Cornelis (Kees) Vlak was born on 30th September, 1938 in Amsterdam. He was influenced by music at young age and when he was eight years old he got his first piano lessons. Later he played the trumpet in the fanfare orchestra “Waterland“. Vlak studied piano and trumpet at the Amsterdam Conservatory (exames 1959 and 1961), and composition and conducting at the Musiklyzeum Amsterdam.
He earned money to pay his studies as trumpeter in dance bands, concert bands, broadcast and symphonic orchestras. At the same time he worked as copyist for NOS and gained experiences as arranger and composer. Due to health problems he had to quit playing the trumpet. From 1967 until his retirement in 1998 he worked as piano teacher. .
Since 1966 Kees Vlak devoted himself to wind band music. So he began to play the clarinet and double bass to become acquainted with woodwind and string instrustuments. His oeuvre contains light and serious wind music. He wrote a lot of commissioned pieces and received awards for eight of his compositions.
Kees Vlak is also working as conductor of several wind orchestras, as docent at worksjops and juror at national and international competitions.
Since 1990 Kees Vlak successfully cooperates with RUNDEL Music Publications. Many pieces that emerged during that time, established at concerts, competitions and other occasions. Vlak's compositions are firmly established in Central European band music.
Kees Vlak died on December 5, 2014 in Schoorl.