August 13, 2014

Conductor and Baroque flautist Frans Brüggen has died

The Dutch early music pioneer passed away today, a few months shy of his 80th birthday.

Dutch recorder virtuoso and conductor Frans Brüggen has passed away today. He had been planning to celebrate his 80th birthday in October with the Orchestra of the 18th Century, the period-instrument ensemble he co-founded in 1981 at the forefront of the early music revival.

Born in Amsterdam, Brüggen was appointed professor at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague at just 21 years old. He became the world's most famous recorder virtuoso, as well as a fine conductor specialising in 18th-century music, leading the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and The Royal Concertgebouw, among others.

His extensive discography includes Telemann's Tafelmusik with Concerto Amsterdam, and music by Bach, Handel and Vivaldi for the Das Alte Werk imprint.

Luciano Berio described him as "a musician who is not an archeologist but a great artist". The Orchestra of the 18th Century announced Brüggen's passing on their website today.