Wednesday, August 13, 2014
Frans Bruggen (1934-2014)
[Watercolor by Norman Perryman]
I remember one Christmas Eve when I was a very young teenager (I was babysitting) quite vividly, because I turned on the television to find this lively Dutchman playing solo recorder music on WGBH, a station that would later become a PBS station.
I got to meet Frans Bruggen backstage after he played a recital in New York in 1980, and hoped that I would get a chance, some day, to learn to play the recorder well and possibly study with him. I never made it to the Netherlands, but I did become a recorder player.
We all owe so much to Frans Bruggen. He is responsible for a huge chunk of the mid-20th-Century revival of Baroque and Renaissance music, and inspired (mostly through his students) a lot of 20th and 21st repertoire for the instrument.