Wieland Kuijken is widely regarded as one of the most influential pioneers in the twentieth century revival of the viola da gamba and early cello. Born to a musical family near Brussels, he began studies on the cello at the Conservatory at Bruges in 1952. He then attended the Brussels Conservatory, winning the Prix d'Excellence in 1962. His musical activities as a student in Brussels were varied and included performance with the contemporary music ensemble Musiques Nouvelles. At the same time, he began to teach himself the viola da gamba, and from 1959 to 1972, he performed with the Alarius Ensemble, an ensemble devoted to performances of French Baroque music. Soon thereafter, the name "Kuijken" became synonymous with stylistically accurate performances of Baroque music thanks to concerts with his brothers Sigiswald (violin) and Barthold (flute) in the Kuijken Early Music Group. Specializing in the bass viol, Wieland Kuijken has performed and recorded a large repertoire as both a continuo player and soloist. His recordings of Bach, Marais, and Forqueray have garnered critical acclaim, and his repertoire encompasses music by composers as late as Mozart and Boccherini. He has taught at the conservatories of Antwerp, Brussels, and the Hague, and has been a featured performer at festivals of early music such as Flanders, Saintes, and the English Bach Festival. Aside from his brothers, notable collaborators have included Alfred Deller, Frans Brüggen, Jordi Savall, and Gustav Leonhardt.