Willem Van Twillert (The Netherlands, b. 1952) studied the organ and piano at the Regional Music School in Amersfoort with Henk Seldenthuis. Starting in 1970, he studied the organ, improvisation, and composition at the Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam with Piet Kee and piano with Willem Brons. In 1975 he commenced a 3-year course of orchestral conducting studies with the Dutch orchestra conductor Anton Kersjes. In 1979, he obtained a diploma for Church Music and Performing Musician Cum Laude, with a teaching-endorsement for improvisation. A scholarship afforded him the opportunity to specialize in historic music between 1978 and 1981, including studies with Gustav Leonhardt (organ). In 1976, van Twillert was the first Dutch organist to reach the final of the ‘Grand Prix de Chartres’ in France.
Van Twillert is known internationally for his recordings of little-known organ music. In 1979, Van Twillert was appointed organist for the Johanneskerk in Amersfoort. From 1976 until 2003, van Twillert was the owner-director of a private music school in Bunschoten, and he taught organ at the municipal academy of music in Zwolle between 1980 and 1988. In 2000, 2003, 2004, and 2014, he was invited to act as a jury member for the amateur organ competition of the Trust ‘Groningen Orgelland.’ Van Twillert has composed many psalm and choral arrangements. In Germany, his Toccata‚ ‘Thine be the Glory’ in the Romantic Style, was published by Dr. J. Butz. Since 2006 he has also been creating compositions for orchestras and various ensembles including choirs, while studying composition with Henk Alkema. In 2005, van Twillert won the second prize and the audience prize at the ‘Hinsz Composition Competition 2005’ at the Bovenkerk in Kampen, with his ‘Toccata a la Chaconne’ for the Organ.
During the Polish International Composers Competition in Mikołów in 2007, van Twillert won an honorary award with his ‘Sequence for Choir and Organ.’ In 2008, he won the PRIX GASTON LITAIZE for the organ composition PAR LE TEMPS at the Concours de Composition 2008 de la Fondation pour la Musique Comminges, France.