Peter Kooij started his musical career at 6-years-old as a choir boy and sang many solo soprano-parts in concerts and recordings. He started his musical studies however as a violin student.
This was followed by singing tuition from Max van Egmond at the Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam, which led to the award of the diploma for solo performance.
He has been an active soloist in many concerts all over the world in the most important concert-halls like Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Musikverein Wien, Carnegie Hall New York, Royal Albert Hall London, Teatro Colon Buenos Aires, Berliner and Kölner Philharmonie, Palais Garnier Paris, Suntory and Casals Hall Tokyo, where he performed with famous conductors like Philippe Herreweghe, Ton Koopman, Frans Brüggen, Gustav Leonhardt, René Jacobs, Sigiswald Kuijken, Roger Norrington, Michel Corboz and Iwan Fisher.
His wide repertoire contains all kind of music from Schütz to Weill and he has made over hundred CDs for Philips, Sony and Virgin Classics, Harmonia Mundi, Erato, EMI and BIS. His recordings in the complete series of Bach cantatas with Masaaki Suzuki and Bach Collegium Japan have received wide acclaim. His performances of Bach’s cantatas and Passions are unusually sympathetic, assisted by a soft-grained timbre and an eloquent verbal delivery.
Peter Kooij is the artistic director of the “Ensemble Vocal Européen”. From 1991 to 2000 professor at the Sweelinck Conservatorium in Amsterdam. From 1995 to 1998 Lehrauftrag at the Musikhochschule in Hannover. Since 2000 a guest teacher at the Tokyo University of Fine Arts and Music. He was invited to give master classes in Germany, France, Portugal, Spain, Belgium, Finland and Japan.