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René Jacobs

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René Jacobs (Born: October 30, 1946, Ghent) is a Belgian (Flemish) musician. He came to fame as a countertenor but in recent years has become renowned as a conductor of Baroque and early Classical opera. His recordings have won numerous awards, including the Grammy Award for “Best Opera”, Gramophone ‘s “Record of the Year”, and numerous European awards.

Jacobs began his musical career as a boy chorister at the Cathedral of Ghent. Later he studied classical philology at the University of Ghent while continuing to sing in Brussels and in The Hague.
The Kuijken brothers, Gustav Leonhardt and Alfred Deller encouraged him to pursue a career as a countertenor, and he quickly became known as one of the best of his time. He recorded a large amount of less-known Baroque music by such composers as Antonio Cesti, d’India, Ferrari, Marenzio, Lambert, Guédron and others. He also sang in much-acclaimed recordings of the major works of Bach (such as the St. Matthew Passion led by Leonhardt and Herreweghe).
More recently, as a conductor, Jacobs has recorded numerous operas and sacred and secular works of the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. His recording of Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro is especially renowned, having won such awards as Gramophone’s Record of the Year for 2004, “Le Monde de la Musique“‘s Choc of the Year for 2004, a Grammy Award for “Best Opera recording of 2005”, and two MIDEM Classical Awards in 2004.

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