Nicolas Achten

  • function:
    conductor, baritone, lute, harp, harpsichord
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participation in

  • Classical:NEXT 2018
  • Classical:NEXT 2017
  • Classical:NEXT 2016
  • Classical:NEXT 2015

Scherzi Musicali is considered one of the most notable young ensembles in the world of early music. It was founded and is directed by Nicolas Achten, one of the few modern classical singers to accompany himself, variously, on the lute, the harp, and the harpsichord, reviving this old practice. Adapting its size and instrumentarium to the needs of the performance situation, Scherzi Musicali brings together young singers and instrumentalists willing to rethink the approach to early music and seeking to serve it with a genuine concern for musicological relevance. While aiming to rediscover lost gems of a forgotten musical heritage, Scherzi Musicali nevertheless do not neglect the key works of the repertoire, be they secular, sacred or operatic.

Since 2006, Scherzi Musicali has performed in Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Spain, Italy, England and Germany, at the Festival van Vlaanderen, De Bijloke (including a concert with Emma Kirkby), Concertgebouw Brugge, De Singel, Bozar, Festival de Wallonie, Automne Musical de Spa, Operadagen Rotterdam, Amia Strasbourg, the Venetian Festival of Baroque Music, Tage Alter Musiek Herne, Musiekfestspiele Potsdam, etc

Conscious of its pedagogical role, Scherzi Musicali collaborates with "Jeunesses Musicales" and "Jeugd en Muziek", to put scholarly understanding of early music at the heart of educational establishments.

Scherzi Musicali has recorded five CD's, published by Outhere (Ricercar and Alpha) and Musique en Wallonie. After four recordings of works previously never released on CD — "l’Euridice" by Giulio Caccini, the album "Dulcis Amor Iesu" (motets of Giovanni Felice Sances), the album "Petits Motets" dedicated to the Brussels composer Joseph-Hector Fiocco, and Domenico Mazzocchi's "La Catena d’Adone" —, their latest recording "How pleasant 'tis to Love" is devoted to Purcell's songs.

Each of Scherzi Musicali’s records have generated genuine enthusiasm from the international press, garnering awards such as the Diapason d’or découverte, Joker (Crescendo magazine), Octaves de la Musique Classique, La clé (ResMusica), Prelude Classics Award, 4-star (Monde de la musique), Muse d'Or & Muse du mois (Muse baroque), Golden Ring (Classic Info), Outstanding (International Record Review).

Scherzi Musicali is supported by the French Community of Belgium (General Directorate for Culture, Department of Music).

Nicolas Achten



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