Keyboards • Recorder
• Born 1966
Often appears with
Pieter-Jan Belder is an accomplished multi-instrument performer and conductor. He plays harpsichord, fortepiano, organ, clavichord, and recorder, but is best known for his work at the harpsichord and more specifically for his performances of J.S. Bach's and Domenico Scarlatti's keyboard works. Belder is equally prominent as a conductor: since 1993 he has served as music director of the popular period-instrument ensemble Musica Amphion, which he usually conducts from the keyboard. Belder's repertory, both as performer and conductor, focuses almost exclusively on music from the Baroque and early Classical period, with the names Handel, Corelli, Frescobaldi, Purcell, Telemann, Sweelinck, and Mozart regularly appearing on his programs and recordings. He has also devoted attention to largely forgotten composers from those periods, such as Elias Bronnenmüller, Johann Christian Schickhardt, Dario Castello, and many others. Since 2006 Belder has been involved in two massive recording projects for the Brilliant Classics label: he has made over a dozen discs each of Bach keyboard works and of the complete sonatas of Domenico Scarlatti. Belder has also recorded for Globe and PentaTone.
Pieter-Jan Belder was born in Holland in 1966. He studied the recorder at the Royal Conservatory of the Hague with Ricardo Kanji. He then enrolled at the Amsterdam Sweelinck Conservatory where he studied harpsichord with Bob van Asperen. Following his 1990 graduation, he joined the faculty at the Sweelinck Conservatory.
In 1993 Belder formed the chamber group Musica Amphion and thereafter split his time between activities with that ensemble and keyboard solo and chamber appearances. Meanwhile, Belder captured third prize at the 1997 Hamburg NDR Harpsichord Competition, and three years later he won the Leipzig Bach Harpsichord Competition.
Belder was regularly performing throughout Europe now, including at music festivals such as the Leipzig Bach Festival, Festival de Musica Antiga in Barcelona, Sacharov Festival in Nizhny Novgorod, and many others. He was also making regular appearances on both Dutch and German radio and television broadcasts.
Belder quickly became a major presence on the recording scene, too, both with Musica Amphion and as a harpsichordist. In 2005 Brilliant Classics released the Belder/Musica Amphion 10-CD set of Corelli's complete works, and the following year Belder launched the J.S. Bach and Scarlatti keyboard projects for the same label. Among his later recordings is the 2009 Brilliant Classics four-CD set of Books 1 & 2 of Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier.