Baritone, harpsichordist, lute player, harpist and conductor, Nicolas Achten (Brussels, 1985) made a very young place for himself in the world of early music: winner of the VIIth International Chimay Baroque Song Competition in 2006, he was elected Classical Artist of the Year 2009 at the Octaves de la Musique and "Young Musician of the Year Prize 2009" awarded by the Belgian Music Press Union.
Nicolas Achten studied singing, lute, harpsichord and ancient harp at the Royal Conservatories of Brussels and The Hague; he completed his training in various masterclasses, notably at the Baroque Academy of Ambronay and at the Centre de la Voix de Royaumont.
Since 2004 he has been invited by prestigious early music ensembles, including Arpeggiata, Fenice, La Petite Bande, Ausonia, Les Agrémens, Akadêmia, Les Talens Lyriques, Il Fondamento, Les Musiciens du Louvre, Il Seminario Musicale, le Poème Harmonique, Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, and under the direction of conductors such as Jean Tubéry, Sigiswald Kuijken, Marc Minkowski, Christophe Rousset and René Jacobs.
Today he is one of the few classical singers to accompany himself, returning to historical practice. Eager to deepen this approach and to put his research into practice, he founded the ensemble Scherzi Musicali, whose concerts throughout Europe and 10 recordings aroused the unanimous enthusiasm of the public and the international press (Diapason d'or découverte, Choc (Classica), Crescendo Joker, La Clé (ResMusica), Prelude Classics Award 2009, Golden Muse, Classic Ring Info, "Outstanding" in the International Record Review, Pix Cæcilia...).
In the margins, Nicolas also explores atypical encounters, in duet with folk accordionist Dider Laloy, or in trio with jazz saxophonist Manu Hermia or pop/rock singer Kris Dane.
Nicolas Achten teaches singing, lute and applied early music theory at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels. He was musical director of the summer courses of Muziektheater Transparant from 2007 to 2015, and is regularly invited for masterclasses throughout Europe (Operastudio Vlaanderen, SIMAW in Namur, University of East Anglia, the Yorke Trust in Norfolk, Conservatorio Milano, ...).