Menno van Delft
Menno van Delft, born 1963 in Amsterdam, studied harpsichord, organ and musicology at the Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam, the Royal Conservatory in The Hague and the University of Utrecht. Amongst his professors were Gustav Leonhardt, Bob van Asperen, Piet Kee, Jacques van Oortmerssen and Willem Elders. During his studies Menno van Delft sang Gregorian chant in de ‘Schola Cantorum Amsterdam’ under the inspiring and formative leadership of Wim van Gerven.
In 1988 Menno van Delft was a finalist at the C.Ph.E. Bach Competition in Hamburg and won the clavichord prize. Subsequently he made his debut at the Holland Festival Early Music Utrecht. He has given concerts and master classes throughout Europe and the U.S.A. and made numerous recordings for radio and television. He has been a guest at several Bachfeste of the Neue Bachgesellschaft.
As a continuo player and soloist Menno van Delft performs with Marion Verbruggen, Jaap ter Linden, Pieter Wispelwey, Bart Schneemann, Lucia Swarts and Jacques Zoon and with the Nederlandse Opera, Al Ayre Español, the Nederlands Blazersensemble, Cantus Cölln, the Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest, the Nederlands Kamerkoor and the Nederlandse Bachvereniging. He has recorded for labels such as Globe, Deutsche Harmonia Mundi, Chandos, Channel Classics, Capriccio, EMI and Decca.
For Globe he recorded J.S. Bach’s six violin sonatas with Johannes Leertouwer and the Musical Offering with the Schönbrunn Ensemble (Marten Root, Johannes Leertouwer and Viola de Hoog). He also recorded J.S. Bach’s Kunst der Fuge and Keyboard Toccatas and took part in a CD project with the complete keyboard works of Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck, which received a 2003 Edison and the Deutsche Schallplatten Kritik Preis . In 2004 the first of a series of recordings on important historical clavichords was released by Teknon, of sonatas and variations by J.G. Müthel, recorded on the 1763 J.A. Hass clavichord from the Russell Collection in Edinburgh.
In 1992 Menno van Delft founded ‘Das Zimmermannsche Caffee’, an ensemble that focuses on orchestral and chamber music from the Rococo period. With his vocal ensemble ‘Jan van Ruusbroec’ Menno van Delft performs late renaissance music of composers like William Byrd, Peter Philips and Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck. He is a founding member and soloist of the New Dutch Academy.
Besides performing, Menno van Delft regularly lectures and publishes on topics such as early keyboard repertoire, performance practice, playing techniques and tuning & temperament. Together with Siebe Henstra he forms the clavichord duo Der Prallende Doppelschlag and with Stefano Demicheli the harpsichord duo La Bassa Fiamenga. He teaches harpsichord, clavichord, basso continuo and ensemble playing at the conservatory of his home town Amsterdam and at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hamburg. He regularly lectures and publishes on topics such as early keyboard repertoire, playing techniques, performing practice and tuning & temperament.
Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck and English contemporaries