Background Information
Performer Bios

Poet/Composer Bios

Additional Information

Biographies of Performers: Main Page | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z
Explanation | Acronyms | Missing Biographies | The Sad Corner

Anner Bylsma (Cello)

Born: February 17, 1934 - The Hague, the Netherlands

The Dutch cellist, Anner Bylsma [Bijlsma], received his first lessons were from a parent, in this case his father, also a multi-talented musician. At the age of 16, he enrolled at the Royal Conservatory, The Hague, to study with Carel van Leeuwen Boomkamp, principal cellist with the Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam. It was Boomkamp who introduced Bylsma to the Baroque cello. Bylsma won the school's Prix d'excellence in 1957, and after becoming the Netherlands Opera Orchestra's principal cellist, he won first prize in the Casals Competition in Mexico in 1959.

Playing with impeccable technique and a beautiful, unadulterated tone, Anner Bylsma is acknowledged as a master cellist, comfortable in a wide range of music on both both modern cello, and period instrument cello in an historically informed Baroque style. As his father, he himself was principal cellist of the Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam for six years (from 1962 to 1968). He left the orchestra to devote his performing career to solo and chamber ensemble touring. He is one of the pioneers of the 'Dutch Baroque School' and rose to fame as a partner of period flutist Frans Brüggen, harpsichordist Gustav Leonhardt, who toured extensively together and made many recordings. In the 1990ís-2000ís keyboardists Malcolm Bilson and Jos van Immerseel. He continues to be a towering figure in the Baroque cello movement. Bylsma was also a co-founder of the string chamber ensemble L'Archibudelli. As a solo performer he plays regularly with such orchestras as the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Tafelmusik, Australian Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, the Freiburger Barockorchester, and the 20th century music ensemble Rondom Kwartet. His chamber music partners include violinists Lucy van Dael and Catherine Manson; flautist Frans Brüggen; harpsichordists Gustav Leonhardt and Bob van Asperen.

Anner Bylsma became an Erasmus Scholar at Harvard University in 1982. He is also a noted scholar and teacher and author of Bach - The Fencing Master, a stylistic and aesthetic analysis of the first three of J.S. Bach's Cello Suites. His playing is always based on what he finds in the composers' manuscripts. However, he quickly admits that his interpretation of a work is not and should not be the only one, which he also impresses on his students. Although he doesn't like to use the term "authentic," it is in keeping with period performance that he avoids the use of steel strings, and this is a major element of his tone. Both his 1695 Gofriller cello and his 1865 Pressenda are strung with gut or silver-wrapped gut. He also has a five-string "violoncello piccolo" that he has used to record J.S. Bach's solo works.

His recordings can be found on a variety of labels, covering a variety of works, from Antonio Vivaldi to Paul Hindemith. In 1979 Bijlsma recorded the Six Suites for unaccompanied cello (BWV 1007-1012) by J.S. Bach, the first of its kind on a period instrument. He also made a second recording of the same music in 1992 on the large Servais Stradivarius and on a five-string violoncello piccolo. Many of his recordings on Sony, both as a soloist and with L'Archibudelli, have won the Edison prize, the Diapason d'or, the Liszt prize, and the Vivaldi prize.

Anner Bylsma is married to Dutch violinist Vera Beths.

Source: Wikipedia Websiten (November 2012); All Music Guide (Author: Patsy Morita)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (November 2012)

Anner Bylsma: Short Biography | Recordings of Instrumental Works

Recordings of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works




Jürgen Jürgens


Member of Concerto Amsterdam:
L-2 (1966-1967)
BWV 27, BWV 118, BWV 158

Gustav Leonhardt

Cello, Violoncello piccolo

Member of Leonhardt-Consort:
Cantatas Vol. 1: CD-3:
BWV 7, BWV 8, BWV 9; CD-4: BWV 10, BWV 12; CD-5: BWV 13, BWV 14, BWV 16
Cantatas Vol. 2: CD-5:
BWV 32, BWV 33
BWV 56
Cantatas Vol. 5: CD-5: CD-4:
BWV 91, BWV 92
Cantatas Vol. 6: CD-3:
BWV 107
Cantatas Vol. 7: CD-3:
BWV 127; CD-4: BWV 128, BWV 129; CD-5: BWV 132, BWV 133; CD-6: BWV 134, BWV 135
Cantatas Vol. 9: CD-6:
BWV 180

Jaap Schröder


Member of Concerto Amsterdam:
L-2 (1967):
BWV 59
L-3 (1966):
BWV 51, BWV 202 [w/ soprano Agnes Giebel]
L-4 (1965/1969):
BWV 89, BWV 90, BWV 161

Links to other Sites

Anner Bylsma (Wikipedia)
Anner Bylsma - Biography (AMG)


Biographies of Performers: Main Page | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z
Explanation | Acronyms | Missing Biographies | The Sad Corner


Back to the Top

Last update: Monday, May 29, 2017 00:35