Alan Curtis

Biography

Born: November 17, 1934; Mason, MI  
Equally known for his live performances and musicological work in establishing new performing practices for early opera, Alan Curtis has enjoyed a fruitful career. A scholar, as well as a conductor and harpsichordist, Curtis has edited several important works with an appreciation for authenticity, effective performance, and -- in the case of opera -- stage-worthiness. Several of his best recordings were issued in the 1990s and in the new Read more millennium. Curtis studied first at Michigan State University and attained his bachelor's degree there in 1955. His graduate study at the University of Illinois was interrupted after the completion of his master's program by two years of study with Gustav Leonhardt in Amsterdam. Following his work with the master harpsichordist, organist, and conductor, Curtis returned to the University of Illinois to complete his doctorate, awarded in 1963. By this time, he had already published several scholarly texts that had attracted the interest of the growing period performance movement. His doctoral thesis on Sweelinck quickly became a standard text on that composer's works for keyboard and later formed the basis for Curtis' more extended volume, published in 1969. At the University of California at Berkeley, Curtis was hired as a teacher in 1960, thereafter advancing to full professor by 1970. During that decade, Curtis took advantage of increasing opportunities to put into practice the results of his research; he achieved a reputation as an accomplished harpsichordist and, increasingly, as a conductor of seventeenth and eighteenth century opera. A recording of Monteverdi's L'Incoronazione di Poppea was heralded as an antidote to less authentic realizations. Equally, it demonstrated just how vital period performance could be when shorn of Romantic-period excesses. While continuing his instructional work and music research in academia, Curtis performed as a conductor and harpsichordist both in America and Europe. A 1980 La Scala debut conducting Handel's Ariodante led to other significant engagements in Italy. In 1984, Curtis conducted Gluck's Armida, then not often heard, in Bologna, and in 1989, he led Cimarosa's even rarer Gli Orazi ed I Curiazi in Rome. In the aftermath, Curtis founded the ensemble Il Complesso Barocco and has recorded many operas with the group. Read less
Browse 1-23 of 23 Available Recordings
  • 1.
    The CPE Bach Collection [13-CD Set]
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 463492 Release Date: 03/11/2014   Number of Discs: 13
    Composer:  Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach
    Performer:  Anner Bylsma,  Bob van Asperen,  Herbert Tachezi,  Hillevi Martinpelto  ... 
    Conductor:  Gustav Leonhardt,  Bob van Asperen,  Philippe Herreweghe,  Ton Koopman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment,  Melante Amsterdam,  Ghent Collegium Vocale  ... 
    CD: $48.99
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  • 2.
    C.p.e. Bach Edition
    Label: Dhm Deutsche Harmonia Mundi   Catalog: 1078584 Release Date: 02/04/2014   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach
    Performer:  Andreas Staier,  Les Adieux,  Jos van Immerseel,  Eric Lynn Kelley  ... 
    Conductor:  Thomas Hengelbrock,  Franzjosef Maier,  Sigiswald Kuijken
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Adieux,  Collegium Aureum,  Ensemble Parlando
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  • 3.
    Das Alte Werk - 50 CD Collection
    Label: Teldec   Catalog: 46438 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  George Frideric Handel,  Orlando Gibbons  ... 
    Performer:  Herbert Tachezi,  Gustav Leonhardt,  Frans Brüggen,  Jeannette Van Wingerden  ... 
    Conductor:  Nikolaus Harnoncourt,  Gustav Leonhardt,  Werner Ehrhardt,  Giovanni Antonini  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Concentus Musicus,  Leonhardt Consort,  Studio for Early Music  ... 
    On sale! $299.98
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  • 4.
    Steffani: Duetti Da Camera / Mazzucato, Watkinson, Esswood, Elwes, Curtis
    Label: Archiv Produktion (Dg)   Catalog: 001780502 Release Date: 12/11/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Agostino Steffani
    Performer:  Alan Curtis,  John Elwes,  Paul Esswood,  Carolyn Watkinson  ... 
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  • 5.
    The Complete Bach Edition
    Label: Teldec   Catalog: 664202 Release Date: 03/27/2012   Number of Discs: 154
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Max van Egmond,  Kurt Equiluz,  Paul Esswood,  Walter Gampert  ... 
    Conductor:  Nikolaus Harnoncourt,  Gustav Leonhardt,  Ton Koopman,  Jaap Schröder  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Concentus Musicus,  Chorus Viennensis,  Vienna Boys' Choir  ... 
    CD: $398.99
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  • 6.
    The Bach Experience
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 80821 Release Date: 02/22/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Angela Maria Blasi,  Marie-Claire Alain,  Alan Curtis,  Ton Koopman  ... 
    Conductor:  Nikolaus Harnoncourt,  Gustav Leonhardt,  Ton Koopman,  Hans Gillesberger
    CD: $17.99
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  • 7.
    Clerambault: Orphee, Medee / Yakar, Goebel, Hazelzet, Medlam, Curtis
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94080 Release Date: 11/09/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Louis-Nicolas Clérambault
    Performer:  Reinhard Goebel,  Rachel Yakar,  Wilbert Hazelzet,  Charles Medlam  ... 
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  • 8.
    Essential Baroque
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 95429 Release Date: 02/23/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Johann Pachelbel,  George Frideric Handel,  Tomaso Albinoni  ... 
    Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin,  Gerald Finley,  George Malcolm,  William Bennett  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  Sir Charles Mackerras,  Stephen Cleobury,  Yehudi Menuhin  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Camerata Lysy,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  Early Music Consort of London  ... 
    CD: $12.99
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  • 9.
    Gustav Leonhardt Edition
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 696144 Release Date: 02/17/2009   Number of Discs: 21
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Jean-Joseph Cassanéa de Mondonville,  François Couperin,  Alessandro Poglietti  ... 
    Performer:  Gustav Leonhardt,  Frans Brüggen,  Marie Leonhardt,  Jeannette Van Wingerden  ... 
    Conductor:  Gustav Leonhardt,  Sir David Willcocks,  Frans Brüggen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leonhardt Consort,  Cambridge King's College Choir,  Brüggen Consort
    Recommendation
    CD: $98.99
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  • 10.
    C.P.E. Bach: Double Concertos, Sonatina / Collegium Aureum
    Label: Deutsche Harmonia Mundi   Catalog: 77410 Release Date: 09/25/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach
    Performer:  Eric Lynn Kelley,  Jos van Immerseel,  Alan Curtis,  Gustav Leonhardt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Collegium Aureum
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  • 11.
    The Best Baroque Album In The World...ever!
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 54468 Release Date: 04/04/2006   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Henry Purcell,  George Frideric Handel,  Antonio Vivaldi  ... 
    Performer:  George Malcolm,  Wayne Marshall,  Anthony Bailes,  Bob van Asperen  ... 
    Conductor:  Yehudi Menuhin,  Sir Philip Ledger,  Wolfgang Gönnenwein,  Sir Charles Mackerras  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Menuhin Festival Orchestra,  Cambridge King's College Choir,  Philip Jones Brass Ensemble  ... 
    On sale! $18.98
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  • 12.
    Double Concertos by J. S. Bach & His Sons / Leonhardt, Harnoncourt
    Label: Apex   Catalog: 4611372 Release Date: 03/29/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wilhelm Friedemann Bach,  Johann Christian Bach,  Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach,  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Anneke Uittenbosch,  Alan Curtis,  Jürg Schaeftlein,  Anner Bylsma  ... 
    Conductor:  Nikolaus Harnoncourt,  Gustav Leonhardt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Concentus Musicus,  Leonhardt Consort
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  • 13.
    Scarlatti: Lettere Amorose / Ciofi, Bonitatibus, Et Al
    Label: Virgin Classics Special Import   Catalog: 5455462 Release Date: 08/05/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Domenico Scarlatti
    Performer:  Anna Bonitatibus,  Patrizia Ciofi,  Alan Curtis
    Conductor:  Alan Curtis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Il Complesso Barocco
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  • 14.
    Haydn: The Keyboard Sonatas / Alan Curtis
    Label: Stradivarius   Catalog: 33522 Release Date: 09/03/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn
    Performer:  Alan Curtis
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  • 15.
    Bach 2000 Vol 102 - English & French Suites No 3 & 4 / Curtis
    Label: Teldec   Catalog: 81241 Release Date: 01/29/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Alan Curtis
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  • 16.
    Bach 2000 Vol 103 - English & French Suites No 5 & 6 /Curtis
    Label: Teldec   Catalog: 81240 Release Date: 01/29/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Alan Curtis
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  • 17.
    Bach: English & French Suites 1 & 2 / Alan Curtis
    Label: Apex   Catalog: 7408082 Release Date: 10/15/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Alan Curtis
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  • 18.
    Bach: English & French Suites 3 & 4 / Alan Curtis
    Label: Apex   Catalog: 7408142 Release Date: 10/15/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Alan Curtis
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  • 19.
    Bach 2000 Vol 137 - Harpsichord Concertos / Leonhardt, Et Al
    Label: Teldec   Catalog: 81218 Release Date: 10/02/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Alan Curtis,  Anneke Uittenbosch,  Gustav Leonhardt,  Herbert Tachezi
    Conductor:  Gustav Leonhardt,  Nikolaus Harnoncourt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leonhardt Consort,  Vienna Concentus Musicus
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  • 20.
    Bach 2000 Vol 101 - English And French Suites 1 & 2 / Curtis
    Label: Teldec   Catalog: 81242 Release Date: 09/18/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Alan Curtis
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  • 21.
    Rossi: Straziami Pur Amor / Curtis, Il Complesso Barocco
    Label: Virgin Classics Special Import   Catalog: 45220 Release Date: 07/11/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Michelangelo Rossi
    Performer:  Alan Curtis,  Roberta Invernizzi,  Elena Cecchi Fedi
    Conductor:  Alan Curtis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Il Complesso Barocco
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  • 22.
    Tessarini: Sonatas For Flute And Continuo / Bernabo, Curtis
    Label: Bongiovanni   Catalog: 5051 Release Date: 11/01/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carlo Tessarini
    Performer:  Giorgio Bernabo,  Alan Curtis
    CD: $12.99
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  • 23.
    Bach: Harpsichord Concertos / Leonhardt, Leonhardt-consort
    Label: Teldec Das Alte Werk   Catalog: 97452 Release Date: 07/18/1995   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Herbert Tachezi,  Gustav Leonhardt,  Frans Brüggen,  Jeannette Van Wingerden  ... 
    Conductor:  Nikolaus Harnoncourt,  Gustav Leonhardt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Concentus Musicus,  Leonhardt Consort
    On sale! $33.98
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