Ton Koopman was born in Zwolle (The Netherlands) and after a classical education he studied organ, harpsichord and musicology in Amsterdam and was awarded the Prix d’Excellence for both instruments. From the beginning of his musical studies he was fascinated by authentic instruments and a performance style based on sound scholarship, and at the age of 25 he created his first Baroque orchestra. In 1979 he founded the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra followed by the Amsterdam Baroque Choir in 1992.
Koopman has appeared in the most important concert halls and festivals of the five continents. As an organist he has played the most prestigious historical instruments of Europe, and as a harpsichord player and conductor of the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra & Choir he has been a regular guest at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Théatre des Champs-Elysées in Paris, Musikverein and Konzerthaus in Vienna, Philharmonie in Berlin, Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall in New York, Suntory Hall in Tokyo as well as in London, Brussels, Madrid, Rome, Salzburg, Copenhagen, Lisbon, Munich, Athens.
Very active as guest conductor, Koopman has worked with the most prominent orchestras of the world. Among them the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, Berlin Philharmonic, BR Orchestra in Munich, DSO Berlin, Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France Paris, Vienna Symphony, Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony, New York Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, as well as Cleveland Orchestra, where he is Artist in Residence for three consecutive years starting in 2011.
Koopman’s extensive and impressive activities as a soloist, accompanist and conductor have been recorded on Erato, Teldec, Sony, Philips and Deutsche Grammophon. In 2003 he created his own record label “Antoine Marchand”, distributed by Challenge Records.
Between 1994 and 2004 Ton Koopman has been engaged in a unique project, conducting and recording all the existing Cantatas by Johann Sebastian Bach, a massive undertaking for which he has been awarded the Deutsche Schallplattenpreis “Echo Klassik”, the BBC Award, the Prix Hector Berlioz and has been nominated for the Grammy Award (USA) and the Gramophone Award (UK).
Recently Ton Koopman has embarked on another main project: the recording of the complete works by Dietrich Buxtehude, one of the great inspirers of the young J.S. Bach. By now 11 volumes have been released, including the complete works for organ and harpsichord, and four volumes with vocal works. The chamber music will be released in the course of this season. Ton Koopman is President of the “International Dietrich Buxtehude Society”.
Ton Koopman publishes regularly. He has been engaged in editing the complete Händel Organ Concertos for Breitkopf & Härtel. Recently he has published new editions of Händel’s Messiah and Buxtehude‘s Das Jüngste Gericht for Carus Verlag.
Ton Koopman leads the class of harpsichord at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague, is Professor at the University of Leiden and is an Honorary Member of the Royal Academy of Music in London. Ton Koopman is artistic director of the French Festival “Itinéraire Baroque”.