Melchior Schildt was born in 1592 or 1593, probably in Hannover. After having studied for some years with Andreas Crappius, who was Cantor in Hannover, he left in December of 1609 for Amsterdam to study, probably for a period of three years, with Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck. From this time until the year 1623 there are no biographical data preserved. From 1623 to 1626 he was organist in Wolfenbüttel. From 1626 to 1629 he was in the service of King Christian IV of Denmark, one of the most munificent musical patrons of the 17th century. It appears from a receipt signed by Schildt that he gave music lessons to the King’s children. Whether or not he was Court Organist, and in that capacity played the famous Compenius organ in Frederiksborg castle, is unknown. In 1629 he returned to Hannover, where he succeeded his father as organist of the Marktkirche. He held this position until his death in 1667.
Vincent van Laar, born in 1963, studied organ with Nico van den Hooven at the Utrecht Conservatory and harpsichord with Bob van Asperen at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague. Both studies were completed with the Performing Musician’s Diploma. In addition he has studied organ with Prof. Harald Vogel. He has been a laureate at various competitions. He performs regularly in the Netherlands and abroad and has made several radio recordings. He is currently continuo player for the Nederlands Barok Orkest.