Johannes Leertouwer was born in the Dutch city of Groningen. He started playing the violin at an early age. He studied violin with Bouw Lemkes in Amsterdam and with Joseph Suk in Vienna and Prague. In 1989 he was appointed professor of violin at the Conservatory of Amsterdam as a successor to his own teacher.
           He worked as a concertmaster and soloist with a number of leading period instruments ensembles and orchestras. His work as a concertmaster and coach led him to conducting. He received lessons from Jorma Panula and David Procelijn. After conducting the National Youth String Orchestra for over 10 years, he appeared as a guest conductor with many National and International ensembles and orchestra’s before accepting a position as chief conductor and artistic leader of the ‘Nieuwe Philharmonie Utrecht’ ( in 2009. With this orchestra, he has played and conducted a wide range of repertoire, from its debut program in 2009 with Ravel and Stravinsky to annual tours with Händel’s Messiah and Bach’s Matthew Passion, receiving high praise in the press. Leertouwer received a doctorate at Leiden University in January 2023 for his research into the historical performance practice of Brahms’s orchestral music in 2023. Over the course of his four-year research project, he recorded Brahms’s complete symphonies and concertos on period instruments. The recordings were based on his extensive research, and he made them and a number of documentary films about the project as well as his doctoral thesis available on a special website. (
           In 2022 Leertouwer accepted a professorship at Seoul National University in South-Korea, where he now teaches Historically Informed Performance Practice. He combines this position with his work with The Nieuwe Philharmonie Utrecht. After having held the position of chief- conductor of the orchestra class of the Conservatory of Amsterdam for eight years, he was appointed regular guest conductor at the CvA in 2023.

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