Arjen Leistra

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Arjen Leistra (Delft, 1973) received his first organ lessons from Christiaan Ingelse at the Delft Music School. From 1990 to 1998, he studied organ and church music at the conservatories in Rotterdam and The Hague. His teachers included Arie Keijzer and Ben van Oosten (organ DM and UM) and Marijke van Klaveren and Johann Th. Lemckert (church music and improvisation).

In 1996, Arjen won the second prize at the "International Organ Competition" in Dublin, Ireland. After graduating in 1998, he continued his organ studies for a year with Marie-Claire Alain in Paris.

From 1996 until the end of 2009, Arjen was the cantor-organist of the Hoflaankerk in Rotterdam-Kralingen. Since September 2008, he has been the organist at the Grote Kerk in Schiedam, where he also conducts the choir Vocalis St. Jan.

In 2014, Arjen was appointed as the city organist of Schiedam. In this role, he is responsible for the management and playing of the historic organs in the Grote Kerk, the Havenkerk, and the Stedelijk Museum.

Arjen gives concerts throughout the Netherlands and has also performed in England, Germany, Finland, France, Italy, and Slovakia. In November 2005 and February 2008, he made concert tours to the United States, giving recitals in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina.

Arjen has an extensive teaching practice in Schiedam and is a much sought-after accompanist for various choirs and soloists on organ, piano, pressure-wind harmonium, and as a continuo player on his own chest organ. Several CDs of his organ playing have been released in recent years.