Sigiswald Kuijken

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Sigiswald Kuijken (Dutch: [ˌsiɣɪsʋɑlt ˈkœykən]; born 16 February 1944) is a Belgian violinist, violist, and conductor known for playing on authentic instruments.

Biography[edit]

Sigiswald Kuijken with a viola da spalla, 2008

Kuijken was born in Dilbeek, near Brussels. He was a member of the Alarius Ensemble of Brussels between 1964 and 1972 and formed La Petite Bande in 1972. Since 1971 he has taught Baroque violin at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague and the Koninklijk Muziekconservatorium in Brussels. He is noted for using the older technique of resting the violin on the shoulder without a shoulder rest, rather than held under the chin. He is a member of the Kuijken String Quartet, which he formed in 1986. In recent years, he has also performed as conductor of symphonies of the Romantic era.

His brothers are also known for historically informed performance: Barthold Kuijken is a flautist and recorder player and Wieland Kuijken, also a member of the Kuijken Quartet, is a cellist and gambist. They have all worked extensively with harpsichordist Gustav Leonhardt.

On 2 February 2007, he was awarded the degree of Doctor Honoris Causa by the Catholic University of Leuven (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium).

Cantatas of J. S. Bach[edit]

Based on the results of extensive source research by Joshua Rifkin and Andrew Parrott on the authentic performance of Bach's masses, cantatas and passions, Sigiswald Kuijken has also introduced important innovations in the performance of the (religious) vocal music of Bach. He limits the vocal part to a solo vocal quartet (which Bach himself sometimes extended to eight singers) instead of a choir. He also has reduced the number of instrumentalists according to the original personnel. This allows for the fine musical texture and the correct text declamation to come better into its own. Sigiswald Kuijken is adopting this new approach in his recording for Accent Records of a 17-part CD series entitled Cantatas of JS Bach (being recorded over the period of 2005-2012).

External links[edit]