Ton Koopman, harpsichord

Born in Zwolle (The Netherlands), Ton Koopman had a classical education and studied organ, harpsichord and musicology in Amsterdam. He received the Prix d‘Excellence for both instruments. Naturally attracted by historical instruments and fascinated by the philological performance style, Koopman concentrated his studies on Baroque music, with particular attention to J. S. Bach and D. Buxtehude, and soon became a leading figure in the “historic informed performance” movement.

As organist and harpsichordist, Ton Koopman has appeared in the most prestigious concert halls of the world and played the most beautiful historical instruments of Europe. At age 25, he created his first baroque orchestra; in 1979, he founded the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, followed in 1992 by the Amsterdam Baroque
Choir. Combined as the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra & Choir, the ensemble soon gained worldwide fame. With a repertoire ranging from the early Baroque to the late Classics, they have performed at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Théâtre des Champs-Elysées and Salle Pleyel in Paris, Barbican and Royal Albert Hall in London, Musikverein and Konzerthaus in Vienna, Philharmonie in Berlin, Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall in New York, Suntory Hall in Tokyo etc.

In recent years, Ton Koopman has been very active as a guest conductor working with the most prestigious orchestras in Europe, USA, and Japan. Ton Koopman has recorded a far over 400 Cds and LPs for Erato, Teldec, Sony, Deutsche Grammophon and Philips. In 2003 he founded his label “Antoine Marchand”, a sub-label of Challenge Classics.
Among Ton Koopman’s most ambitious projects has been the recording of the complete
Bach cantatas, a massive undertaking for which he has been awarded the Deutsche
Schallplattenpreis “Echo Klassik”, the BBC Award, the Hector Berlioz Prize and has been
nominated for the Grammy Award (USA) and the Gramophone Award (UK).
In addition to the works of Bach, Koopman has long been an advocate of the music of Bach’s predecessor Dieterich Buxtehude, and following the completion of the Bach project, he embarked on the recording of the Buxtehude-Opera Omnia; the edition consists of 30 CDs.

Ton Koopman publishes regularly. Among many works, he has edited the complete Händel Organ Concertos for Breitkopf & Härtel and published a new edition of Händel’s Messiah, and Buxtehude‘s Das Jüngste Gericht for Carus Verlag. Ton Koopman is President of the International Dieterich Buxtehude Society. He was awarded
the Bach Medal of the City of Leipzig (2006), the Buxtehude Prize of the city of Lübeck (2012), the Bach Prize of the Royal Academy of Music in London (2014) and the prestigious Edison Classical Award (2017).

Since 2019 he is President of the Leipzig Bach Archive.

Ton Koopman is an Emeritus Professor at the University of Leiden and the Conservatory of Den Haag, an Honorary Member of the Royal Academy of Music in London, an Honorary Doctor in Linz and Lübeck, and artistic director of the Festival “Itinéraire Baroque”.