Ton Koopman was born in Zwolle in 1944. 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 in 1969, 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.
As an organist, Koopman has for decades played on the most important historical instruments in Europe, and as harpsichordist and conductor of the ABO&C, he makes guest appearances at virtually all the world’s leading concert halls and music festivals. In addition, Koopman is in high demand as a guest conductor and has collaborated with many leading orchestras in Europe, the United States and Japan. Koopman’s wide-ranging musical activities as a soloist, accompanist, continuo player and conductor have been documented through the years on various record labels such as Erato, Teldec, Sony, Philips and DGG. In 2003, he founded his own label, Antoine Marchand, distributed by Challenge Classics.
Between 1994 and 2004 Ton Koopman has been engaged in a unique project, conducting and recording all the exsting cantatas by Johann Sebastian Bach, a massive undertaking for which he has been awarded the Deutsche Schallplattenpreis “Echo Klassik”, the BBC Award 2008, the Prix Hector Berlioz, has been nominated for the Grammy Award (USA) and the Gramophone Award (UK). In 2000 Ton Koopman has received an Honorary Degree from the Utrecht University for his academic work on the Bach Cantatas and Passions and has been awarded both the prestigious Silver Phonograph Prize and the VSCD Classical Music Award. In 2006 he has received the « Bach-Medaille » from the City of Leipzig.
Koopman is currently working on his next major project – performing and recording the complete surviving works of Dieterich Buxtehude, who served as an important model for the young Johann Sebastian Bach. He also chairs the International D. Buxtehude Society.
Ton Koopman publishes regularly and for a number of years he has been engaged in editing the complete Handel Organ Concertos for Breitkopf & Härtel. Recently he has published Handel’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 a Honorary Member of the Royal Academy of Music in London. Ton Koopman is artistic director of the French Festival “Itinéraire Baroque”.