Brüggen studied recorder and flute at the Amsterdam Muzieklyceum. He also studied musicology at the University of Amsterdam. In 1955, at the age of 21, he was appointed professor at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague. Brüggen has been a visiting professor at Harvard University and the University of California, Berkeley.
In addition to his career as a soloist in the baroque repertoire, Brüggen co-founded the Orchestra of the 18th Century (Orkest van de Achttiende Eeuw) in 1981, along with Sieuwert Verster. He has conducted many leading European orchestras, including the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. He was the conductor of the Radio Kamerorkest from 1991 to 1994, and joint chief conductor of the orchestra, alongside Peter Eötvös, from 2001 until the dissolution of the orchestra in 2005. He is one of the Emeritus Conductors of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. At present, he is the chief conductor of the Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century.
His recordings include, as a flautist, selections from the Pièces de Clavecin en Concerts of Jean-Philippe Rameau, and as a conductor, symphonies of Beethoven, Joseph Haydn and Franz Schubert.
Brüggen is the uncle of recorder soloist and Amsterdam Loeki Stardust Quartet member, Daniël Brüggen.
Honours and awards 
- The Honorary medal for Arts and Science of the Order of the House of Orange (22 September 2010)
- Knight of the Order of the Netherlands Lion (28 April 2003)
Personal life 
Brüggen is married to art historian Machtelt Israëls, with whom he has two daughters, Zephyr and Eos.
- Daniel J. Wakin (2008-06-30). "In Italy, 'Eroica' Energizes a Frail Fixture of Period Music". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-08-22.
- Bernard Holland (2000-04-07). "Paying Court to a Wry Master of the French Baroque". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-08-22.
- John Rockwell (1993-01-31). "Beethoven, as He Passed Down Through the Centuries". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-08-22.
- John Rockwell (1994-04-17). "Contrasting Temperaments Battle in Haydn Warhorses". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-08-22.
- Uitreiking Eremedaille in de Huisorde van Oranje, 22 september 2010 - Official website of the Dutch Royal House
- De lintjesregen 2003 - Official website of the city Amsterdam
- Machtelt Israëls, ed. (2009). "Introduction". Sassetta: the Borgo San Sepolcro altarpiece. Volume 1. Primavera Press, Leiden. p. 19. ISBN 978-0-674-03523-2.
Further reading 
- Thomson, J. M. 2001. "Brüggen [Brueggen], Frans". The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, second edition, edited by Stanley Sadie and John Tyrrell. London: Macmillan Publishers.
- Bach-cantatas.com: Frans Brüggen
- Website of the Recorder Home Page: Frans Brüggen
- SonyBMG Masterworks: Discography