Peter Kooij

Oude Muziek Specialist Zang

Born to a singer and a cantor–organist/conductor in 1954, Peter Kooij was destined to sing. He joined a children’s choir as a boy soprano at the age of six. After initially enrolling at the Utrecht Conservatory to study violin, he later switched to voice. He studied with Max van Egmond at the Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam, where he earned a performance degree. 

An authority on Renaissance and Baroque music, Kooij is in high demand as a baritone all over the world. He has worked with such conductors as Philippe Herreweghe, Ton Koopman, Frans Brüggen, Gustav Leonhardt and René Jacobs. Kooij has recorded the complete cantatas, Passions and other important vocal works by Bach with Masaaki Suzuki and the Bach Collegium Japan.

From 1991 to 2000, he taught at the Sweelinck Conservatory, and from 1995 to 1998 at the Musikhochschule in Hanover. Kooij has taught at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague since 2006 and has been a guest lecturer at the Tokyo University of Fine Arts and Music since 2000. He accepted a teaching post at the Bremen University of the Arts in 2013. Kooij regularly gives masterclasses in Germany, Japan, Finland, France, Portugal, Belgium and Spain, among other countries. As a teacher, he places particular emphasis on textual interpretation.

Kooij will appear with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in a performance of J.S. Bach’s St Matthew Passion conducted by Philippe Herreweghe.