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, Catalina developed a special interest in the earliest repertoires, specializing on late-medieval and Renaissance keyboard instruments. Her acclaimed debut solo-recording "Parthenia", with music of the English Virginalists recorded on 3 original 17th-century instruments, has gained international distinctions. She is currently PhD candidate at Leiden University (Holland) doing research on the secular keyboard literature from 16th-century Italy. She has been 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). Her upcoming solo-recording will feature for the first time this unique harpsichord after the restoration made by Prof. John Koster (curator and conservator of the NMM), one of the leading conservators in 16th century harpsichords. Catalina Vicens has been invited as jury member of the Jurow International Harpsichord Competition held in the US.

 

Vicens studied harpsichord at the Curtis Institute of Music, Philadelphia, with Lionel Party. (This institute is America’s most selective conservatory, with an acceptance rate of 4 percent). 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 studied 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 (Holland), Christophe Rousset (France), Mitzi Meyerson (USA/Berlin), Menno van Delft (Holland/Hamburg), Bruno Procopio (Brazil/Paris), Kristian Bezuidenhout (South Africa), Kristian Nyquist (Germany, new music) among others.

 

Catalina Vicens has won many prizes, including the 1st Prize (on harpsichord and fortepiano) at the International Historical Keyboards’ Competition “Fritz Neumayer”, on keyboards from the original instruments collection in Schloss Bad Krozingen, Germany. She has been invited to give harpsichord master - classes in Europe and South America. Vicens lives currently in Basel, Switzerland. 

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)