In the words of the Wall Street Journal: "Jane Chapman is one of Britain's most distinguished classical harpsichordists, with a repertoire that stretches from early music to contemporary avant-garde. Her work is rapidly bringing the harpsichord into the 21st century and establishing her reputation as a rule-breaker."
Described in The Independent on Sunday as "Britain's most progressive harpsichordist", and in the Guardian as "a fearless contemporary music performer" Jane Chapman is at the forefront of creating and inspiring new music for harpsichord. She has premiered over 200 solo, chamber and electroacoustic works for the instrument worldwide. Equally passionate about baroque and contemporary music, she has collaborated with ground-breaking composers, artists and dancers, working with musicians from the worlds of Indian music, jazz, and the avant-garde.
She is a frequent partner in chamber ensembles, such as Trio Aporia, which specialises in contemporary and baroque music on period instruments, and Keynote + with Kate Ryder (prepared piano). Through her innovative performances, she aims to bring the harpsichord to a wider public, and to combine repertoire in ways that engage and challenge her audiences."Her progressive spirit and comprehensive technique have inspired composers to forge new parameters and sound worlds for the harpsichord with works of unprecedented musical and technological scope" (Harpsichord & Fortepiano).
Described as "Stylish and eloquent" by The Times, her recordings and recitals reveal both a scholarly and inventive approach to the baroque repertoire. Her CDs of 18th-century English music, 'The Lady's Banquet', and of the 17th-century French Bauyn Manuscript, offered the first extensive overviews of important sources previously unexplored on disc, and were both highly acclaimed - "One can count on technique to burn and faithful observance of stylistic conventions" (The Musical Times.
Recent recordings include: 'The Oriental Miscellany' SIGD415; works with electronics WIRED (NMC); Three Windows (Dark Energy Music), with Mark Wingfield (electric guitar) and Iain Ballamy (sax); Berio's 'Rounds' (mode), New York Times pick of the year, awarded the Preis der Deutschen Schallplatten Kritik; electroacoustic works by Simon Emmerson (Sargasso). Jane has compiled and edited two issues of Contemporary Music Review on the performance of new music for harpsichord.
Jane received a British Council scholarship to study harpsichord with Ton Koopman at the Amsterdam Conservatory. She is Professor of harpsichord at the Royal College of Music, and Turner Sims Fellow at the University of Southampton. She was recently artist in residence and King's College London, supported by the Leverhulme Trust. She is an Honorary Fellow of Dartington College of Arts, and an Honorary Member of the Royal College of Music.
"The Sorceress of the harpsichord" (Radio Times)
"The hippest harpsichordist around" (London Metro)
RECENT AND FORTHCOMING COLLABORATIONS AND PROJECTS
(for more, see projects/collaborations/videos)
NEW DISC: 'The Oriental Miscellany' released April 2015 (SIGD415)
Arranged and adapted by William Hamilton Bird, the Oriental Miscellany is the first published transcription of Indian vocal music in Western notation for harpsichord, taken from live performance. Published in Calcutta in 1789 it was considered an important historical source, reflecting Western fascination with the East, and the vogue for Hindustani Airs.
"This is an intriguing recording…. a fascinating and agreeable collection.
Jane Chapman uses the harpsichord's features - machine stop, lute stop - to full advantage.
Played with flair and panache by flautist Yu-Wei Hu."
Early Music Review ✭✭✭✭✭ (in all categories)
"(Jane Chapman) takes full advantage of the sonic effects and exotic possibilities of the restored 1722 Jacob Kirckman harpsichord she has chosen for the recording. The range of colours and textures is dazzling, and at sometimes wonderfully suggestive of an Indian sitar. She is free with repetitions and ornamentation, and occasionally adapts the simple bass-line for greater dramatic effect.
Delicious improvised additions … The playing is smart, clean, refined and inventive."
"Remarkably colourful performances…ornamental flourishes unlike anything found in European music of the time."
Recorded on an original Kirckman harpsichord at the Horniman Museum. Research undertaken as Artist in Residence at the Foyle Special Collections Library, King's College London, supported by the Leverhulme Trust (see links).
Recent concerts of Hindustani Airs: 30/6/15 - Music Gallery, Horniman Museum, 6/10.15 - Chawton House.
NEW DISC: 'Shadow Journey' 21st Century Music for Harpsichord (PFCD036)
Works by Jung Sun Kang, Jurgen Kraus, Satoru Ikeda, Larry Goves.
PREMIERE: Diana Burrell 'Gemini' for solo harpsichord Harwich Festival, 5/7/15. REINVENTION - this programme originally performed at the Merkin Hall, New York and Bath Festival, juxtaposes Bach's Inventions and Sinfonias with short contemporary works.
NEW COMMISSION 10/16 Two newly composed pieces by Litha and Effy Efthymiou will explore the theme of fabrication as creation. Inspired by the non-pitch readable manuscripts of the Old Hispanic liturgy their compositions for harpsichord, dancer, electronics and percussion, will raise questions about the issue of fabrication involved in trying to recreate the sound-world of a lost music and liturgical practice.
TRIO APORIA Stephen Preston baroque flute, Richard Boothby viola da gamba, Jane Chapman harpsichord. Electric Underground - electroacoustic works performed at Aldwych tube station (King's College Festival) New works for Kings Place 2016.
Collaboration with Gabriel Prokofiev and Shobana Jeyasingh Dance 2014 Strange Blooms. Electroacoustic composition taking various recordings of Jane performing a Chaconne by Louis Couperin.
Performance at London Contemporary Music Festival juxtaposing baroque and electroacoustic repertoire - Peckham Car Park 2013.
Adjudicator BHS Contemporary Harpsichord Composition Competition, and the Horniman Composition Competition 2013/14.
Adjudicator for the Jurow Harpsichord Competition, USA, 2016 Historical Society of North America.
HPSCHD Cage's seminal work for 7 harpsichords, 51 tapes, visuals (Variable Geometry, RCM, Feb 2012).
Tatton Park (National Trust) collaboration with film maker and artist Aura Satz (September 2012) - new works by Larry Goves and Leo Grant.
New works by young composers projects with: University of Liverpool, King's College London, Trinity College, NMK (Stavanger, Bergen, London), York University ( Spring Festival), University of Southampton, Royal College of Music.
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