The Dutch soprano, Nelly van der Spek, was a pupil of Jo Bollekamp in Rotterdam.
Already in 1961 Nelly van der Spek gave her first concert in Holland. In 1963 she appeared for the first time in Germany, singing in a concert of Kölner Bach-Vereins (Cologne Bach Association). Since then she had an important career in West Germany, where she was estimated particularly as interpreter of the works of J.S. Bach and of compositions from the Baroque period. She gave successful concerts in Western Europe, but the centre of her career remained in Germany. Here she became known to wide circles as a broadcast singer and by her records.
Her recordings appeared mainly on Telefunken (Bach Cantatas, works of Monteverdi, among them Il Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda«); in addition, with Da Camera (Cantatas and Lieder by J.S. Bach).