The Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra & Choir (= ABO&C), founded in 1979 by Ton Koopman, are a group of musicians from all over the world, with a particular passion for the Baroque. About seven times a year they get together to perform live and make CD-recordings under the inspired direction of Ton Koopman.
For the musicians each concert is a new experience. Koopman's boundless energy and enthusiasm are a sure guarantee of a lively performance with many surprises, again and again. Live performances take the orchestra to the great concert halls, for example The Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), Barbican Centre (London), Konzerthaus (Vienna), Lincoln Center (New York) and Tokyo Metropolitan Art Space (Tokyo).
The Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra has been recording for the French label ERATO, a subsidiary of the Time Warner media group, for fifteen years. And not without success. Among the accolades the orchestra has received are the Gramophone Award, Diapason d'Or, "10-Repertoire", "Stern des Monats-Fono Forum", "Must-Compact Discipline Magazine", "4 Clés Télérama", "10 in Luister", the Prix Hector Berlioz, two Edison Awards and the Deutsche Schallplattenpreis.
In 1992 the Amsterdam Baroque Choir was founded. The choir consists mainly of young Dutch professional singers. The choir made its debut in 1992 during the Holland Festival of Early Music in Utrecht, where the programme consisted of the Requiem (for 15 voices) and Vespers (for 32 voices) by H.I.F. Biber. For both works this was the world premiere. The recording of these works won the Cannes Classical Award for the best performance of 17th/18th century choral music.
In November 1994 Ton Koopman and his ABO&C embarked upon what the Guardian called "the recording project of the nineties". For the first time the complete Bach cantatas, both sacred and secular, are being recorded and performed in concert as well.
The concerts take place in Amsterdam, The Hague, Rotterdam and Utrecht. Radiorecordings of the concerts are being made by AVRO and EO radio. The broadcasts include comprehensive background information. March and April 1997 Dutch TV broadcast a series of six documentaries dedicated to the project. Meanwhile 13 CD-boxes are already released. For the first 4 CD-boxes Ton Koopman and The ABO&C have received the "Deutsche Schallplattenpreis Echo Klassik 1997" in Germany, an award for the excellent recording of the cantatas. The project also encompasses 3 books about the cantatas edited by Christoph Wolff and Ton Koopman. Of these 3 books, the first has already been translated in English and Italian, the second is soon to follow.
By the time the 250th anniversary of J.S. Bach's death is commemorated in the year 2000, Ton Koopman recorded almost eighty per cent of Bach's total output. In October 2003 he finished recorded all the Bach Cantatas.