Walter Hekster was born in Amsterdam, March 29, 1937
From 1962 to 1965 Hekster was solo clarinettist of the Connecticut Symphony Orchestra. From 1965 to 1971 he taught composition and clarinet at Brandon University in Canada and conducted the Brandon University Chamber Orchestra. As a clarinet player Hekster was a member of the Rosetti Quintet and Ensemble '80, which regularly perform contemporary music, in concerts as well as in radio programs. The Rosetti Quintet toured the United States, performing in Philadelphia, Washington D.C., New York and several cities in Connecticut (where some of Hekster's own works were heard), for the New York radio station WQXR, and for WMNR in Connecticut. He also gave workshops at Long Island's Hofstra University. In The Netherlands Hekster was a teacher at the conservatories of music in Enschede, Arnhem and Groningen.
In 1961 he graduated from the Amsterdam Conservatory of Music, where he studied composition with Ernest W. Mulder and clarinet with Bram de Wilde. In that year he received a scholarship for Yale University, New Haven, Conn. (US). His composition teacher there was Mel Powell. In 1966 Hekster studied with Roger Sessions and participated in the Berkshire Music Festival Tanglewood, where some of his works were performed.
Hekster has received commissions from the Amsterdam Arts Fund and the Dutch Government. He has organised contemporary music concerts in Enschede, where many of his compositions have been premièred. Concerts with his own works took also place in Amsterdam (Municipal Museum and De IJsbreker), in the Arnhem Museum and in Groningen.