, from Medieval polyphony through to music of the 21st century. He has premiered works by composers such as Esa-Pekka Salonen, Lera Auerbach, Eriks Esenvalds, Jakob Mühlrad, Einojuhani Rautavaara, Caroline Shaw, Martin Smolka, Jacob TV and Joost Kleppe, and is a passionate advocate for exceptional composing talent in the choral repertoire.
Peter Dijkstra’s CD recordings have received several prizes. He won two ECHO Klassik awards for Fauré’s Requiem (Sony Classics) and Schnittke’s Choir Concerto (BR Klassik), two Diapason d’Ors for an album with works by Strauss, Wagner, Mahler (BR Klassik) and Poulenc’s Figure Humaine (Channel Classics), the Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik for his recording of J.S. Bach’s Johannes-Passion and was nominated for two Grammys. His recording of Brahms’ Sacred Choral Works with the Swedish Radio Choir received the Edison Klassiek Award 2015.
He conducted the World Youth Choir on their African Tour in 2007 and is regularly invited to give and initiate masterclasses and projects to promote choir singing and conducting at the highest possible level. From 2016 to 2020 Peter Dijkstra was Professor for Choral Conducting at the Musikhochschule in Cologne and from October 2023 he holds this position at the Hochschule für Musik in Nürnberg.
Dijkstra is an honorary member of the Royal Swedish Music Academy. He received the Golden Violin 2013, an award for internationally successful Dutch musicians, and the Eugen Jochum Prize in 2014.
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