Jan Kalsbeek was born in Oegstgeest, Holland in 1949. His father was a sculptor and mother a singer. During his youth, he spent much of his time in his father’s studio. where he learned wood-carving, clay modelling, painting and pottery and about tools in general. Because of his mother’s profession and the piano lessons he received, he became thoroughly involved with classical music at a young age.
After studies at the Library Academy, Jan spent several years working in that field, but at around the age of twenty he became fascinated by the harpsichord.
A cheaply acquired instrument was restored by him in order to play it. Inspired by this, in 1973, he began to make his first instrument. From then on, more harpsichords came into being, and the demand for his instruments increased so much that he decided to become a full-time harpsichord maker in 1984.
Since that time, Jan has lived and worked in the Dutch Hanseatic town of Zutphen, where he has a studio in a medieval premises in the old centre of the town.