The Dutch bass-baritone, Donald Bentvelsen, discovered singing when he was in college at the Rijksuniversiteit Leiden, where he got a degree in English language and literature in 1988. In Leiden he joined the Leiden English Choir, and, later on, discovered contemporary music when he joined the Nederlands Studenten Kamerkoor. Between 1988 and 1994 he studied classical singing with Margreet Honig at the Sweelinck Conservatorium in Amsterdam. During this time he participated in master-classes by Bernard Kruysen and Udo Reinemann.
Donald Bentvelsen sang the following opera roles: Stuurman (De Schipbreuk/Wagenaar), Parmenione (líOccasione fa il Ladro/Rossini), William Shakespeare (William/Bart Visman), Bruin de Beer (Reynaert de Vos/Ruud Bos), Graaf Almaviva (Le Nozze di Figaro/Mozart), and recited the speaking parts from Arthur Honeggerís Le Roi David. In the year 2000 he made his debut with the Royal Concertgebouworchestra, then led by Riccardo Chailly, singing a part in Pucciniís Gianni Schicchi.
As a soloist Donald Bentvelsen sang in many oratorio-concerts in The Netherlands and other parts of Europe, and was fortunate to work with the following fine conductors: Ton Koopman, Philippe Herreweghe, Hans van den Hombergh, Jos van Veldhoven and Paul McCreesh.
As for ensemble music, Donald Bentvelsen was invited by the following groups: Huelgas Ensemble, led by Paul van Nevel (where he participated in a recording of Cypriano De Roreís music- Harmonia Mundi), Ensemble Tragicomedia (Stephen Stubbs),The Amsterdam Baroque Soloists (Ton Koopman), Ensemble Alte Musik Dresden (Norbert Schuster), Capella Figuralis (Jos van Veldhoven), Trinity Baroque (Julian Podger), Capilla Flamenca (Bart Vandewege) and Capella Palestrina (Maarten Michielsen). He has been a member from the start of Ton Koopmanís Amsterdam Baroque Choir, and has been regularly invited as a free-lance singer with Collegium Vocale Gent, the Dutch Radio Chorus, The German Chamber Choir, the Nederlandse Bachvereniging (Dutch Bach Society), and the Nederlands Kamerkoor (NetherlandsíChamber Choir).
In 1995 Donald Bentvelsen founded a male vocal quartet, the now renowned Egidius Kwartet. This groupís main focus is on the franco-flemish polyphony of the sixteenth century, but they also perform contemporary music, and even recorded a Schubert programme. In these 10 years they released nine albums and numerous other publications, and received high acclaim for their innovative programmes and performances. The group consider it a great honour to have been granted the official Dutch state subsidy as of January 2005.
Donald Bentvelsen can be heard on the following recordings released by Erato: Bach's Cantatas BWV 150 and BWV 201 and Purcellís The Fairy Queen, all with the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra led by Ton Koopman. A recording of Buxtehude's Tag des jüngsten Gerichts will be released in 2006. He participated in all the recordings of the Egidius Kwartet. He had a solo share in the following recordings as well: Cipriano de Rore, Missa Praeter rerum seriem/Madrigaux et motets (Harmonia Mundi), with the Huelgas Ensemble, led by Paul van Nevel; Siehe, meine Freundin, du bist schön, Music based on texts from the Song of Songs, (Raumklang) with the Ensemble Alte Musik Dresden led by Norbert Schuster; Giacomo Puccini, Il Trittico/Gianni Schicchi (RCO) with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, led by Riccardo Chailly.