Dirk S. Donker

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Dirk S. Donker (born January 3, 1941, in Sneek) is a Dutch organist and carillon player.

Donker studied organ with IJbe S. Rusticus, Piet Post at the former Leeuwarden Conservatory, and with Dom-organist Stoffel van Viegen in Utrecht. Additionally, he studied carillon with Leen ’t Hart and Peter Bakker at the Netherlands Carillon School in Amersfoort, where he graduated cum laude. In 1971, he became the first person in the history of carillon to receive the Prix d’Excellence.

He won the prestigious International Carillon Competition in Hilversum in 1969, 1970, and 1971. Furthermore, during the 1969 competition, he won the Holland Festival Prize for the best improvisation.

In November 1962, Dirk S. Donker began playing the carillon of the Grote- or Martinikerk in Sneek on a weekly basis. Shortly thereafter, in 1963, he was appointed City Carillonneur of Sneek and carillon player of Joure.

He later became City Carillonneur of Dokkum, Groningen, Leeuwarden, and carillon player of the Poldertoren in Emmeloord. As of 2019, Dirk S. Donker still serves as City Carillonneur of Sneek and carillon player of Joure.

From 1963 to 2019, Dirk S. Donker organized both organ and carillon concerts at the Grote- or Martinikerk in Sneek. As a concert organist and carillon player, he performed not only in the Netherlands but also in several European countries, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the United States. He served as the cantor/organist of the Martinikerk (PKN) until January 1, 2020, when he was succeeded by Bob van der Linde.

Dirk S. Donker is the founder of the "Martini Koorschool Sneek" foundation, from which the Martini Boys' Choir Sneek emerged, of which he was the regular organ accompanist during Bouwe Dijkstra's tenure.

Numerous radio, TV, and CD recordings have been made of both his organ and carillon performances. On CD, Dirk S. Donker recorded, among others, the complete organ works of César Franck and all carillon works of Romke de Waard.

In recognition of his contributions to French organ culture, he was awarded the silver medal Arts-Sciences-Lettres in Paris in 1993. In 1997, he was also appointed a Knight in the Order of Orange Nassau for his work in the field of music culture.