|Born||2 October 1944|
|Instruments||Organ and harpsichord|
Antonius Gerhardus Michael (Ton) Koopman (Dutch: [ˈkoːpmɑn] ; born 2 October 1944) is a Dutch conductor, organist and harpsichordist. He is also professor at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague. In April 2003 he was knighted in the Netherlands, receiving the Order of the Netherlands Lion.
Koopman had a "classical education" and then studied the organ (with Simon C. Jansen), harpsichord (with Gustav Leonhardt), and musicology in Amsterdam. He specialized in Baroque music and received the Prix d'Excellence for both organ and harpsichord.
Koopman founded the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra in 1979 and the Amsterdam Baroque Choir in 1992, now combined as the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra & Choir. Koopman concentrates on Baroque music, especially that of Bach and is a leading figure in the "authentic performance" movement. While a number of early-music conductors have ventured into newer music, Koopman has not. He has said, "I draw the line at Mozart's death" (1791).One exception is his recording of the Concert Champêtre of Francis Poulenc, written in 1928.
Among Koopman's most ambitious projects was the recording of the complete cycle of all of Bach's cantatas,a project completed in 2005. This project had started while Koopman was an artist of the French Erato Classics label. However, after 12 volumes (36 CDs) the project was stalled when owner Warner Classics wound up its French subsidiary in 2002. Koopman was able to buy back rights for the first 12 volumes and continue the series in 2003 with his own label Antoine Marchand, distributed by Challenge Classics. "Antoine Marchand" is a French translation of his own name.
Soloists for the project were among others Lisa Larsson, Cornelia Samuelis, Sandrine Piau, Sibylla Rubens, Barbara Schlick, Caroline Stam, Deborah York and Johannette Zomer (soprano), Bogna Bartosz, Michael Chance, Franziska Gottwald, Bernhard Landauer, Elisabeth von Magnus, Annette Markert and Kai Wessel (alto), Paul Agnew, Jörg Dürmüller, James Gilchrist, Christoph Prégardien and Gerd Türk (tenor) and Klaus Mertens (bass).
In addition to the works of Bach, Koopman has long been an advocate of the music of Bach's predecessor Dieterich Buxtehude. He had previously recorded the keyboard works for Philips Classics and several cantatas for Erato. He was elected president of the "International Dieterich Buxtehude Society" in 2004. Following the completion of the Bach cantatas project Koopman then embarked on a recording of the complete works of Buxtehude. In 2005 he commenced Dieterich Buxtehude – Opera Omnia, a project to record the complete works of Dieterich Buxtehude, which he finished in October 2014.
Besides his work with the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra & Choir, he is in frequent demand as guest conductor and as harpsichordist and organist. In 2011, Koopman began a three-year stint as artist-in-residence with the Cleveland Orchestra.
His aim is always to achieve authenticity in performance, using exact copies of historical instruments from the time of the composer, and adopting the performing style of the composers or their contemporaries. The scholar (and fellow keyboardist/conductor) John Butt has criticised Koopman's interpretation of Bach's Goldberg variations for its overuse of ornamentation,which he attributes to a desire to differentiate his interpretation from those of Gustav Leonhardt.
Koopman is married to Tini Mathot, who is also a harpsichordist and fortepianist, and the two frequently perform together. Mathot is also his chief recording producer, as well as a teacher at the Royal Conservatory.On 11 October 2012 the documentary Live to be a hundred – a year in the life of Ton Koopman was released in Dutch cinemas.
Koopman's extensive discography includes the complete Bach cantatas and organ works, St Matthew Passion (twice) and St John Passion , Mass in B minor , Christmas Oratorio , a recording of his own reconstruction of the lost St Mark Passion , concertos and harpsichord works by Bach, Sweelinck's complete keyboard works, the complete works of Buxtehude, Haydn's complete harpsichord concertos, Mozart's Coronation Mass, Vespers and Requiem, a cycle of Mozart and Haydn symphonies. He conducts 8 soloists, Nancy Zijlstra, Barbara Schlick, soprano, Klaus Mertens, Peter Kooij, bass, Dominique Visse, Kai Wessel, countertenor, Christoph Prégardien, Harry Van Berne, tenor and The Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra for « Les Motets à double Chœur » H.403, H.404, H.135, H.136, H.137, H.392, H.410, H.167 by Marc-Antoine Charpentier, (2 CD Erato 1992), Vivaldi's The Four Seasons , Handel's Messiah and Organ Concertos. Koopman has received many prizes for his recordings.
Dieterich Buxtehude was a Danish organist and composer of the Baroque period. His organ works represent a central part of the standard organ repertoire and are frequently performed at recitals and in church services. He composed in a wide variety of vocal and instrumental idioms, and his style strongly influenced many composers, including Johann Sebastian Bach, his student. Today, Buxtehude is considered one of the most important composers in Germany of the mid-Baroque.
Ketil Are Haugsand is a Norwegian harpsichordist and conductor.
Gustav Leonhardt was a Dutch keyboard player, conductor, musicologist, teacher and editor. He was a leading figure in the movement to perform music on period instruments. Leonhardt professionally played many instruments, including the harpsichord, pipe organ, claviorganum, clavichord, fortepiano and piano. He also conducted orchestras and choruses.
Masaaki Suzuki is a Japanese organist, harpsichordist and conductor, and the founder and musical director of the Bach Collegium Japan. With this ensemble he is recording the complete choral works of Johann Sebastian Bach for the Swedish label BIS Records, for which he is also recording Bach's concertos, orchestral suites, and solo works for harpsichord and organ. He is also an artist-in-residence at Yale University and the principal guest conductor of its Schola Cantorum, and has conducted orchestras and choruses around the world.
Daniel John Taylor is a Canadian countertenor and early music specialist. Taylor runs the Theatre of Early Music and teaches at the University of Toronto.
The Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra & Choir is a Dutch early-music group based in Amsterdam.
Robin Blaze is an English countertenor.
Lars Ulrik Mortensen is a Danish harpsichordist and conductor largely in Baroque solo and chamber music and early music repertory. He was a professor in Munich in 1996-99 and has since then been artistic director of Concerto Copenhagen. He received the Léonie Sonning Music Prize in 2007.
Jaap ter Linden is a Dutch cellist, viol player and conductor. He specialises in performance of baroque and classical music on authentic instruments.
Christoph Prégardien is a German lyric tenor whose career is closely associated with the roles in Mozart operas, as well as performances of Lieder, oratorio roles, and Baroque music. He is well known for his performances and recordings of the Evangelist roles in Bach's St John Passion and St Matthew Passion.
Klaus Mertens is a German bass and bass-baritone singer who is known especially for his interpretation of the complete works of Johann Sebastian Bach for bass voice.
Johannette Zomer is a Dutch classical concert and opera soprano.
Bogna Bartosz is a Polish classical mezzo-soprano and alto.
Caroline Stam is a Dutch classical soprano who has an international (European) performing career specializing in baroque repertoire, reinforced by a distinguished presence in modern recordings.
Jörg Dürmüller is a Swiss classical tenor in concert and opera.
Kai Wessel is a German countertenor and teacher at the Hochschule für Musik Köln.
Andreas Karasiak is a German classical tenor in opera and concert.
Dieterich Buxtehude – Opera Omnia is a project to record the complete works of the Danish Baroque composer Dieterich Buxtehude, completed in October 2014 and released on Challenge Records.
Patrick Van Goethem is a Belgian countertenor, known for performing early music.
The Bach cantatas project of Ton Koopman was the first complete recording of all the cantatas, including the 21 secular cantatas. Koopman conducted the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra & Choir and guest solo singers. The project began in 1995 and was completed in 2005 on 67 CDs.
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