National Centre for Early Music

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Wieland Kuijken

Wieland Kuijken is widely regarded as one of the most influential pioneers in the twentieth century revival of the viola da gamba and early cello. No stranger to international competitions, he has been a jury member in Bruges, Utrecht, Paris, Boston, Amsterdam and Leipzig.
Born to a musical family near Brussels, he began studies on the cello at the Conservatory at Bruges in 1952. He then attended the Brussels Conservatory, winning the Prix d'Excellence in 1962. His musical activities as a student in Brussels were varied and included performance with the contemporary music ensemble Musiques Nouvelles. At the same time, he began to teach himself the viola da gamba, and from 1959 to 1972, he performed with the Alarius Ensemble, an ensemble devoted to performances of French Baroque music. Soon thereafter, the name "Kuijken" became synonymous with stylistically accurate performances of Baroque music thanks to his ensemble La Petite Bande and concerts with his brothers Sigiswald (violin) and Barthold (flute) in the Kuijken Quartet.
Specialising in the bass viol, Wieland Kuijken has performed and recorded a large repertoire as both a continuo player and soloist. He has taught at the conservatories of Antwerp, Brussels, and the Hague, and has been a featured performer at festivals of early music such as Flanders, Saintes, and the English Bach Festival. Aside from his brothers, notable collaborators have included Alfred Deller, Frans Br├╝ggen, Jordi Savall, and Gustav Leonhardt.