Bernard Kruysen was internationally known as a recital, opera and oratorio singer who specialized in the modern French repertoire. He was described as a meticulous singer with a full, yet light, lyrical voice. In his free time, he enjoyed hunting, diving and many other outdoor activities. He was ambivalent toward ...
Biography Bernard Kruysen
Bernard Kruysen was internationally known as a recital, opera and oratorio singer who specialized in the modern French repertoire. He was described as a meticulous singer with a full, yet light, lyrical voice. In his free time, he enjoyed hunting, diving and many other outdoor activities. He was ambivalent toward the singing profession: “You sing because it is your duty, you were born to do it. Singing is difficult. Actually, I don't see it as a profession.” (NRC Handelsblad, November 1, 2000)
1933 - 1957
Bernard Kruysen is born in Montreux, Switzerland, on March 28, the son of the Dutch artist Antoon Kruysen. He is raised next to the Mediterranean in Le Lavandou, where his love for the sea develops – he is an avid diver and later shoots underwater colour films and becomes the Dutch spear-fishing champion. Kruysen begins studying painting at an art academy in The Hague, but after several years switches to the conservatory in The Hague, where he studies opera with Wim Quispel. He also has lessons with To van der Sluys and Frans Vroons.
In 1958 Kruysen wins second place at the International Vocal Competition in 's Hertogenbosch. He receives a grant from the French goverment to study with Pierre Bernac in Paris. Bernac introduces him to Francis Poulenc and other French composers of the Group of Six. In the early 1960s, Poulenc is his piano accompanist at various performances.
Kruysen sings the role of Silvio in Leoncavallo's Pagliacci. Throughout his life, he will sporadically appear on the opera stage, but he concentrates on the song repertoire. In Paris, he wins the Prix d'Excellence La Mélodie Française and first prize at the Gabriel Fauré Competition.
Kruysen makes his breakthrough in the Netherlands with two recitals at the Holland Festival. In France, he receives the Grand Prix du Disque for his recording of songs by Debussy.
He receives another Grand Prix du Disque for his interpretation of Fauré songs.
Kruysen makes his first concert tour to the United States. His career is also succesful in Europe. He is usually accompanied on the piano either by Noel Lee or Gerard van Blerk. He is active as a teacher, training among others the bass-baritone Geert Smits.
Kruysen celebrates his 40th anniversary. He lives in France and rarely performs.
He gives his final performance in Arthur Honegger's Le Roi David on October 6. On October 31, he dies.
Discography Bernard Kruysen
In the discography you will find all recordings that have been released listed chronologically. We restrict ourselves to the title, the type of audio, year of publication or recording, label, list of guest musicians, plus any comments on the issue.
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