Tjaco van der Weerd

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Tjaco van der Weerd (1990) was born in Sri Lanka. In the same year, he was adopted. He developed musical interests at an early age, enjoying the beautiful sounds of the three-manual Reil – De Koff organ in the Poortkerk of Kampen. Despite being partially sighted, Tjaco began teaching himself songs, psalms, and spiritual songs on the piano and organ. The challenge to develop his hearing and musicality grew stronger when he became completely blind at the age of seven.

At the age of nine, Tjaco began taking piano lessons at the music school in Kampen. Here, he learned the basics of music theory from Hans Bos. After two years of piano lessons and earning his A-diploma Piano first degree with honors for improvisation, he transitioned to the church organ and continued his studies with John Propitius from 2002 to 2006. In the following years, Tjaco studied with various organists, including Jasper Stam for music theory, harmony, and improvisation in various styles from 2005 to 2007.

In 2007, he attended masterclasses with blind organist Paul Houdijk to learn spoken sheet music. From 2006 to 2011, he studied improvisation in French romanticism and modern genres with Geerten Liefting, the chief organist of St. Bonaventurakerk in Woerden. In 2010, Tjaco participated in the church organ course at the VOGG, where he received instruction from Arjan Versluis and Herman Lammers, among others. He also attended masterclasses by improviser Gijsbert Lekkerkerker in Harmelen in 2011 and a masterclass on improvisation with the renowned German professor Wolfgang Seifen in Kevelaer (Germany) in 2013.

From 2011 to 2016, Tjaco studied organ with Ab Weegenaar, the organist of the Bovenkerk in Kampen. He also studied piano with pianist Vesna Dimcevska in Deventer from 2015 to 2017.

In July 2011, Tjaco participated in the television program 'Under Wibi's Wings', and in August 2011, he competed in the Feike Asma competition at Johannus Orgelbouw in Ede. In November 2014, he won third prize for free improvisation at the National Improvisation Competition in Elburg. In November 2015, he won first prize for free improvisation at the National Improvisation Competition 2015 in Elburg.

On June 1, 2010, Tjaco founded his company 'Kumara Music', under which he carries out all his musical activities. Since 2015, he has had his own practice for organ and piano lessons in Kampen and Genemuiden.

Tjaco is the organist of the Hervormde Gemeente in Zwartsluis, where he plays the Rudolph Knol organ (1797), and within the Protestant Gemeente in Kampen, where he plays the Van Vulpen organ (1973) in Het Open Hof, and in the Gereformeerde Kerk in Genemuiden, where he plays the Van Vulpen organ (1976). Additionally, Tjaco serves as a substitute organist at the Gereformeerde Goede Herderkerk in Oldebroek, the Nederlands Gereformeerde Kerk in Zwolle, and the Gereformeerde Kerk Vrijgemaakt De Levensbron in Rouveen.

Since his first concert on March 13, 2003, at the magnificent Garrels organ in the Nieuwe Kerk of Maassluis, Tjaco has given numerous concerts in the Netherlands. He has also performed in Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, England, Switzerland, Romania, and his home country of Sri Lanka. Over the years, he has released eight organ and congregational singing CDs. These recordings include performances from the Bovenkerk in Kampen, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in The Hague, the Saint François, Lausanne in Switzerland, where he plays the impressive five-manual Kuhn organ, and the St. Peter und Paul Kirche in Wiltz (Luxembourg).

Soli Deo gloria!