The Dutch organist and composer Albert de Klerk was born in 1917 in Haarlem. His father, the Flemish musician Jos de Klerk, was his first and foremost teacher. He studied organ with Anthon van der Horst at the Amsterdam Conservatory, gaining his performance diploma 'summa cum laude' in 1939 and the Prix d’Excellence in 1941 (with a performance of his own organ concerto). In 1934, he succeeded Hendrik Andriessen as organist of the St Josephkerk in Haarlem, holding the post until his death in 1998. Albert de Klerk taught the organ at the Netherlands Institute for Catholic Church Music in Utrecht from 1946 to 1964, and at the Amsterdam Conservatory from 1964 to 1983. He shared the position of municipal organist of Haarlem with Piet Kee from 1956 to 1986, and conducted the oratorio choir Koor Katholiek Haarlem from 1946 to 1991.
As a recitalist, Albert de Klerk enjoyed a world-wide reputation; he made many recordings and was awarded the prestigious Edison prize in 1962. His great knowledge of the organ repertoire, his lively and extrovert performance, and especially his mastery of the art of improvisation never failed to generate enthousiasm. His composition oeuvre includes chamber music and works for organ, piano, carillon, choir and solo voice