Bob van Asperen - Biografie

Bob van Asperen

Bob van Asperen © Hinrich Kuper

Bob van Asperen


The Dutch harpsichordist Bob van Asperen received his first music lessons at the age of seven. After finishing his classical education, he studied harpsichord with Gustav Leonardt and organ with Albert de Klerk in Amsterdam and graduated “with distinction” in 1972.

Being harpsichordist, organist and also conductor, Bob van Asperen became a much sought-after specialist for ancient music. He is a professor of harpsichord at the Sweelinck Conservatory in his home town Amsterdam. Besides, he regularly gives courses at other music conservatoires such as in Paris, London, Berlin, Madrid, Athens, St. Petersburg and at many international summer schools in Italy, Germany, France, Great Britain, and Canada, which are attended by students from all over the world.

Bob van Asperen’s vast activity as a recitalist has brought him to almost all European countries and throughout the world, amongst others to North America, Russia, and Australia. He gives solo concerts playing harpsichord, organ, and clavichord recitals as well as duo concerts together with others soloists as Anner Bijlsma, Barthold Kuijken, Lucy van Dael, Klaus Mertens und Thomas Pietsch. Bob van Asperen appears regularly in famous festivals, such as the Music Festivals of Schleswig-Holstein and Rheingau, the European Weeks Passau, the Berlin Bachtage, the Beethoven Festival in Bonn, the Festival Estival de Paris, the Festival de Saintes, the Festival del Clavicembalo Roma and the Festival of Ancient Music in Utrecht.

Furthermore, he directed the European Community Baroque Orchestra and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. In France, Bob van Asperen has conducted a concert series of the Passion of Matthew of J. S. Bach with historical instruments. In dedication to ancient music, his concert programs also include his reconstructions of works by J.S. Bach and by Dutch composers as Sweelinck, Padbrué and Sinbrand van Noordt.

Bob van Asperen recorded more than 70 solo-discs for the labels Virgin, EMI, Teldec, AEOLUS, Sony and Astrée. His solo recordings contain amongst others the complete organ works by Handel, the Louis Couperin Edition as well as a complete recording of Couperin’s works. Celebrating his 400th anniversary in 2016, the last part of the complete recording of Johann Jacob Froberger’s works for keyboards (Froberger Edition) played on historical harpsichords and orgues has been released by AEOLUS. Several of his productions were awarded, amongst others with the Edison Award, the Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik, the Deutsche Schallplattenpreis, the Diapason d’Or and Le Choc du Monde de la Musique. His latest recordings were Bach’s “Art of the Fugue” in 2018, for which he received the Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik, and 2019 the CD „A Playlist for Rembrandt - Music from the Netherlands from Rembrandt’s time“ for AEOLUS.