Nellie Chaplin and her sisters: forgotten pioneers of early music & dance with authentic instruments. Part 1

“Indefatigable propagandists of ancient music” likened to Arnold Dolmetsch. Their hugely popular early music entertainments began in 1904, and continued for 25 years. […]

The Leonhardt Consort – The second phase 1955 – 1972, Part 2

The Leonhardt Consort, c. 1969, with Gustav Leonhardt playing the gamba


For details of the instruments, the players, and their comments about rehearsing with Leonhardt, in the early days of the Consort, see the first post about the second phase.

The concerts

Wim ten Have estimated that the Consort gave around 75 […]

The Leonhardt Consort – The second phase 1955 – 1972, Part 1

FLTR: GL, Marie L, Antionette vd H, Lodewijk d B, Dijk K, Wim t H, with the 1775 Kirkman harpsichord (c. 1959)


Although the Leonhardt Consort is perhaps best remembered today for its complete recordings, as a baroque orchestra, of the Bach Cantatas (shared with Concentus Musicus, Wien), it began life as […]

How famous is Scott Ross for playing the harpsichord, 25 years on?

The American harpsichordist Scott Ross is one of those musicians who just don’t seem to have achieved the fame they deserved. I must admit that he didn’t register on my radar at all, at the time when I “discovered” the likes of Gustav Leonhardt, Ton Koopman and Kenneth Gilbert.

For the first time ever, […]

Farewell to Christopher Hogwood (1941–2014), harpsichordist, conductor and early music pioneer

Christopher Hogwood, conducting in 1976

I was very sad, and also quite surprised, to hear that Christopher Hogwood CBE had passed away on 24 September 2014. His own website says he had been suffering from a brain tumour for several months. I interviewed him on the phone in March 2006, primarily about Mary […]

Remembering George Malcolm (harpsichordist, organist & conductor) 1917 – 1997

For several decades, the harpsichordist George Malcolm was famous for playing the “jangle box”, as he called it. He was important in introducing many people to the sound of the harpsichord, even though his interpretations may now seem outdated. He played for many years with Yehudi Menuhin, and made recordings with Julian Bream and the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields. This post is to announce the launch of a comprehensive commemorative website. […]

Gustav Leonhardt & Martin Skowroneck – Making harpsichord history

The harpsichord, based on Dulcken 1745, which Martin Skowroneck built in 1962 for Gustav Leonhardt was an important milestone in the early music revival. This article covers their first meeting and Skowroneck’s earlier work which led him to make this game-changing instrument. […]

The funeral of Gustav Leonhardt, 24 January 2012: a short report for those who could not attend.

The funeral of Gustav Leonhardt, 24 January 2012: a short report for those who could not attend. […]

Charles Thornton Lofthouse, the first person to play a harpsichord in the Royal Albert Hall

The fascinating musical life of Charles Thornton Lofthouse, a piano student of Alfred Cortot and a noted continuo player who taught the harpsichord at the Royal College of Music from 1934. […]

Christophe Rousset plays at Edinburgh’s harpsichord treasure trove

French harpsichord virtuoso Christophe Rousset plays on no fewer than six of the historical harpsichords from Edinburgh’s Raymond Russell Collection in a series of three concerts, given as part of the Edinburgh International Festival […]