Early Music Evenings, Peter Watchorn

September 1st, 2016 in Blog with NO COMMENTS

Early Music Evenings: Peter Watchorn, solo harpsichord

Peter Watchorn is an internationally recognized harpsichordist, organist, writer and artistic advisor to various period instrument ensembles. In 2013, Dr. Watchorn built an 18th-century style harpsichord, which is now owned by Community Music Center of Boston. In a rare concert, Dr. Watchorn will perform pieces from Bull, Rameau and Bach on this beautiful instrument.

Peter Watchorn

Peter Watchorn has devoted himself to a study of the harpsichord repertoire, and early music in general, since 1974. His considerable gifts as performer were rewarded in 1985 by the conferring of the Erwin Bodky Memorial Award, presented by the Cambridge Society for Early Music in conjunction with the Boston Early Music Festival. Peter Watchorn continued his harpsichord studies in Vienna with Isolde Ahgrimm from 1985 to 1992. He was honoured by being named by Ahlgrimm as her “only successor”, and charged with writing her official biography (Isolde Ahlgrimm & Vienna’s Early Music Revival, Ashgate Publishing, published in 2007 – German edition to appear in 2016). He has written the principal scholarly articles about her life and career, documenting an important chapter of Europe’s revival of Early Music performance in the twentieth century.

Like his teacher, he has devoted himself to a life-long study of the works of Johann Sebastian Bach, and has performed and recorded much of that repertoire. His acquisition of a pedal harpsichord by Hubbard & Broekman, Boston, has led to a specialized study of a medium that was well-known to Bach, and which effectively bridges the gap between the organ and harpsichord literature. Peter Watchorn’s skills in performing and improvising on organ and harpsichord are outstanding, and he has long enjoyed an international reputation as concert and recording artist. He has made numerous appearances throughout the USA, Australia and Europe. Peter Watchorn is co-founder and president of Musica Omnia, an award-winning record label created in 2000 to promote awareness of historically informed musical performance from every era. He has served as principal producer, as well as performing artist, for recordings by many musicians, including Max van Egmond (baritone), Jaap Schröder (violin), Penelope Crawford (fortepiano), Emlyn Ngai (violin), Sally Pinkas (piano), Saskia Coolen (recorder) and Margriet Tindemans (viola da gamba).

In 2000, Watchorn’s reputation as a Bach exponent of outstanding ability led to an invitation from Robert Levin to record three solo harpsichord CDs for the recent best-selling Edition Bachakademie: a 172 CD collection documenting all the works of J. S. Bach. His discography for Musica Omnia includes a well-received set of discs devoted to Tudor and Jacobean keyboard music, works of John Bull as well as the complete solo harpsichord works of J. S. Bach, this 28 CD series due for completion in 2017.

He was the Australian representative and, later, a member of the staff of Hubbard Harpsichords, Inc., for many years and is an experienced and internationally recognized harpsichord builder. Tonight’s program is performed on a 2004 example of his own craftsmanship.

Thursday, September 22 7pm

34 Warren Avenue Boston, MA 02116 (Allen Hall)
Community Music Center of Boston
phone: 617-482-7494
fax: 617-482-6267
Our series is named in memory of John Kleshinski, our former CMCB Board President, with many thanks to Cerulli Associates, our 2016 – 2017 lead sponsor. All concerts are informal, family-friendly and run approximately ninety minutes in length — a great opportunity to enjoy a diverse sampling of musical instruments and genres.



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