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Ton Koopman (born 12 October 1944 in Zwollemarker, Netherlands) is a conductor, organist and harpsichordist.

Koopman had a "classical education" and then studied the organ (with Simon C. Jansen), harpsichord (with Gustav Leonhardt) and musicology in Amsterdammarker. He specialized in Baroque music and received the Prix d'Excellence for both organ and harpsichord.

In 1979 Koopman founded the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra 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. He has received many prizes for his recordings. He has recently commenced Buxtehude Opera Omnia - a project to record the complete works of Buxtehude. As of 9 May 2009, ten volumes have been released.

Koopman's extensive discography includes the complete Bach cantatas and organ works, St Matthew (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, Mozart's Coronation Mass and Vespers, Requiem, a cycle of Mozart symphonies, Vivaldi's The Four Seasons, Handel's Messiah and Organ Concertos, et al.

Besides his work with the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra & Choir, he is in frequent demand as guest conductor and as harpsichordist and organist. Some of his organ interpretations have drawn criticism for their overuse of ornamentation. His aim is always to achieve authenticity in performance, using exact copies of historical instruments from the time of the composer.

In 2003 he established his own recording company "Antoine Marchand" (a French translation of his name).

In April 2003 he was knighted in the Netherlands, receiving the Order of the Netherlands Lion.


External links

  • - official website
  • Weblog

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