Harpsichord • Organ • Keyboards
Harpsichordist Glen Wilson has performed and recorded widely in Europe, both as a solo player and as a concerto soloist. He has increasingly specialized in unusual keyboard repertory, with a long series of recordings on the Naxos label.
Wilson was born in Greenville, Illinois, on March 29, 1952. He studied at the Juilliard School in New York with Albert Fuller, a student of Gustav Leonhardt and a pioneer of harpsichord playing in the U.S.; one of the first harpsichordists to hold a major U.S. faculty position. In 1971, Wilson moved to the Netherlands to study with Leonhardt himself. Ever since, he has been based in that country and in Germany, where he has been professor at the Hochschule für Musik in Würzburg since 1988. After concluding his studies with Leonhardt in 1975, Wilson took a post as a regular harpsichordist with the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra. He resigned that position in 1982 to pursue a solo career, which saw him appear with the cream of the 1980s European Baroque chamber groups: Concentus Musicus Wien, La Petite Bande, and the Leonhardt Consort. He has also appeared with the modern-instrument Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam. Wilson has collaborated as a chamber musician with Leonhardt, Wieland Kuijken, and Emma Kirkby, among others. With violinist Lucy van Dael, and cellist Wouter Möller, he co-founded the Amsterdam Fortepiano Trio. He plays harpsichord, clavichord, fortepiano, and organ. In addition to this diversity of talents, he has been active as a musicologist, conductor, and broadcaster. He has conducted his own edition of Monteverdi's opera Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria more than 60 times, on three continents. He has also edited a selection of little-known suites by Gottlieb Muffat and recorded them with his wife, Naoko Akutagawa. He created a series of 65 programs devoted to early music for Radio Netherlands.
Wilson's recording career has been especially impressive, encompassing more than 20 albums. Wilson has recorded for the Teldec label, including several albums for its monumental Bach 2000 series. Since 2003, he has been associated mostly with Naxos. In the 2010s, he has increasingly often recorded unusual Baroque keyboard repertory he has unearthed. These recordings have included Pierre Attaignant: Harpsichord Works in 2019, which were not pieces written by the music printer Attaignant himself, but rather arranged for publication by him.
Wilson is also noted as an engaging writer who has published several books, including The Art of Fugue: A Revisionist View and ... l'autre Couperin deffunt...