Houston, TX, March 1, 2023 — On Sunday, March 12th at 6 pm CT, Ars Lyrica Houston will present The Well-Tempered Clavier 300th Anniversary Celebration: Panel Discussion. This live Zoom panel is free with registration and features three internationally recognized music experts discussing J.S. Bach’s legacy. Ars Lyrica Artistic Director Matthew Dirst, a leading scholar of Bach’s keyboard music, will be joined by harpsichord builder John Phillips (Berkeley, California) and scholar David Yearsley (Cornell University).
The panelists will discuss Baroque harpsichords and the legacy of Bach’s keyboard music. The event will also feature the premiere of the complete The Well-Tempered Clavier Book 1 playlist, publicly available online on Youtube along with a myriad of other public educational resources.
This project, the first of its kind, comprises high-definition, professionally-recorded videos of all 24 preludes and fugues from The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 1. Harpsichordist Matthew Dirst recorded this series at Rienzi, the Museum of Fine Arts house museum for European decorative arts. These videos, which also include informative commentary from the performer, were filmed by Ben Doyle of BEND Productions with audio producers and engineers Ryan Edwards and Shannon Smith.
Dirst speaks to the scope of the project, “Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 1 is an iconic collection, one that virtually all pianists, keyboard players, harpsichordists, and organists learn to play some part of at some point in their careers. This volume is an important pedagogical tool, but it’s not all that well understood. This video series is a way to acquaint listeners with more of the collection and on an instrument that’s ideally suited to this music and in a venue that looks like we’re in the 18th century.”
This project is generously underwritten by the City of Houston through the Let Creativity Happen grant from the Houston Arts Alliance.
The Well-Tempered Clavier 300th Anniversary Celebration on March 12th features:
• Free zoom panel at 6pm CT (to be recorded and archived on Youtube)
Free registration for the zoom panel discussion (3/12 6pm CT) is available here: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZwudOytpjsiEtP4JnP5ZTZgBIKyFQqZ80fr
For more information on the project, see here: https://arslyricahouston.org/welltemperedclavier