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Dirk Balfoort 1886 - 1964

Balfoort studied the violin at the conservatories of Brussels and Amsterdam. Since 1907 he was active as violinist in several orchestras and as teacher. In 1926 he established himself as a private teacher in The Hague.

The encounter with the Hague banker and music historian D.F. Scheurleer and his private ‘Museum for the History of Music' pushed Balfoort's career in a different direction. Having been engaged as assistant by Scheurleer, he became curator of the collection in 1928 following the death of the owner.

Largely through Balfoort's efforts this collection was purchased as a whole by the municipality of The Hague and set up as Music Department of the new Municipal Museum (Gemeentemuseum). As curator he took the initiative to collect archives of Dutch musicians of the 19th and 20th Centuries, founding what is now the archives collection of the NMI. From 1942 till 1953 he was deputy director of the museum.

As musician-curator he founded the Museum Chamber Orchestra in 1942 and in 1948 the Museum Chamber Choir, specialized in the performance of little known Dutch music.

Balfoort's publications include studies of musical life in the Netherlands in the 16th-18th Centuries and of violin building.

Dirk Balfoort Archive »