Ton Koopman studied organ, harpsichord and musicology in Amsterdam. Because of his remarkable accomplishment as an organist and harpsichordist, he was awarded the Prix d’excellence for both instruments.
As a result of his fascination with historical instruments and the philological performance style, he concentrated on Baroque music as a student, with a special focus on Johann Sebastian Bach, becoming a leading figure in the early music movement.
Koopman founded the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra in 1979, followed by the Amsterdam Baroque Choir in 1992. Combined as the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra & Choir, the ensemble soon gained international fame as a leading period instrument ensemble.
From 1994 to 2004, Koopman undertook a mammoth project with his choir and orchestra, performing and recording all extant cantatas by J.S. Bach. This unique project won him various awards, including an ECHO Klassik. In 2004, Koopman was the very first recipient of the Classical Music Prize of the Association of Dutch Theatres and Concert Hall Management Boards (VSCD).
In addition to solo performances and work with his own ensembles, Koopman makes frequent guest appearances leading the world’s very best orchestras. He first conducted the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in 1991, and has returned several times since. He last led the orchestra on a Robeco Summer Concert and tour in 2010 in a programme featuring music by Bach, Mozart and Haydn with pianist and fortepianist Kristian Bezuidenhout as soloist.