Nicolette Moonen grew up in Amsterdam bilingually, in a Dutch-French musical family.
Her early musical experiences were shaped by Nikolaus Harnoncourt (during two projects at the Hague Conservatoire on Monteverdi and Bach), and Jaap Schröder and Gustav Leonhardt, who were both family friends. She later participated in a few of the Bach Cantata recordings under Gustav Leonhardt, in the famous first recordings on original instruments of the whole cycle. In the 1970s and 1980s she played with most of the continental European early music ensembles. She spent a lot of time in Paris and Belgium playing for, and at times leading, Philippe Herreweghe’s Collegium Vocale Gent and La Chapelle Royale.
In 1992 Nicolette moved to London and became part of the early music scene in the UK. In 2000 she participated in many of the performances and recordings of John Eliot Gardiner’s Bach Cantata Pilgrimage.
In 1996 she founded The Bach Players of which she is the artistic director and leader. They have performed all over the UK, Ireland, and in continental Europe. The ensemble recorded a series of twelve CDs on the Hyphen Press Music label. On the Coviello label they have released recordings of all the chamber music of Élisabeth Jacquet de La Guerre and Nicolas Clérambault.
Nicolette has a special affinity with French music of the 17th and 18th centuries. She is particularly interested in the relationship between the French language and this often misunderstood music.
She has a partnership with the baroque dancer Ricardo Barros. Together they have explored the relationship between the Lullian bowings, as described by Georg Muffat, and dancing. As well as giving concert performances and workshops, they have presented a number of papers at conferences.
Nicolette is a dedicated educator. She led the European Baroque Orchestra, a training orchestra for recent HP graduates, in 1996 and 1997. For about fifteen years she directed the baroque orchestra at Dartington International Summer School. In that capacity she introduced the instrumental music from Rameau’s numerous operas to a great number of students from all over the world. Nicolette is also a Feldenkrais teacher. She teaches regular Feldenkrais classes for the Historical Performance and String departments at RAM.
Her violin teaching is informed by her Feldenkrais background: she likes to inspire students to find their own effortless musical voice.