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Gustav Leonhardt

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Gustav Leonhardt (30 May 1928, ‘s-Graveland – 16 January 2012, Amsterdam) was a renowned Dutch keyboard player, conductor, musicologist, teacher and editor. Leonhardt was a leading figure in the movement to perform music on period instruments. He professionally played many instruments, including the harpsichord, pipe organ, claviorganum (a combination of harpsichord and organ), clavichord and fortepiano. He also conducted orchestras and choruses.

He was born in ‘s-Graveland, North Holland and studied organ and harpsichord from 1947 to 1950 with Eduard Müller at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis in Basel. In 1950, he made his debut as a harpsichordist in Vienna, where he studied musicology. He was professor of harpsichord at the Academy of Music from 1952 to 1955 and at the Amsterdam Conservatory from 1954. He was also a church organist.

Leonhardt performed and conducted a variety of solo, chamber, orchestral, operatic, and choral music from the Renaissance, Baroque and Classical periods. Among the dozens of composers whose music he recorded as a harpsichordist, organist, clavichordist, fortepianist, chamber musician or conductor were Johann Sebastian Bach, Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, Wilhelm Friedemann Bach, Heinrich Biber, John Blow, Georg Böhm, William Byrd, André Campra, François Couperin, Louis Couperin, John Dowland, Jacques Duphly, Antoine Forqueray, Girolamo Frescobaldi, Johann Jakob Froberger, Orlando Gibbons

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