About Peter Gijsbertsen
The tenor Peter Gijsbertsen has a large repertory of operatic and choral roles, and he has become a prominent musical figure in his native Netherlands. In 2018, he won the country's highest classical music honor, the Nederlandse Muziekprijs.
Gijsbertsen was born in the town of Hardenberg in 1983. "I was raised in a tiny village," he recalled to Classical Voice. "When I was still a little boy, we moved to a slightly larger village. My sister and I had the fields to play in, and I remember how wonderful it was to pick berries off the bushes and eat them, and how I would bring rhubarb to my mother, and she would cook it for dinner." Although he had almost no background in classical music, Gijsbertsen enrolled at the Utrecht Conservatory in 2002, studying with Harry Peeters and Gilbert den Broder. He took various masterclasses, including a Samling Foundation class led by baritone Sir Thomas Allen; this led to an invitation to perform at Wigmore Hall in London. Since then, Gijsbertsen's career has been well established in the UK as well as in the Netherlands. In 2006, He joined the Resident Artists Program of the Dutch Touring Opera and graduated from the conservatory, and also made his debut in the Saturday matinee broadcasts of the Concertgebouw concert hall in Amsterdam as Joe in Puccini's La fanciulla del West. He won the John Christie Award at England's Glyndebourne Opera and joined the understudy program there from 2007 to 2011. During this period, Gijsbertsen undertook an actual pilgrimage, walking from Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port in France to the medieval site of Santiago de Compostela, Spain, and then on to the ocean.
Gijsbertsen's operatic career in the 2010s has been international, including appearances as Alfredo in Verdi’s La Traviata at the Scottish Opera, Tamino in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte with the same company as well as the Nouvel Opéra Fribourg, and The Novice in Britten’s Billy Budd at the Bolshoi Theatre in Russia, Glyndebourne, and the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York. He has performed major concert works including the Bach St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244, with the Brabants Orkest, Stravinsky's Pulcinella with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, and the tenor solo in Einojuhani Rautavaara's Vigilia with the Great Netherlands Radio Choir.
Gijsbertsen has made several recordings for the Phaedra and Wergo labels, including an album of songs by composer Jef van Hof for the "In Flanders Fields" series in 2016. He has also recorded lieder repertory, including the complete songs of Clara Schumann for the MDG label in 2019. ~ James Manheim