HARPSICHORD

Catalina Vicens, Anonymous Neapolitan Harpsichord (ca. 1525), NMM © Tony Jones

 © Tony Jones, National Music Museum

"Vicens dazzled the audience... she is an intimate and poetical performer."

- Luis Gago (Revista de Libros, 33rd Utrecht Early Music Festival review)

 

"Catalina Vicens plays with elegant style, deep insight and flawless technique."

- Stephen Midgley (Parthenia, amazon.co.uk official review)

 

Praised for her lyricism, virtuosity and brilliant style of playing, Chilean-born harpsichordist Catalina Vicens, has performed at the main concert halls and early music festivals of Europe and the Americas, as well as being invited to give recitals in some of the main collections of original historical keyboard instruments of the world, such as the National Music Museum (USA), Musical Instruments Museum Edinburgh (Scotland), Instrumentensammlung Schloss Bad Krozingen (Germany), Cobbe Collection Trust (UK) and The Fletcher Collection (UK). 

 

 

From early on in her career as a harpsichordist, Catalina developed a special passion for the source of sound itself: the antique historical keyboards as a source of knowledge and inspiration. After her acclaimed debut solo-recording "Parthenia", with music of the English virginalists recorded on three original 17th-century instruments from the Fritz Neumeyer Collection at the Castle of Bad Krozingen, she was invited to perform the public première of the oldest and best preserved Renaissance harpsichord in the world: an anonymous Neapolitan harpsichord (ca. 1525), now at the National Music Museum (International Conference of the Historical Keyboard Society of North America, 2014). "Il Cembalo di Partenope", released by Carpe Diem Records in 2017, was praised by the international press and was awarded with the Diapason d'Or. This passion for understanding music through the sound-source itself also has ben transferred into her teaching and development of new pedagogic models.

 

Vicens studied harpsichord at USA's most selective conservatory, the Curtis Institute of Music, Philadelphia, with Lionel Party. Later she studied at the Musikhochschule Freiburg with Robert Hill and at the prestigious Schola Cantorum Basiliensis with Andrea Marcon and Jesper Christensen. With a special interest in exploring the versatility of the harpsichord and her love for contemporary music, Catalina specialized in Contemporary Music Performance (with historical  keyboard instruments) under the tutelage of Jürg Henneberger and Mike Svoboda at the Musik Akademie Basel. Catalina Vicens took master–classes with harpsichordists like Gustav Leonhardt, Christophe Rousset, Mitzi Meyerson, Menno van Delft, Bruno Procopio, Kristian Bezuidenhout and Kristian Nyquist among others. She has performed under the direction of well-known conductors such as Skip Sempé, Andrea Marcon, Gottfried von der Goltz, Bart Van Reyn, Otto-Werner Müller, and Carlos Miguel Prieto.

Catalina Vicens won several competition as a young pianist and harpsichordist, including the 1st Prize (on harpsichord and fortepiano) at the International Historical Keyboards’ Competition “Fritz Neumeyer”, on keyboards from the antique instruments collection in Schloss Bad Krozingen, Germany. 

She’s been invited as jury member at the Jurow International Harpsichord Competition, Mechelen Harpsichord Competition, the Dulwich Historical Keyboard Competition and the Wanda Landowska Competition Poznań.

Catalina Vicens, Double Virginal. Schloss Bad Krozingen © Jonas Niederstadt

 © Jonas Niederstadt, Carpe Diem Records

"Her ability to maintain a basic metrical pulse, while still creating a sense of improvisation in her highly free treatment of running passages and her uninhibited way with ornamentation... is magical."

- Scott Noriega, Fanfare Magazine

 

 

"Catalina Vicens plays brilliantly. Her lucid style of playing results in a great transparency which allows the listener to follow the various lines of the polyphony."

- Johan van Veen (Music Web International, Parthenia, CD of the Month)