Bernard Huijbers

Bernard Huijbers
Short Name: Bernard Huijbers
Full Name: Huijbers, Bernard
Birth Year: 1922
Death Year: 2003

Bernard Huijbers (1922 - 2003), a native of Holland, was one of the leading composers of contemporary liturgical music. Approximately 200 works have resulted from his collaboration with Huub Oosterhuis, the well-known Dutch poet and liturgist.

A former Jesuit, Huijbers studied under Ernest Mulder during his Jesuit course of studies, receiving the state certificate for musical theory in 1951. Later, he studied at the Arnsterdam Conservatory and received the certificate for school music in 1960. He served as senior master of school music and choirmaster at St. Ignatius College, Amsterdam, until 1969. Afterwards, he served as composer, choir director and liturgical team member at St. Dominic's parish in Amsterdam.

His development as composer and choir director can be traced through a list of his principal musical activities. While studying under Mulders, he directed performances of Palestrina’s Missa Lauda Sion, Brevis and Papae Marcelli. He composed a Missa Matris Dei and Cantus Organi (1950), and Four Marion Anthems for a four-to-eight voice male choir (1949 - 51). During his theological studies, he published a Te Deum and an Organ Suite (1954 - 55).

After 1956, performances of religious masterpieces by Schütz, Purcell and Buxtehude led to the first liturgical experiments, culminating in a Dutch-language Passion According to St. John in 1959.

In 1961, Huijbers was among the founders of the Student Work Group for a Vernacular Liturgy in Amsterdam, which evolved into the independent Foundation for a Vernacular Liturgy, through which Huijbers and Oosterhuis released their joint efforts.

After 1961, Huijbers composed a wealth of material, and eleven Dutch music collections of the Huijbers/Oosterhuis material have been released, including Turn Your Heart to Me and Wake Your Power, published by OCP. His widely acclaimed book, The Performing Audience, examines the scope and direction of renewal in liturgical music (Pastoral Press).

Huijbers believed that liturgical music must be simple, that the assembly must be viewed as a "performing audience" and that the music must bring life to what it celebrates. Huijbers' work as composer and choir director reflects his years of close contact with people throughout Europe and in the United States.

Tunes by Bernard Huijbers (5)sort descendingAsInstances
[Because you are just who you are]Bernard Huijbers, b. 1922 (Composer)2
[For words and deeds enshrined in granite tombs]Bernard Huijbers, b. 1922 (Composer)2
[He did not want to be far]Bernard Huijbers (Composer)2
KOMT NU MET ZANGB. Huijbers (Harmonizer)4
PIEDS EN L'AIRBernard Huijbers, 1922- (Harmonizer)2
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