Saturday, September 19, 2015

Dedication of Hartt's New Harpsichord

On Sunday, September 20, 2015, Hartt will present a special concert to unveil and dedicate the new harpsichord that it commissioned.  The harpsichord was custom built by Norfolk, Conn., resident Carl Dudash.

To mark the acquisition, Hartt's internationally recognized faculty will present a free concert of music written in the heyday of the harpsichord.
A Musical Offering: An Inaugural Concert of the Dudash Harpsichord will take place at 5 p.m. in Berkman Recital Hall.

A pre-concert lecture by Professor of Music History Kenneth Nott on the importance to the harpsichord of preserving and studying music of the Baroque period will begin at 4:30 p.m.

“A large body of music — primarily composed before 1760 — requires the harpsichord in either a solo or chamber capacity,” said Nott. “This acoustic harpsichord will provide an essential source of rhythm and harmonic support to our music students, who will benefit immensely from its use.”

The performers from the Hartt faculty and staff will include: Edward Clark, Karen Cook, Maggie Francis, Walter Gibson, Dee Hansen, Neal Humphreys, Emlyn Ngai, Richard Provost, Matthew Russo, and Greig Shearer.

Hartt commissioned a new harpsichord because its previous instrument required a number of costly repairs, and was difficult to move in an academic environment requiring frequent use. In 2012, Hartt purchased an electronic harpsichord until a new instrument could be attained. In 2014, after funds were raised, Hartt contacted Dudash to commission a custom harpsichord suited to its needs, which took eight months to complete. Dudash creates harpsichords according to 18th century German design, which “makes the instruments particularly well-suited for Bach,” he says. The Hartt harpsichord is constructed with resilient American Cherry, a soundboard of Western Red Cedar, and a reverse keyboard as was common for the era.

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