Léon Berben was born in 1970 in Heerlen (the Netherlands), but has now been living since several years in Cologne (Germany). He studied harpsichord and organ in Den Haag (Koninklijk Conservatorium) and Amsterdam (Sweelinck Conservatorium) with Rienk Jiskoot, Bob van Asperen, Ton Koopman and Gustav Leonhardt, and finished his studies with solo-diploma for both instruments.
Since March 2000 he is the harpsichordist of Musica Antiqua Köln (R. Goebel). As such he has given concerts all over the world, and has travelled Europe, Asia, North- and Southamerica. With Musica Antiqua Köln he has recorded several CDs for Deutsche Grammophon/Archiv Produktion. Musica Antiqua Köln will dissolve end of November 2006, and Léon Berben will focus his work next to chamber music more on the solo-repertoire.
He gives solo-recitals on harpsichord and organ. His solo-CDs on historic organs and harpsichords - above all with the labels Ramée and Aeolus - have been highly acclaimed in the press, and received numerous awards, e.g. »Vierteljahrespreis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik« and »Choc« of Le Monde de la Musique.
Besides playing the harpsichord and organ, Léon Berben engages in debates on historical performance practice by writing articles and also signs as a co-author for MGG (Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart).
His repertoire stretches from around 1550 to 1750, with his main interest focussing on German music, the Virginalists and Sweelinck.
He calls two harpsichords built by Willem Kroesbergen (after Couchet and after Stephanini) and one harpsichord built by Keith Hill (after Zell) his own.