*30 X 1934 Amsterdam †13 VIII 2014
Frans Brüggen - once the world's most famous recorder player, today he is considered among the foremost experts in the performance of eighteenth century music. He was born in Amsterdam and studied musicology at the university there. At twenty-one, he was appointed professor at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague and later held the posts of Erasmus Professor at Harvard University and Regents Professor at the University of Berkeley. Yet, as Luciano Berio wrote, he was ‘a musician who is not an archaeologist but a great artist’. In 1981, he founded the Orchestra of the 18th Century, which comprises some sixty members from nineteen different countries. Three times a year, the orchestra assembles to go on tour. The musicians, who are all specialists in eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century music, play on period instruments, or on contemporary copies. The wide-ranging repertoire this orchestra has recorded for Philips Classics includes works by Purcell, Bach, Rameau, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert and Mendelssohn. Many of those recordings have received international awards. Frans Brüggen’s conducting activities had included collaborations with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, philharmonic orchestras in Vienna, Rotterdam, Oslo and Stockholm, the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Philharmonisches Staatsorchester Hamburg, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Tonhalle Orchestra in Zurich and English Chamber Orchestra.
In 1991, Brüggen made his debut at the Salzburg Festival with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, and his return visits to the Festival have included a highly praised series of concerts with the Mozarteum Orchestra. In 1992, Frans Brüggen became joint principal guest conductor, together with Simon Rattle, of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, with which he has recorded works by Bach and Haydn for Philips Classics. Since the 1998/99 season, he has served as joint principal guest conductor, together with Christoph von Dohnányi, of the Orchestre de Paris. Recent operatic engagements have included Mozart’s Mitridate, re di Ponto in Zurich and Gluck’s Orfeo with the Opera de Lyon. He carried on extensive touring and recording work with the Orchestra of the 18th Century, appearing in the festival ‘Chopin and his Europe’ regularly from 2005.
Frans Brüggen died on 13th August 2014