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Glen Wilson (Harpsichord, Piano, Organ)

Born: March 29, 1952 - Greenville, Illinois USA

The American harpsichordist, pianist and conductor, Glen Wilson, studied at the North Carolina School of the Arts with John Mueller and the Juilliard School with Albert Fuller, before moving to holland, where he studied with Gustav Leonhardt from 1971 to 1975. Shortly before taking his Soloist’s Diploma he was engaged as harpsichordist of the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra, resigning in 1982 in order to devote himself to a growing career as a soloist, in chamber music, and as a teacher at the Utrecht Conservatory and in international master-classes. In 1988 he accepted a professorship at Germany’s oldest conservatory, the Musikhochschule Würzburg, and moved to Bavaria.

On harpsichord, fortepiano, clavichord and organ Glen Wilson has performed in over 30 countries. In 1980 he became the only person in the history of the Bruges International Competition to sweep all three categories. As duo-partner he has performed with Gustav Leonhardt, Emma Kirkby, René Jacobs, Alice Harnoncourt, Max van Egmond, Wieland Kuyken, Michael Chance, Carolyn Watkinson, Peter Kooy, and in recent years with the Dutch gamba virtuoso Mieneke van der Velden, with whom he made two much-admired CD's for Channel Classics. He was a member of Quadro Hotteterre and founder of the Amsterdam Fortepiano Trio with Lucy van Dael and Wouter Möller.

For Netherlands World Radio Glen Wilson produced “Excursions in Early Music”, 65 programs broadcast in America, Canada, and Australia. He was continuo-player in large-scale recording projects with the Leonhardt Consort, Concentus Musicus Wien, La Petite Bande, and the Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, and was harpsichordist of choice with the Netherlands Opera for 20 years, where he was Nikolaus Harnoncourt’s assistant in the cycle of Mozart / da Ponte operas, later recorded for Teldec.

Besides many recordings of chamber music and songs, Glen Wilson recorded 7 solo-CD's for Teldec’s “Das Alte Werk”, including a highly-acclaimed Well-Tempered Clavier re-issued as part of the BACH 2000 complete edition. The complete recording of Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck’s works for keyboard (MGN Classics) in which he participated with 14 Dutch colleagues was awarded an Edison in 2003. Wilson edited the Préludes non mesurés of Louis Couperin with a CD for Breitkopf & Härtel; the volume won the 2004 German Music Publishers’ Prize for best scholarly edition. His first solo recording for Naxos consisted of 24 pieces by this 17th-century French master; it became the top selection of the Penguin CD Guide, and was followed in 2005 by a selection of Dietrich Buxtehude’s harpsichord works which was similarly honored. The complete works of Gaspard le Roux for 1 and 2 harpsichords (with Naoko Akutagawa) and the German songs of Joseph Martin Kraus with Wilson on fortepiano were issued in 2006, and Arcangelo Corelli violin sonatas (with Francois Fernandez) and harpsichord works by Elias Nicolaus Ammerbach are due for release in the near future. He has also participated in major recordings of the orchestras of Frans Brüggen, Gustav Leonhardt, and Nikolaus Harnoncourt.

Glen Wilson made his debut as conductor with the Netherlands Opera’s production of his edition of Monteverdi’s Il Ritorno di Ulisse in Patria in 1990. This production, with Anthony Rolfe-Johnson in the title role, received over 50 performances in Amsterdam, New York (where The New Yorker acclaimed it as “by far” the outstanding operatic event of the season), Los Angeles and Sydney (where it was called “the operatic experience of a lifetime”), remains the most widely-travelled show in the company’s history, and will be revived in 2007. BBC Opus Arte recently issued a DVD of the film made by Dutch television. His edition of L’Incoronazione di Poppea premiered in Würzburg in 2003, with Wilson acting as conductor, designer, and stage director.

Source: Naxos Website; The Artist (January 2007)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (October 2006); Glen Wilson (January 2007)

Glen Wilson: Short Biography | Recordings of Instrumental Works
Reviews of Instrumental Recordings:
A Terrific Trio of Bach’s Well Tempered Clavier

Recordings of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works




Frans Brüggen


Member of Orchestra of the 18th Century:
V-1 (1989):
BWV 232 [1st]

Gustav Leonhardt


Memberr of Leonhardt-Consort:
Cantatas Vol. 5: CD-5: CD-4:
BWV 91

Links to other Sites

Glen Wilson - harpsichordist, conductor (Official Website)

Prof. Glen Wilson - Hochschule für Musik Würzburg [German]
Wilson, Glen (Naxos)

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