Anner Bylsma

Dutch cellist Anner Bylsma (called the "Rostropovich of the baroque cello" by the Boston Globe), is one of the leading cellists in the world. He was born in the Hague in 1943, and received his first lessons from his father. He studied with Carel van Leeuwen Boonkamp at The Hague Conservatory, where he was awarded the Prix d’excellence in 1957.

In 1959, at the age of sixteen, he won first prize from the Pablo Casals Concours in Mexico. He was solo cellist with the Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam from 1962 to 1968, when he embarked on his career as a soloist.

He performs regularly around the world, and has recorded for Das Alte Werk, Telefunken, Decca, Harmonia Mundi, Seon, RCA, Phillips, and EMI. He recently published a book on the Bach Solo Cello Suites, entitled “Bach, The Fencing Master - Reading aloud from the first three cello suites,” where he discusses his analysis of the Anna Magdalena manuscript and issues related to performing Bach (

The reader is also encouraged to seek out Tim Finholt's interview with Anner Bylsma, which is available at the Internet Cello Society site.

Return to Biographies