Contemporary: Pieter van der Staak

Pieter van der Staak

Pieter van der Staak (1930 – 2007) started to play the guitar as an autodidact in the years 40-45. After the war he took off to Paris where he played in bands as a guitarist. He did an audition with Andrès Segovia in Italy and was admitted to his courses at the Academia Musicale in Siena. There he took additional classes with Alirio Diaz en Emilio Pujol and completed his musical training at the Maastricht Conservatory. After his graduation he became the first professor of guitar at the then Zwolle Conservatory. In 1968 he started the Zwolle Guitar Weeks, a unique concept of meet and greet of many classical guitarists. It was organised in the sixties, seventies and eighties.

He was a celebrated guitarist, teacher and composer. He wrote a considerable oeuvre of chamber music for many instrument combinations, amongst others the guitar. He composed 269 opus numbers. In particular his guitar ensembles were published in a time that there was little material for this in Holland. I mainly know Van der Staak from his solo works, even though I did encounter a few of his ensemble works at workshops.