In this video: Acclaimed harpsichord player Donald Nicolson (Latitude 37, Anja & Zlatna) takes us to the heart of the eighteenth century, demonstrating on two harpsichords the tonal and tuning possibilities that were known to Bach himself.

About the artist: Donald Nicolson undertook postgraduate studies at the Royal Conservatorium in The Hague, the Netherlands studying under Ton Koopman and Tini Mathot, focussing especially on the interpretation of the sixteenth-century English virginal music and the keyboard music of seventeenth-century France.

Now a Melbourne-based harpsichordist, organist and pianist, Donald leads an active career in performance and research of the music of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Europe, continuing to work on both sides of the Tasman as keyboardist for the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra and New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. He has directed numerous performances from the harpsichord including the Melbourne Symphony and Australian Chamber Orchestras, as well as teaching baroque practice at the University of Melbourne.

Currently Donald is completing his PhD (Musicology and Performance) at the University of Melbourne investigating societal, rhetorical and reflexive elements in the performance of the Unmeasured Preludes of Louis Couperin.

Donald is co-founder of Melbourne baroque trio, Latitude 37. The ensemble performs frequently at the Melbourne Recital Centre, various other venues in Victoria, and toured New Zealand twice with Chamber Music New Zealand. The ensemble’s three CDs released by ABC Classics have received critical acclamation.

About 48 Ways of Looking at Bach: In 1722, Johann Sebastian Bach set out to explore a new way of thinking about sound. His explorations led to an astonishing achievement, The Well-Tempered Clavier – two books of 24 Preludes and Fugues, in all major and minor keys, 48 works in total, each unique. In 2017 we’re joined by some of Australia’s most accomplished, creative and adventurous keyboard players to take us on a journey through ‘the 48’, bringing their own insights and reflections to this music, as well as matching it with music that they feel illuminate and enhance these masterworks.

Learning Keywords: J.S. Bach, classical performance, Well-Tempered Clavier, piano.

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