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Sytse Buwalda (Counter-tenor)

Born: 1965 - The Netherlands

The Dutch counter-tenor, Sytse Buwalda, began at the age of 14 studying singing with Paul Hameleers (1980-1992), and later continued his study with Cora Canne-Meyer at the Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam (1983-1987). He further studied interpretation with Max van Egmond and has taken part in master-classes with Paul Esswood and John Shirley-Quirk. Since 2000 he is coached by Paula de Wit and Frans Fiselier.

Sytse Buwalda has built up a busy international career singing oratorio/opera/lieder repertoire, stretching from the Renaissance to the present day. Sytse Buwalda has made musical appearances all over Europe and worked with renowned conductors such as Frans Brüggen, Gustav Leonardt, Sigiswald Kuijken and Sir David Willcocks. With Max van Egmond, he made a tour of Japan, singing J.S. Bach solo cantatas in Tokyo under the famous Japanese conductors Maasaki Suzuki and Yoshio Watanabe. He gave several opera recitals with Heroic Arias by George Frideric Handel under Masaaki Suzuki; J.S. Bach Cantatas and Te Deum by Jan Dismas Zelenka in Tokyo and Kobe under Edo de Waart; Glückliche Hand by Arnold Schoenberg at the Holland Festival under Alan Curtis; Te Deum by Lully at the openingconcert of the Händel Festspiele Halle and Arminio by G.F. Handel at the Settimane Musicale Senese, Händel Festspiele Halle, Classic Open Air Festival Solothurn and in the Concertgebouw Amsterdam (VARA, Radio/Television broadcast) under Arnold Östman: Apolli et hyacinthus by Mozart at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam (VARA, radio/television broadcast) under Yoshio Watanabe; Monteverdi program at the Festival Early Music in Tochigi (Japan) and Jurjen Hempel; World premiére of the opera Gershwin in Blue by Chiel Meyering.

Sytse Buwalda has also performed in various countries in opera productions such as G.F. Handel’s Giulio Cesare (Cesare), Orlando Furioso(Orlando), Agrippina’ (Ottone), Flavio (Flavio) and Ascanio in Alba (Ascanio), in Apollo et Hyacinthus (Apollo) by Mozart, in Benjamin Britten’s Midsummer Night’s Dream and in the world premières of Gershwin in Blue by Chiel Meyering , Winterreise by Ingomar Grunauer and Daniela (Daniela) by Pablo Escande and has been a guest at leading international festivals such as the Internationale Musik Festwochen in Lucerne, The Festival of Early Music in Utrecht, Festival Arte Sacro in Madrid and Wratislavia Cantans in Wroclaw. In 2007 he sang the role of Rigo in the Production of Don Quichotte in Sienna Morena by Conti at the Opera aan het IJ and in 2008 the Sorceress in Purcell’s Dido and Aneas at Opera Zuid.

Together with the famous actress Ina van Faassen Sytse Buwalda toured throughout the Dutch theaters with Il Virtuoso, a theatrical play based upon the bestseller novel de Virtuoos by Margriet de Moor. He also was the musical leader of the theater production “Barock” with the ballet company Introdans from Arnhem.

Since 2004 Sytse Buwalda regularly worked with the Spanish conductor Angel Recassens who sadly died August 2007. Beside several concerts in a.o. Madrid, Palencia, Salamanca, Leon, Alcalá de Henares and Guenca, he also participated in three recordings: Entre Aventuras y Encantamientos de Don Quichotte, El Vuelo de Icaro and Misa de Requiem ‘de dos bajos’ by Mateo Romero. In July 2008 he sang with Angel Recassens son, Albert, who has taken up his father’s baton.

Singing songs is one of Sytse Buwalda’s greatest passions. Together with his accompanists David van Ooijen, lute/guitar and Vaughan Schlepp, fortepiano/piano he has met with wide acclaim throughout Europe and Japan. At present he tours throughout Holland and Germany with his program ‘About Love’ from his latest solo cd and ‘Forbidden Love’, a performance combining Italian Arias with a short story by his own hand.

Sytse Buwalda voice has been registered on more than 130 CD’s. He sang all the alto solo parts in Pieter Jan Leusink’s complete J.S. Bach Cantatas cycle. and is the only counter-tenor in the world who has recorded all the Cantatas by J.S. Bach. Currently there are already more than 6 million copys sold worldwide. Other CD recordings include the world première recording of Arminio by G.F. Handel with Alan Curtis, Susanna and Theodora, by G.F. Handel, conducted by Peter Neumann, two settings of the Stabat Mater by Giovanni Battista Pergolesi (one with soprano Roberta Alexander), Two recordings of the Messiah by G.F. Handel, the Stabat Maters by Antonio Vivaldi and Tuma, and 3 CD recordings and 2 DVD rewcordings of Matthäus-Passion (BWV 244) by J.S. Bach. He recorded also 7 solo CD’s. “Sacred Arias”, released in 2004 was for seven weeks the nr. 1 in the Dutch Classic top 50. ‘About Love’, released 2005 reached the nr. 2 position. “Lust in 4 courses”, released in 2007 reached No. 6 position in the Classic FM to 20. May 2008 a live recording of W.A. Mozart’a Requiem and Coronation Mass performed by the Bach Choir & Orchestra of the Netherlands was released. The same month he also recorded a new CD with Camerata Trajectina. The title “moaning virgins” is very promising. His programm with renaissance “Songs of life & Death” was recorded live in September 2008 (release October). He is accompanied by David van Ooijen, lute; Freek Borstlap, Gamba and the beautiful soprano Francine van der Heyden.

Tohether with Stephen John Kalinich, a spoken-word artist and lyricist, who has written songs with Brightonian David Courtney, The Beach Boys and many Motown artists and Pablo Escande, a brilliant young composer from Argentina, Sytse Buwalda will appear in 5 concerts during the Brighton Fringe Festival. The concert will be a ‘magical’ combination of Music, singing and poetry. That’s why we called the program “The Magic Hand”!

More Photos

Source: Dutch Divas Website; Liner notes to Leusunk’s Complete Bach Cantatas cycle (Brilliant Classics, 1999-2000); Sytse Buwalda Website (October 2012)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (May 2001, December 2013)

Recordings of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works




Frans Brüggen


Member of Nederlands Kamerkoor:
V-1 (1989):
BWV 232 [1st]

Sigiswald Kuijken


BWV 225-230

Pieter Jan Leusink


BWV 2, BWV 3, BWV 4, BWV 5, BWV 6, BWV 7, BWV 8, BWV 9, BWV 10, BWV 11, BWV 12, BWV 13, BWV 14, BWV 16, BWV 17, BWV 20, BWV 21, BWV 22, BWV 23, BWV 24, BWV 26, BWV 27, BWV 28, BWV 29, BWV 30, BWV 33, BWV 34, BWV 35, BWV 36, BWV 37, BWV 38, BWV 39, BWV 40, BWV 41, BWV 42, BWV 43, BWV 44, BWV 45, BWV 46, BWV 48, BWV 54, BWV 60, BWV 62, BWV 63, BWV 64, BWV 66, BWV 67, BWV 69, BWV 70, BWV 71, BWV 72, BWV 74, BWV 75, BWV 76, BWV 77, BWV 78, BWV 79, BWV 80, BWV 81, BWV 83, BWV 85, BWV 86, BWV 87, BWV 88, BWV 89, BWV 90, BWV 91, BWV 92, BWV 93, BWV 94, BWV 96, BWV 97, BWV 98, BWV 99, BWV 100, BWV 101, BWV 102, BWV 103, BWV 105, BWV 106, BWV 108, BWV 109, BWV 110, BWV 111, BWV 112, BWV 113, BWV 114, BWV 115, BWV 116, BWV 117, BWV 118, BWV 119, BWV 120, BWV 121, BWV 122, BWV 123, BWV 124, BWV 125, BWV 126, BWV 128, BWV 129, BWV 130, BWV 131, BWV 132, BWV 133, BWV 134, BWV 135, BWV 136, BWV 137, BWV 138, BWV 139, BWV 144, BWV 146, BWV 147, BWV 148, BWV 149, BWV 150, BWV 151, BWV 153, BWV 154, BWV 155, BWV 156, BWV 159, BWV 161, BWV 162, BWV 163, BWV 164, BWV 165, BWV 166, BWV 167, BWV 168, BWV 169, BWV 170, BWV 171, BWV 172, BWV 173, BWV 174, BWV 175, BWV 176, BWV 177, BWV 178, BWV 180, BWV 181, BWV 182, BWV 183, BWV 184, BWV 185, BWV 186, BWV 187, BWV 188, BWV 195, BWV 197, BWV 198, BWV 200
BWV 244 [1st], BWV 244 [2nd], BWV 244 [3rd, DVD], BWV 244 [4th, DVD, sung in Dutch], BWV 244 [5th], BWV 245

Links to other Sites

Sytse Buwalsa (Official Website) [Dutch/English]
Sytze Buwalda on LinkedIn


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Last update: Monday, May 29, 2017 00:34