Cees Bijlstra

A film by Interakt and Pieter Verhoeff about composer Cees Bijlstra. Cees originally studied at the Rijkskweekschool in Heerenveen to become a teacher, but eventually his passion for music won his attention.

Cees played in several dance-orchestras and wrote his first couple of songs for the Teachers-cabaret (Onderwijzerscabaret) of the Terhenster headmaster Roel Bergsma, for whom he also became a set music supervisor. After his military service, he became a set pianist and combo-leader for the company of comedian Rients Gratama. It was then and there that Bijlstra composed music for both Gratama’s Frisian as well as Dutch programs. In the eight years (1970 – 1978) that Cees toured around the country with Rients Gratama, Cees also composed music for several radio- and television-shows for the AVRO (national broadcaster) and Omrop Fryslân (region broadcaster). Nearly weekly his combo ‘Cees Bijlstra’ was a set guest for various programs, such as the TV kids-show Bibelebons. After the period Rients Gratama, Cees worked in the editorial office and as director for School radio and later School television for Omrop Fryslân. Ever since the film De Dream (1985), he became a set composer and arranger for Pieter Verhoeff.