Glen Wilson was born in 1952 in the USA. After studies at the Juilliard School with Albert Fuller, he moved to the Netherlands, where he studied with Gustav Leonhardt from 1971 to 1975. Shortly before taking his Soloist's Diploma he was engaged as harpsichordist of the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra, resigning in 1982 in order to devote himself to a growing career as a soloist, in chamber music, and as a teacher at the Utrecht Conservatory and in international master classes. In 1988 he accepted a professorship at Germany's oldest conservatory, the Musikhochschule Würzburg, and moved to Bavaria.
On harpsichord, fortepiano, clavichord and organ Glen Wilson has performed in over 30 countries. In 1980 he became the only person in the history of the Bruges International Competition to sweep all three categories. As duo-partner he has performed with Gustav Leonhardt, Emma Kirkby, René Jacobs, Alice Harnoncourt, Max van Egmond, Wieland Kuyken, Michael Chance, and in recent years with the Dutch gamba virtuoso Mieneke van der Velden, with whom he made two much-admired CDs for Channel Classics, and with violinist François Fernandez. He was a member of Quadro Hotteterre and founder of the Amsterdam Fortepiano Trio with Lucy van Dael and Wouter Möller.
For Netherlands World Radio Wilson produced “Excursions in Early Music”, 65 programs broadcast in America, Canada, and Australia. He was continuo-player in large-scale recording projects with the Leonhardt Consort, Concentus Musicus Wien, La Petite Bande, and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, and was harpsichordist of choice with the Netherlands Opera for 20 years, where he was Nicholas Harnoncourt's assistant in the cycle of Mozart / da Ponte operas, later recorded for Teldec.
Besides many recordings of chamber music and songs, Glen Wilson recorded 7 solo-CDs for Teldec's “Das Alte Werk”, including a highly-acclaimed Well-Tempered Clavier re-issued as part of the BACH 2000 complete edition. The complete recording of Sweelinck's works for keyboard (MGN Classics) in which he participated with 14 Dutch colleagues was awarded an Edison in 2003. Wilson edited the Préludes non mesurés of Louis Couperin with a CD for Breitkopf & Härtel; the volume won the 2004 German Music Publishers' Prize for best scholarly edition. His first solo recording for NAXOS consisted of 24 pieces by this 17th-century French master; it became the top selection of the Penguin CD Guide, and was followed in 2005 by a selection of Buxtehude's harpsichord works which was accorded the same ranking, and named best survey recording by Early Music and Musik und Kirche.
The complete works of Gaspard le Roux for one and two harpsichords (with Naoko Akutagawa), the complete fantasias of Giles Farnaby and of William Byrd, harpsichord works by Ammerbach, Sweelinck, Andrea Gabrieli, a double CD of Cabezón's complete Tientos and Variations, the complete German songs of J. M. Kraus (with Wilson on fortepiano), and his recording with François Fernandez of Corelli's Op. 5 have since been released. The Naxos series will continue for the foreseeable future.
Glen Wilson made his debut as conductor with the Netherlands Opera's production of his edition of Monteverdi's Il Ritorno di Ulisse in Patria in 1990. With over 50 performances in Amsterdam, New York (where The New Yorker acclaimed it as “by far” the outstanding operatic event of the season), Los Angeles and Sydney (where it was called “the operatic experience of a lifetime”), it remains the most widely-travelled show in the company's history, and was revived in 2007. BBC Opus Arte recently issued a DVD of the film made by Dutch television. His edition of L'Incoronazione di Poppea premiered in Würzburg in 2003, with Wilson acting as conductor, designer, and stage director. 2008-9 he conducted Poppea for the Dutch National Opera Academy.