Bob van Asperen
• Born 1947
Often appears with
The Dutch performer Bob van Asperen is a recognized specialist in the realm of performance on period keyboard instruments. Born and raised in Amsterdam, Asperen completed a conventional university course of study in music before embarking on lessons with harpsichord master Gustav Leonhardt starting in 1967; Asperen made his debut in Haarlem in 1968. Also in 1968 Asperen joined the group Quadro Hotteterre, of which he was a member until 1984. Asperen completed his studies in 1972 after finishing a course in organ at the Amsterdam Conservatory given by Albert de Klerk. Afterward he accepted a teaching post at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague, which he held until tapped to replace the departing Gustav Leonhardt at the Sweelinck Conservatory, prompting Asperen's return to Amsterdam. His teaching duties in the Netherlands have not restrained him from touring internationally; Asperen has given master classes elsewhere in Europe and also Canada, the United States, and Australia.
Asperen's repertoire on harpsichord, organ, and clavichord is expansive and ranges from the music of John Bull to that of Antonio Soler, whose works Asperen has recorded in their entirety. Asperen has also recorded the complete published keyboard output of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach and Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck. Among the record labels that Asperen has recorded for are EMI, Sony, Virgin, Teldec, Deutsche Harmonia Mundi, N.M. Classics, and Astreé; his recordings have won many awards, including the Deutsche Schallplattenpreis. As a musicologist, Asperen has prepared many editions and reconstructions of works by composers from the Low Countries, particularly on behalf of Dutch Baroque composer Cornelis Thymanszoon Padbrué, but also members of the van Noordt family and naturally, Sweelinck . Asperen has also rehabilitated a few works of Johann Sebastian Bach that were not previously known; he has recorded the multiple keyboard concerti of Bach with his former professor Gustav Leonhardt. Since 1999, Asperen has been recording with the Aeolus label, using historic instruments to perform the music of Bach, Louis Couperin, and Froberger.