Gustav Leonhardt

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Gustav Leonhardt (2008)

Gustav Leonhardt (born May 30, 1928 in 's-Graveland , † January 16, 2012 in Amsterdam ) was a Dutch conductor , harpsichordist and organist .


Leonhardt grew up in a musical environment and at the age of 15 he began to find interest in a harpsichord in his parents' house, which was to determine his future life as well as his preoccupation with historical organs, which began to interest him at the same time. After graduating from high school in the Netherlands, he began studying organ and harpsichord with Eduard Müller at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis in 1947 , from which he graduated in 1950 with a soloist diploma cum laude .

Over the next few years he trained in conducting with Hans Swarowsky in Vienna, devoted himself to musicological studies and was appointed professor at the State Music Academy there, today's University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna . In 1954 he became professor for harpsichord at the Amsterdam Conservatory , where he taught until 1988, and was also organist at the Waalse Kerk there .

He founded the Leonhardt Consort in 1955 and became known as an interpreter of the works of Johann Sebastian Bach . Together with Nikolaus Harnoncourt , Leonhardt is considered to be one of the pioneers of historical performance practice . In 1969 he was appointed to a visiting professorship at Harvard University in the USA. Between 1971 and 1990, together with Harnoncourt, he realized the extensive project of recording all of J. S. Bach's church cantatas . From 1988 he also taught at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena .

In the film Chronik der Anna Magdalena Bach by Jean-Marie Straub (1967) he not only worked as an interpreter, but also as an actor in the role of Bach.

In December 2011 he announced his retirement from public concert life. His students included Bob van Asperen , Christopher Hogwood , Philippe Herreweghe , Richard Egarr , Alan Curtis , Ton Koopman , Davitt Moroney , Martin Pearlman , Christophe Rousset , Andreas Staier , Skip Sempé and Mahan Esfahani .

Gustav Leonhardt died on January 16, 2012 in Amsterdam. He was married to the violinist Marie Leonhardt-Amsler and a brother of the pianist Trudelies Leonhardt .


Web links

Commons : Gustav Leonhardt  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Gerhard R. Koch : On the death of Gustav Leonhardt - Handel was too baroque for him . Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung of January 18, 2012. Retrieved January 20, 2012
  2. ^ Lionel Salter: Gustav Leonhardt obituary. Harpsichordist at the heart of the early music movement. In: The Guardian . January 17, 2012 (English).;
  3. a b Martin ElsteLeonhardt, Gustav (Maria). In: Ludwig Finscher (Hrsg.): The music in past and present . Second edition, personal section, volume 10 (Kemp - Lert). Bärenreiter / Metzler, Kassel et al. 2003, ISBN 3-7618-1120-9  ( online edition , subscription required for full access)
  4. , conversation with Gustav Leonhardt (French).
  5. Reinhard Brembeck: The magician is very tired. The legendary harpsichordist Gustav Leonhardt never wants to play in public again. In: Süddeutsche Zeitung. December 15, 2011.
  6. James Jolly: Harpsichordist and conductor Gustav Leonhardt has died. In: Gramophone . January 17, 2012 (English).;