30-05-1928 - 16-01-2012
Gustav Leonhardt is a pioneer of historically founded performance practice. He is a harpsichordist, organist, and conductor and also plays the clavichord and – less known – the cello. He has taught many of today's leading harpsichordists. Leonhardt is the editor of volume I (“Fantasieën en Toccata's voor clavier”) of ...
cello, dirigent, klavecimbel, klavichord, orgel
Mentioned in the biography of
De Nederlandse Bachvereniging
1940 Rudolf Jansen
1946 Lucy van Dael
1969 Nelly van der Spek
1970 Jacques Ogg
1970 Léon Berben
1971 Frans Brüggen
1972 Marius van Altena
1978 Marjanne Kweksilber
2004 Maarten Engeltjes
Biography Gustav Leonhardt
Gustav Leonhardt is a pioneer of historically founded performance practice. He is a harpsichordist, organist, and conductor and also plays the clavichord and – less known – the cello. He has taught many of today's leading harpsichordists. Leonhardt is the editor of volume I (“Fantasieën en Toccata's voor clavier”) of the Opera Omnia edition of Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck published by KVNM (2nd edition 1974). He is married to the Swiss violinist Marie Leonhardt and resides since 1974 in a section of the famous Bartolotti House on the Herengracht in Amsterdam.
Gustav Leonhardt is born to a patrician family on May 30 in 's-Graveland. His father is a member of the board of the Netherlands Bach Society.
1947 - 1955
Leonhardt studies the organ and harpsichord with Edward Müller at the Schola Cantorum in Basle. He completes his studies in 1950 and makes his debut as a harpsichordist in Vienna performing Johann Sebastian Bach's The Art of the Fugue. For a year, he studies musicology in Vienna. From 1952 to 1955 he teaches the harpsichord at the Musikhochschule, also in Vienna. In 1954 he is appointed harpsichord teacher at the Amsterdam Conservatory and organist at the Waalse Kerk in Amsterdam. Later, he founds and conducts the Leonhardt Consort, in which his wife is a violinist.
1967 - 1970
Leonhardt plays the role of Johann Sebastian Bach in Jean-Marie Straube's film Chronik der Anna Magdalena Bach. Throughout 1969 he is a guest professor at Harvard University.
Leonhardt and Nikolaus Harnoncourt begin recording J.S. Bach's complete sacred cantatas – they finish the project in 1990.
Sigiswald Kuijken begins La Petite Bande and together with Leonhardt records Jean-Baptiste Lully's Le bourgeois gentilhomme (1670).
Together with Harnoncourt, Leonhardt receives the Erasmus Prize. In November, he conducts the Netherlands Chamber Choir for the first time in a performance with an expanded Leonhardt Consort of music by Henry Purcell and his contemporaries.
1981 - 1983
Leonhardt becomes the organist of the Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam (from 1983, together with Bernard Winsemius). In 1982, Jacques van Oortmessen succeeds him as titular organist of the Waalse Kerk. Leonhardt receives an honorary doctorate from the University of Amsterdam in 1983.
1991 - 1999
He receives an honorary doctorate from Harvard University. In 1999 he becomes an honorary member of the Royal Dutch Association of Organists.
He is awarded the Oeuvre Prize by the Association of Theatre and Concert Hall Administrators.
During a concert at the Muziekgebouw aan't IJ, he asks the audience to not applaud after the performance of sacred cantatas by Bach.
Queen Beatrix personally decorates Leonhardt with the Honour Medal for Arts and Sciences of the House of Orange.
2011 - 2012
Due to health problems Gustav Leonhardt gives his last recital on December 12, at the Théatre des Bouffes du Nord in Paris. Gustav Leonhardt dies on January 16, 2012 in Amsterdam.
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.