Ketil Are Haugsand





Country of Residence


Year of birth


Year(s) in which you received lessons from Gustav Leonhardt


The lessons were

Within a diploma course at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam (Amsterdamsch Conservatorium, Sweelinck Conservatorium)

Individual private lessons

In summer courses as a player

How did you first come into contact with Gustav Leonhardt, and how did you get the opportunity to study with him? Did you have to wait before you could become his student?

I met with him briefly in the summer of 1968, at the Organ Summer Academy of Haarlem. Later, in the late autumn of 1969, I asked him for private harpsichord lessons.

Briefly describe your level of musical education when you started lessons with Gustav Leonhardt. How many years had you studied an early keyboard instrument? What academic qualifications did you have, if any?

- Organ and Piano lessons in Trondheim and Oslo 1962 - 1969 - Graduated as organist in 1967 and 1968 - Diploma in Piano Pedagogy, Oslo 1969 - Recital debut on harpsichord and piano, Oslo 1969

What repertoire did you study with Gustav Leonhardt? You may answer along general lines or give a list.

The harpsichord repertoire that Leonhardt himself would be interested in and perform.

Please describe a typical lesson or various types of lessons you received. For example: the frequency, length and location of the lessons, the specific instruments used, the number of pieces you typically presented, how much discussion there was, how much Leonhardt played and at what point during the lesson, etc.

The lessons were typically monthly while I was having private lessons, though when I was living in Amsterdam they were weekly. Lessons would be in Huis Bartolotti, although before 1971 they were at the Nieuwmarkt residence. He was frequently absent – on concert tours, obviously. Lessons would typically last for an hour or more, depending on the length and number and pieces I brought. He would always discuss the piece - play it himself, and gently suggest ‘what to do’. He would always be in agreement with whatever I had prepared - spending much time discussing-from-the-instrument – and seemed satisfied that I could absorb what he brought to life musically and perhaps, even, that he didn’t need to compromise with undue technical shortcomings on my part. In fact, he never spoke again about technique, although this was probably more because technical aspects did not really interest him, at all.

Did Gustav Leonhardt discuss and/or demonstrate keyboard technique, fingerings, hand and arm position,etc.? If so, did he relate these aspects to different periods, traditions and/or national styles of early keyboard music?

As we came back from the summer in 1972 - at the first lesson of the term - he offered a subtle, but nonetheless interesting remark: a technical one. This was the one and only technical remark of the entire five years of study with him: “It is nice to see that your wrists have become lower when you play.” The rest was about music making, music making and music making.

Did he discuss historical​ ​ performance practice or different types of historic instruments, refer to musicological research, performance treatises, ornament tables, etc.? If so, in what particular situations and musical contexts?

Rarely. I don’t think he really deemed such ‘as necessity’, He probably also expected me to be au fait with such things, myself. We often mused about the instruments themselves, as I was very active in building harpsichords, myself, back then - and we were obviously discussing sound, sonority, instrument types – and ... Martin Skowroneck! As I had so many years of study with Leonhardt, you might wonder whether one could say that the format of the lessons changed over that period? Well - they didn’t really change, in “pedagogic terms”. Leonhardt was a source that never dried up - he knew and played the whole repertoire and would pull any piece out of the hat. But, as time went on, one had the feeling that his teaching went deeper into the more rhetorical end of things, although he never spoke about rhetoric per se.

How did he engage with the works you presented? For example, did he offer stylistic considerations or make a formal analysis? Did he place the pieces within a larger context, musical or other? Did he use metaphors or make analogies when talking about the music?

He was patient - and must have taken a liking to me, at least. Very friendly - very cultivated and typically distant. He taught me about ‘good and bad beats’, something I had never ever heard of, but it still made all the sense in the world. He played for me what I had just played for him - explained and emphasized, clarified and provided examples - always presuming that I understood, but never in an overly simple fashion, for he knew that although most of this was new to me, he also sensed and respected that I was well on the way to being a fully-fledged musician already. His teaching let all the musical and technical things evolve naturally, as they came, both in larger overview, as well as in the most minute detail. He was never pushy, but he probably would at times have wished for a more tenacious attitude on my part, though he knew that none of his efforts would be wasted. And despite me at times being somewhat frivolous, he could not have helped noticing that he had a totally loyal student, full of endless respect and admiration.

What did you hope or expect to achieve from your lessons with Gustav Leonhardt?

To become an honest musician. Which I think I did.

After your period of study, did you have further contacts with Gustav Leonhardt that contributed to your development as a musician?

Keeping in contact over all these years always had a good influence on me as well as growing into a deep friendship. And the respect, of course, never waned!

Did his approach to teaching influence the approach you have taken with your own students? If so, how?

Obviously, yes! Although my own ‘teaching’ was obviously different from his.

Has your perspective on your lessons with Gustav Leonhardt changed over the years? In what way?

As one comes of age, some additional pennies have finally dropped.

What are the most important things Gustav Leonhardt taught you, or the ways he most influenced you as a musician?

These five years - between the first steps in 1970 and my Prix d’Excellence award in 1975 - have meant everything to me, as performing artist and teacher - being eternally indebted to this one person: Gustav Leonhardt.

Curriculum Vitae

- Solistexamen (“Uitvoerend musicus”) 1973 (Sweelinck Conservatorium Amsterdam) - Prix d’Excellence 1975 (Sweelinck Conservatorium Amsterdam) - Senior lecturer and later professor at the Norwegian State Academy of Music 1974 - 1995 - Professor of harpsichord at the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz, in Cologne, 1994 - 2016 - Appeared in several prestigious festivals and concert series in most European countries, U.S.A., Israel and in the Far East as recitalist, in chamber music, soloist, or conductor from the harpsichord - and with the Norwegian Baroque Orchestra, the Norwegian Radio Orchestra, the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra, Lyra Baroque Orchestra, the Arte Real Ensemble and at the Komischer Oper Berlin. - Important chamber music partners have been i.e., Laurence Dreyfus, Wieland Kuijken, Richard Gwilt, Peter Holtslag and several others. - Recordings on CD with works by Jean-Baptiste / Antoine Forqueray, Jean-Philippe Rameau, Louis Marchand, Carlos Seixas, João Sousa Carvalho and others, for Simax Classics, Virgin Veritas and Linn Records have won significant international acclaim - and his interpretations of the Clavierübungen by J.S. Bach, especially the Goldberg Variations, have been singled out as highly original and outstanding landmark performances. - Released on Simax Classics in 2013 were the six English Suites by Bach and in 2014, also the complete recording of Jean-Philippe Rameau’s Pièces de Clavecin. - Laureate at international harpsichord competitions in Paris and Bruges, 1979 and 1980 - Gave numerous harpsichord master classes at international summer courses in Norway, Portugal, Italy and Israel - 1981-2022 - Frequently invited as jury member at international harpsichord competitions in Bruges, Leipzig, Warsaw and Prague