Maarten Albert Vente (1915-1989) began his career als a historian. He took his PhD in 1942 with the dissertation Bouwstoffen tot de geschiedenis van het Nederlandse orgel in de 16e eeuw, supervised by the Utrecht professor of musicology Albert Smijers. He became an internationally renowned authority on the history of the Netherlands organ, and was appointed by Utrecht University as lecturer (1965) and professor (1979) in the history of musical instruments (with particular reference to the organ). As a lecturer and professor, he tutored many young students in this academic field and supervised a number of PhDs; at the same time, he laid the foundations for the Utrecht Organ Archive. Vente's great knowledge of history formed a perfect complement to the expertise of other specialists, to the benefit of many projects concerning new organs and restorations in Holland and abroad. After his retirement in 1980, his field of study was continued at Utrecht University by competent teachers who had once been his students. Consequently, a number of PhD dissertations on Netherlands organ history are again in preparation. Vente's private archive includes documentation of the organ projects on which he advised.
Maarten Albert Vente at work in his private archive (l)
and an article in which he is praised for his knowledge (Trouw, 1989) (r)
Photograph Arnhem Organ Festival (1964), including Vente and Marie-Claire Alain