René Jacobs (°1946) studied classical philology at the University of Ghent while studying singing in Brussels. Jacobs's encounters with Alfred Deller, the Kuijken brothers and Gustav Leonhardt were to determine his orientation towards baroque music and the countertenor repertory. They analysed his voice as suitable for the countertenor range. In 1977, he founded the Concerto Vocale ensemble and began an association with the Harmonia Mundi France record company, starting with performances with the Concerto Vocale, and including the recordings of vocal chamber music by Cesti, d'India, Ferrari, Marenzio, Lambert and Guédron.
From 1991 until 2009, Jacobs was artistic director to the Innsbruck's Festwochen der Alten Musik (Innsbruck Festival of Early Music). It was there that his opera career began, first as countertenor and then as conductor. He has conducted various orchestras in Belgium and abroad, both in Europe and the United States.