Jan-Piet Knijff (Latin & Music)
Beyond his vast knowledge and experience in both music and languages, Dr. Jan-Piet Knijff considers himself a teacher first and foremost. After a high school education with two classical and three modern foreign languages in his hometown Haarlem, The Netherlands, he studied music at the Conservatory of Amsterdam, majoring in various keyboard instruments. He then wrote about music for the world’s oldest extant newspaper, Haarlems Dagblad, while performing at home and abroad, including with the Amsterdam Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.
After winning the International Bach Competition in Lausanne, Switzerland, Jan-Piet moved to New York, taking the doctorate with a dissertation on the German poet-composer Peter Cornelius. He taught music at all levels, including at Fairfield University, Hofstra University, Queens College/CUNY, and Purchase College/SUNY. In his spare time, he studied singing and performed on stage as Major Murgatroyd in Gilbert and Sullivan’s Patience and as the male lead in Iolanthe. He also was the Music Director for a community production of The Music Man and for some years played tuba in a Dixieland jazz band.
After a period teaching music and Classical languages and performing extensively in regional Australia, Jan-Piet returned to the US to complete an MA in Classics; he recently also earned the Goethe Institute’s highest level of certification in German. The last few years, he has taught music and languages in Louisville, KY and in Vermont, where he directed the Northeast Kingdom Community Orchestra.
Jan-Piet is excited to teach all levels of Latin as well as music at Middleburg Academy and is proud to be Faculty Advisor to the brand new International Language Club. In addition, he continues to teach Latin and French privately. Jan-Piet believes his classes are hands-on and down-to-earth, yet with a high level of sophistication. He can only hope his students are having as much fun as he is.