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Ton Koopman
organ, The Netherlands

Koopman

After a grammar school education, Ton Koopman (Zwolle, 1944) studied organ, harpsichord and musicology in Amsterdam. Due to his remarkable playing skills on the organ and the harpsichord, he twice received the Prix d'Excellence.

Even before he finished his studies, Ton Koopman laid down the foundations for a career as a conductor, in particular of 17th and 18th century ensemble repertoire.

In 1969 he started his own ensemble (Musica Antiqua Amsterdam), followed by the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, to which the Amsterdam Baroque Choir was added later.

Since then, both ensembles have been combined in the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra & Choir (ABO&C)

Ton Koopman has worked for various record labels, such as Erato, Teldec, Sony, Philips and DGG.

In 2003 he founded his own record label - Antoine Marchand -, which is distributed by Challenge Records. So far, Antoine Marchand has released 22 CD boxes with all of J.S. Bach's cantata works, plus a recording of Bach's St. Mark Passion, reconstructed by Koopman, and (on CD and DVD), a recording of Bach's St. Matthew Passion. Ton Koopman's discography consists of more than 250 records, CDs and DVDs.

During his fifty-year career as a musician, he has been a guest at virtually every single important concert hall and music festival in the world. He is also a regular guest conductor, working with internationally renowned symphony orchestras.

In the Bach commemorative year of 2000, thanks to his outstanding contributions to the research into and the rendition of J.S. Bach's works, notably where the Passions and cantatas of this composer are concerned, he received an honorary doctorate from Utrecht University.

In 2003 Ton Koopman received a knighthood in the "Order of the Dutch Lion" (Orde van de Nederlandse Leeuw).

From 1994 to 2004, Ton Koopman was involved in his "mammoth project": performing and recording every single cantata by J.S. Bach, handed down through the ages. Where there were cantatas of which only part remained, he reconstructed the missing parts. He received various awards for this extraordinary project: the Deutsche Schallplattenpreis, ‘Echo Klassik 1997' and the Hector Berlioz award. The Bach cantata project was also nominated for a Grammy Award (USA) and a Grammophone Award (GB).

In February 2004 he was awarded the "Zilveren Fonograaf" from the Dutch record industry, the NVPI.

In addition, Ton Koopman was the first to receive the VSCD Classical Music Award in 2004.

In May of the same year, Ton Koopman was awarded the annual Academy Medal by the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences for his impressive contribution to musicology.

In 2004, Ton Koopman was appointed as professor of musicology at Leiden University. He already worked as a professor of harpsichord at the Royal Conservatoire The Hague and as an Honorary Member at the Royal Academy of Music in London.

In 2005, Ton Koopman began his next large project: performing and recording the entire works (organ and harpsichord, cantatas and chamber music) of Dieterich Buxtehude, the main inspiration and instigator of the young Johann Sebastian Bach.

This series will consist of around 30 CDs and is expected to be completed in 2009.

Ton Koopman publishes regularly, and edited the text edition of a new edition of all (16) organ concertos by Georg Friedrich Händel (Breitkopf & Härtel).

Autumn 2006 sees the presentation of a new edition, again edited and partly reconstructed by Koopman, of the only remaining "Abendmusik" composition by Dieterich Buxtehude: "Wacht! Euch zum Streit gefasset macht" (Carus Verlag).

In June 2006 Ton Koopman received the prestigious Bach Medal of the city of Leipzig, where J.S. Bach lived and worked from 1723 until his death in 1750.

Baha muzikas fonds, Hipokrata iela 35-32, LV-1079, Riga, Latvija, talr.: 29208181, e-pasts: bachfestival@inbox.lv