Piet Groenendijk studied the organ with Cor Visser (Dordrecht) and Piet v.d. Kerkhoff (Rotterdam), amongst others. From 1969 he was a student at the Rotterdam Conservatoire with Arie J. Keyzer. He graduated in 1975 and won the Conservatoire’s Prix d’ Excellence in 1978.
Along with his organ work he undertook advanced academic musical studies at the Rotterdam Conservatoire with Ludwig Otten, Roel Riphagen and Jan Kleinbussink. This Master’s degree was gained in 1977.
He held the post of choirmaster-organist at Zwijndrecht-Groote Lindt (1971-1978) and at Diepenveen (1981-1992).
In 1976 he was appointed professor of academic music at the Rotterdam Conservatoire. From 2000 he has also been music consultant at the ICT department, developing specialist material for coursework and examinations for use on the computer and he is the Conservatoire’s Project leader for e-learning. Furthermore he is a member of the board of examiners for organ of the Royal Conservatoire at The Hague.
Until 1992 he appeared professionally as organist and harpsichordist on a regular basis, both as soloist and as basso continuo with several choirs and ensembles at home and abroad since which time he has concentrated on composition. Since the beginning of 2006 he started playing the organ again and is organist of the Vollebregt-organ (1854) of the Sint-Genovevakerk at Breugel. From 2012 Piet has lived in Zuidbroek (in the province of Groningen). Since retirement from his post at the Rotterdam Conservatoire, he has continued to work as a freelance organist. He is also organ adviser/mentor to the institute that protects and promotes historic churches in the Groningen area.
Groenendijk rehearsing basso continuo, while the members of the orchestra get changed behind the organ. (Drawing by Annemarie Sonneveld)
As a composer Piet Groenendijk is self-taught. In his compositions he has employed a number of styles, but from the “Symphony” (1989) he has used twelve tone technique on a regular basis. While Schönberg and others used this technique on a contrapuntal basis, for Groenendijk the harmonic aspect is the starting-point. In other words, he has more affinity with Alban Berg than with Schönberg or Webern. After the “Symphony” he wrote “Four meditations”, “Ligaduras”, “Passingala”, “Chacony” and “Laudate” using the same idiom. In more recent works (such as the Nocturnes) he has written in a different style.