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.

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