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Keeping the Harpsichord Alive

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Charles T. Downey, A changing tune for the harpsichord
Washington Post, August 11, 2012

The harpsichord should have become a relic of history. Much smaller than the piano, the instrument produces its brittle sound by a string-plucking mechanism. Given second life by early music specialists in the 20th century, another sign of its revival comes Monday, when the Westfield Center for early keyboard studies hosts its first international harpsichord competition at the Clarice Smith Center in College Park.

While the competitors will play on modern reconstructions of historical instruments, a concert series at the National Museum of American History is featuring priceless historical instruments from the Smithsonian collection, including a 1620 Ruckers virginal. The museum’s Hall of Musical Instruments, which displays these and other precious bits of music history, will close in October for renovation.
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Westfield Center International Harpsichord Academy and Competition
August 13 to 18
Clarice Smith Center

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