Sigiswald Kuijken

Category:muzikant, dirigent, solist, oude muziek
Dilbeek, 1944
Genre(s):barok, classicisme, romantiek
Instrument(s):barokviool, viool
Actual/previous member of:La Petite Bande, Kuijken Kwartet


Sigiswald Kuijken was born in 1944 close to Brussels. He studied violin at the conservatories of Bruges and Brussels, completing his studies at the latter institution with Maurice Raskin in 1964. He came into contact with early music at a very young age, together with his brother Wieland. Studying on his own, he gained a thorough knowledge of specific 17th- and 18th-century performance techniques and conventions of interpretation on violin and viola da gamba This led to the introduction, in 1969, of a more authentic way of playing the violin, whereby the instrument was no longer held under the chin, but lay freely on the shoulder; this was to have a crucial influence on the approach to the violin repertoire and was consequently adopted by many players starting in the early 1970s.

From 1964 to 1972, Sigiswald Kuijken was a member of the Brussels-based Alarius Ensemble (with Wieland Kuijken, Robert Kohnen and Janine Rubinlicht), which performed throughout Europe and in the United States. He subsequently undertook individual chamber music projects with a number of Baroque music specialists, chief among which were his brothers Wieland and Barthold and Robert Kohnen, as well as Gustav Leonhardt, , Frans Bruggen Anner Bylsma and René Jacobs.

In 1972, with the encouragement of Deutsche Harmonia Mundi and Gustav Leonhardt, he founded the Baroque orchestra La Petite Bande, which since then has given innumerable concerts throughout Europe, Australia, South America, China and Japan, and has made many recordings for a number of labels (including Deutsche Harmonia Mundi, Seon, Virgin, Accent, Denon, Hyperion, Challenge, ...).

In 1986 he founded the Kuijken String Quartet (with François Fernandez, Marleen Thiers and Wieland Kuijken), which specialises in the quartets and quintets (with Ryo Terakado as first violist) of the Classical period. Recordings of quartets and quintets by Mozart and Haydn have appeared on Denon.

Since 1998 Sigiswald Kuijken occasionally brings together two generations Kuijken (his daughters Veronica and Sara and his brother Wieland) to perform string quartets of later periods (Debussy, Schumann, Beethoven, Schubert) often combined with Lieder by Marie Kuijken, soprano and also daughter of Sigiswald, and Veronica Kuijken, piano. Recordings of the two generations have been made for Arcana and Challenge Records.

In 2004 Sigiswald Kuijken reintroduced in practical performance the Violoncello da spalla (shoulder cello, very probably the instrument Bach had in mind when writing his six cello solos): concerts and recordings of Bach, Vivaldi, ...

From 1971 to 1996, Sigiswald Kuijken taught Baroque violin at the Koninklijk Conservatorium in The Hague and from 1993 to 2009 at the Koninklijk Muziekconservatorium in Brussels. In addition, he has for many years been in demand as a guest teacher at a number of institutions (including the Royal College of Music in London, Salamanca University, the Accademia Chigiana in Siena, the Conservatoire of Geneva, the Musikhochschule of Leipzig).

Since 1998, Sigiswald Kuijken occasionally conducts "modern" symphonic orchestras in romantic programs ( Beethoven, Schumann, Brahms, Mendelssohn).

On 2 February 2007, Sigiswald Kuijken received an honorary doctorate of the K.U. Leuven.
He was granted in February 2009 the prestigious 'Life Achievement Award of the Flemish Government'.

In December 2015 he received the 'Golden medal from the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Sciences and Arts', and in January 2016 he received the 'Klara career prize' from Klara.

In 2018, Sigiswald was awarded a 'Lifetime Achievement Award' by Rema.

Selective discography

Haydn Joseph. Harmoniemesse - Te DeumHaydn Joseph. Harmoniemesse - Te Deum (2002)
Joseph Haydn, La Petite Bande, Sandra Piau, Sigiswald Kuijken, Monika Groop, Christoph Prégardien, Harry Van Der Kamp
Orfeo ed EuridiceOrfeo ed Euridice (2002)
René Jacobs, La Petite Bande, Christoph Willibald Von Gluck, Sigiswald Kuijken
Haydn Joseph. Cello concertos - Sinfonia concertanteHaydn Joseph. Cello concertos - Sinfonia concertante (2002)
Hidemi Suzuki, Joseph Haydn, Sigiswald Kuijken, Ryo Terakado, La Petite Bande
Remeau Jean-Philippe - Hippolyte & Aricie (suite d'orchestre)Remeau Jean-Philippe - Hippolyte & Aricie (suite d'orchestre) (2002)
early music
La Petite Bande, Jean-Philippe Rameau, Sigiswald Kuijken
Debussy Claude - La musique de chambreDebussy Claude - La musique de chambre (2000)
20th century
Sigiswald Kuijken, Veronica Kuijken, Sara Kuijken, Piet Kuijken, Sophie Hallynck, Wieland Kuijken, Barthold Kuijken, Claude Debussy (...)
Haydn JosephHaydn Joseph (2000)
La Petite Bande, Joseph Haydn, Sigiswald Kuijken
Les Maisons de PlaisanceLes Maisons de Plaisance (1999)
Wieland Kuijken, Sigiswald Kuijken, Joseph Bodin de Boismortier, Christoph Schaffrath, anoniem, Johannes Schenk
Vivaldi - The Four Seasons / Concertos for Oboe & StringsVivaldi - The Four Seasons / Concertos for Oboe & Strings (1998)
La Petite Bande, Antonio Vivaldi, Sigiswald Kuijken, Orkest van de Achttiende Eeuw, Frans Brüggen
Telemann Georg Philipp - Paris Quartets 1-12Telemann Georg Philipp - Paris Quartets 1-12 (1997)
Barthold Kuijken, Georg Philipp Telemann, Sigiswald Kuijken, Wieland Kuijken, Gustav Leonhardt
Mozart Wolfgang Amadeus - Don GiovanniMozart Wolfgang Amadeus - Don Giovanni (1997)
Werner van Mechelen, Sigiswald Kuijken, Huub Claessens, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Elena Vink, Markus Schäfer, Nancy Argenta, Nanco De Vries (...)

Author of

Sigiswald Kuijken - La gratitude
Sigiswald Kuijken - La gratitude
Musica Antiqua RevisitedMusica Antiqua Revisited (2010)
oude muziek
Björn Schmelzer, Sigiswald Kuijken
Op de JakobswegOp de Jakobsweg (2007)
Sigiswald Kuijken, Marleen Thiers

Selectieve discografie als medewerker

Heinrich Schütz - Resurrection of ChristHeinrich Schütz - Resurrection of Christ (2019)
La Petite Bande, Heinrich Schütz, Sigiswald Kuijken
van Beethoven Ludwig - Strijkkwartetten op. 59 en Strijkkwintet op. 29van Beethoven Ludwig - Strijkkwartetten op. 59 en Strijkkwintet op. 29 (2011)
Kuijken Kwartet, Marleen Thiers
A guide to period instrumentsA guide to period instruments (2010)
early music, Baroque, romanticism
Diverse uitvoerders
Bach Johann Sebastian - Das Musikalisches OpferBach Johann Sebastian - Das Musikalisches Opfer (2006)
Kuijken Kwartet, Johann Sebastian Bach
German Church Cantatas and AriasGerman Church Cantatas and Arias (1992)
René Jacobs, Het Kuijken Consort, Het Parnassus Ensemble
German Church Cantatas and AriasGerman Church Cantatas and Arias (1979)
René Jacobs, Het Kuijken Consort, Dietrich Buxtehude, Het Parnassus Ensemble, Johann Christian Bach, Georg Philipp Telemann
De Vlaamse Barok ten tijde van RubensDe Vlaamse Barok ten tijde van Rubens (1967)
Baroque, early music
Philippus Van Wichel, Alarius Ensemble, Vocaal kwartet van Brussel, Nicolaus a Kempis, Carolus Hacquart, Gaspar van Weerbeke, Pierre De la Rue, Antoine Brumel (...)

Related Items

News:Klara's 2015 uitgereikt (01.02.2016)
Sigiswald Kuijken wint prijs algemene culturele verdienste (03.02.2009)
Press Clips:
(Wat is dit?)
Haydn - Die Tageszeiten (03.2013)
Bach - Wie Schön Leuchtet Der Morgenstern (08.2008)
Notable cantatas from Herreweghe and Kuijken, the latter often revelatory (08.2008)
Haydn - Harpsichord concertos in F and G. Divertimento in F. (06.2008)
Old Europe resounds in the French countryside (10.2007)
Sigiswald Kuijken (05.2005)
Kuijken and La Petite Bande (01.2004)
Documents:Musica Antiqua Revisited (brochure)
La Petite Bande (book)
External links:Sigiswald Kuijken op Spotify