Royal award for musician Gustav Leonhardt

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Gustav Leonhardt, the renowned harpsichord player, organist and conductor, has been awarded the Medal of Honour for the Arts and Sciences.

THE HAGUE - Gustav Leonhardt, the renowned harpsichord player, organist and conductor, has been awarded the Medal of Honour for the Arts and Sciences. Queen Beatrix gave him the medal during a ceremony at her private residence, Huis ten Bosch, in The Hague. Leonhardt, 80, teaches the harpsichord at the Amsterdam Conservatory and is the organist of the capital's main church, the Nieuwe Kerk.

He is seen as one of the two main founders of the authentic performance practice, which uses instruments and techniques common at the time a performed piece was composed.

Along with the other father of the authentic school, the Austrian conductor Nicolaus Harnoncourt, he recorded the complete Bach cantatas. Together they received the prestigious Erasmus Prize in 1980.

Among music lovers he is revered for his painstaking historical research, the purity of his interpretations and his aristocratic phrasing and subtle timing. As a teacher of two new generations of musicians he is admired for encouraging them to carry out their own research and develop their own insights.

Radio Netherlands / Expatica

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