Oscar Verhaar (1987) was born in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, and started his musical career as a treble in the Rotterdam Boys Choir, with whom he sang many solos both in The Netherlands and abroad (Austria, France, Switzerland, Russia and the US, among others). Oscar completed the Early Music Singing Master at the Royal Conservatory The Hague, where he studied with Michael Chance, Jill Feldman, Lenie van den Heuvel and Peter Kooij. In addition, Oscar studied with Lydia Vierlinger in Vienna and took masterclasses with Ian Bostridge, Carlos Mena, Deborah York, Eric Mentzel and Kees Boeke.
In 2014, Oscar was the only male finalist of the Concours de Chant Baroque de Froville in France. In 2010 Oscar won the first prize of the Austria Barock Akademie. In autumn 2015, Oscar was selected as one of the Classical Talents at the Dutch BUMA Classical Convention and in 2017 he became a Laureate of the Fondation Royaumont. For the 2019/2020 and the current 2021 season Oscar has been appointed Young Bach Fellow by the Netherlands Bach Society.
Highlights for the coming year are a recital and recording with the Young Bach Fellows, as well as a return to Monteverdi's l'Orfeo with l'arte del mondo at the Potsdam Festival. Furthermore, Oscar features on a CD with early Dutch polyphony by Ensemble Diskantores.
For over 15 years Oscar has been performing the major works by Bach, Handel, Vivaldi and others. In 2008 Oscar made his debut at the Festival Oude Muziek Utrecht in a recital with music by Constantijn Huygens in the Fabulous Fringe series. As an ensemble singer he has performed a broad range of medieval and renaissance repertoires, and Oscar is currently a member of Ensemble Diskantores and astrophil&stella. On the opera stage he has performed in Dido and Aeneas and Fairy Queen by Henry Purcell, Venus and Adonis by John Blow, Benjamin Britten's Abraham and Isaac and, with great success, the role of Speranza in Monteverdi's Orfeo for the Dutch Opera Studio, staged by Pierre Audi.
In the 18/19 season Oscar was a guest at Konzert Theater Bern for Handel’s Lotario and the new opera Humanoid by Leonard Evers. Furthermore, Oscar performed two very successful Purcell productions at the Théâtre de l’Athénée in Paris.
In 2014 an 80 minute-long documentary about Oscar's time at the Royal Conservatory and his cooperation with his former teacher Geert van den Dungen was broadcasted on Dutch national television. This film, The Voice of the Master, was directed by Hester Overmars.
Oscar was selected for the 6th Accademia Fundació Cima, that performed the St. Matthew Passion under the baton of maestro Jordi Savall and in recent years appeared as a soloist at the Festival d'Ambronay (Collegium 1704, Václav Luks) Budapest Early Music Festival (Bach Consort Wien, Rubén Dubrovsky), Laus Polyphoniae and Grachtenfestival Amsterdam.
In 2014 his first solo CD appeared with Quintone records, featuring music by the Dutch composer Constantijn Huygens and his contemporaries such as Caccini, Kapsperger and Monteverdi.