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BOB VAN ASPEREN

Summary | Biography | Discography | Photos | Audio/Video

Portret Bob van Asperen

Period

08-10-1947 - current

Genre

classical, dirigent, klavecimbel, klavichord, orgel

Bob van Asperen

Bob van Asperen is a versatile musician in his specialised area of classical music. He gives harpsichord and organ recitals in Europe, North America, Japan and Australia. He conducts in the Netherlands and sometimes abroad. In addition, he teaches and publishes on music for keyboard instruments of the late sixteenth ...
Full biography

Instruments

dirigent, klavecimbel, klavichord, orgel

Mentioned in the biography of

1946   Lucy van Dael
1966   Pieter-Jan Belder
1973   Marius van Altena
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Biography Bob van Asperen

Bob van Asperen is a versatile musician in his specialised area of classical music. He gives harpsichord and organ recitals in Europe, North America, Japan and Australia. He conducts in the Netherlands and sometimes abroad. In addition, he teaches and publishes on music for keyboard instruments of the late sixteenth through eighteenth centuries. He is especially interested in the music of Girolamo Frescobaldi, the French harpsichordists, Antonio Soler, Johann Sebastian and Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, and the English virginalists. Van Asperen reconstructs early music scores that have been lost. He has formed two ensembles and toured extensively with them. Although he does not shy from twentieth-century music – he has been a soloist in concertos by Manuel de Falla, Francis Poulenc, Frank Martin and Bohuslav Martinů – his international reputation is founded on his interpretations of the harpsichord's early literature.

1947

On October 8, Bob van Asperen is born in Amsterdam. He is raised in Haarlem. He has his first music lessons from his mother. Then he takes piano lessons from Frieda Brackman of Haarlem. He studies the harpsichord with Marjan van Harreveld. He plays the cello as well as the harpsichord in the Haarlem Youth Orchestra.

1966

Van Asperen enrols in the Amsterdam Conservatory and studies the harpsichord with Gustav Leonhardt and organ with Albert de Klerk.

1968 - 1969

Van Asperen makes his debut at the Haarlem Concertgebouw in a performance of J.S. Bach's Harpsichord Concerto in F minor with the Haarlem Youth Orchestra conducted by André Kaart. He forms the Quadro Hotteterre ensemble with Kees Boeke (recorder), Walter van Hauwe (recorder), and Wouter Möller (cello). Van Asperen gives his first harpsichord recital at Haarlem's Bakenesser Church.

1970

The Arnhem Conservatory appoints him as harpsichord major teacher.

1971 - 1972

The Amsterdam Conservatory awards him the harpsichord soloist diploma cum laude. The next year Van Asperen receives his organ soloist diploma from the Amsterdam Conservatory. The Royal Conservatory in The Hague appoints him as a harpsichord major teacher, a position he holds until 1991.

1974

EMI/Bovema releases Van Asperen's first LP, on which he plays music by William Byrd, Girolamo Frescobaldi and François Couperin.

1979

Van Asperen leads the first performance since the seventeenth century of De tranen van Petrus en Paul [The Tears of Peter and Paul], a chamber drama he reconstructed. The text of this work, written by Joost van den Vondel, was set to music in 1646 by Cornelis Thymensz Padbrué, Vondel's favourite composer. Also this year, Van Asperen, Jaap Schöder (violin), and Wouter Möller (cello) are awarded an Edison for their recording of early clavier trios by Haydn.

1980

Van Asperen wins Belgium's Caecilia Prize and the Deutsche Schallplattenpreis for his recording of C.P.E. Bach's Württemberg and Prussian sonatas for harpsichord. It is the first time an integral harpsichord collection by C.P.E. Bach has been recorded and released.

1981

This year, the 300th anniversary of Telemann's birth, Van Asperen begins the chamber orchestra Melante '81, which performs on historical instruments. He leads the ensemble as 'maestro al cembalo'.

1992

He receives the Spanish Ondas de Música award for his CD of the complete harpsichord works of Antonio Soler.

1998

Van Asperen is awarded another Deutsche Schallplattenpreis, this time for a CD commemorating the Peace of Westphalia (1648), on which he plays mostly unfamiliar music from that time. The CD also receives a Dix du Répertoire and a 10 from Klassik Heute.

2000

Van Asperen begins a Froberger project in which he collects the complete works of Johann Jakob Froberger – including a manuscript recently discovered in Berlin – for recordings on the Aeolus label. The harpsichord pieces are released on seven CDs and receive various prizes: the Diapason d'Or, the Dix du Répertoire, a Télérama ƒƒƒƒ, and great appreciation from Fono Forum. Van Asperen plays seventeenth- and eighteenth-century instruments on all of these recordings.

2003

The CD of the complete keyboard works of Jan Pietersz Sweelinck (released by NM Classics) is awarded an Edison. Van Asperen is one of fifteen specialists who made the recordings possible.

2006

Van Asperen gathers the scores of the extensive integral harpsichord oeuvre by Louis Couperin, which has never been recorded in its entirety. He begins the recordings, which ultimately will fill 12 CDs.

2009

Van Asperen completes the Froberger project with a CD of pieces for the organ. These works are also played on historical instruments.

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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