Archive

Syntagma Musicum, the internationally famous Dutch early music group founded by Kees Otten

Syntagma Musicum, with a youthful René Jacobs

Following the demise of Muziekkring Obrecht, in 1961, and a brief return into his jazz roots, Dutch recorder pioneer Kees Otten was soon active in early music again, making a series of radio programmes, with his old friends, the Collettes, with vocal compositions from the 15th […]

The Leonhardt Consort: the early days – with recorder pioneer Kees Otten

The first version of the Leonhardt Consort (est. 1954), with harpsichord, recorders and strings, is very little known, and finding information has been difficult. Yet this short-lived co-operation with the then well-known recorder virtuoso Kees Otten undoubedly helped Leonhardt’s reputation. With rare photos and translated extracts of an interview with Otten, on Leonhardt’s approach and their concerts with Alfred Deller. […]

Frans Brüggen: the early years (1942–1959), with his teacher Kees Otten

Frans Brüggen was about 8 years old when he got his first recorder lessons from his brother Hans. His next, and only, other teacher was Kees Otten, with whom he started playing professionally after he passed his exams. This post covers Brüggen’s early years, up to his first contact with Gustav Leonhardt. […]

Kees Otten, Dutch recorder pioneer

Dutch recorder virtuoso Kees Otten (1924–2008), was the teacher of Frans Brüggen and many others, and a musician of great importance for the emancipation of the recorder in Holland, its acceptance as a serious instrument, and the establishment of historically informed performance practice. […]