The Belgian harpsichordist, Robert Kohnen, studied organ at the Lemmens Institute, Malines, and the Brussels Conservatory. As a harpsichordist, he is self-taught.
Robert Kohnen was one of the founders of the Alarius Ensemble in 1954, and played an important part in the evolution of the unique approach to baroque literature of this group, and subsequently of the Kuijken Quartet - an approach which has brought them world renown. With them and also as a soloist he has given many recitals throughout Europe, in Japan, Israel and North America. From 1960 to 1971 he was a member of the Brussels-based "Ensemble Musiques Nouvelles", specialising in the performance of avant-garde music, together with the Kuijken brothers. In 1980, he toured the USA and Canada as a representative of the Belgian Government in honour of the 150th anniversary of Belgian independence.
In 1997 Robert Kohnen retired as harpsichord professor at the Royal Conservatory in Brussels, but continues teaching at numerous international master-classes.
As a continuo player Robert Kohnen has made numerous recordings with other leading baroque specialists (Barthold, Sigiswald and Wieland Kuijken; Paul Dombrecht, Danny Bond, René Jacobs etc.). His solo recordings include compositions by J.S. Bach, Johann Joseph Fux, François Couperin, J.Ph. Rameau, J. Haydn.