Performance Thursday, April 23, 2015 | 7:30 PM

Kristian Bezuidenhout

Weill Recital Hall
Keyboard master Kristian Bezuidenhout brings intelligence, wit, and subtlety to the extraordinary range of music for harpsichord. The Boston Globe called him, “a vigorously intelligent musician, well equipped with the technique to back up some extraordinary new ideas about old music,” and said, “Bezuidenhout played with vigor, variety, and color: extraordinary ... and immensely expressive.”

Part of Salon Encores.


  • Kristian Bezuidenhout, Harpsichord


  • WECKMANN Toccata in E Minor
  • PURCELL Prelude from Suite in G Minor, Z. 661
  • PURCELL Almand from Suite in G Minor, Z. 661
  • PURCELL Rondeau Minuet from The Gordian Knot Unty'd, Z. 597
  • PURCELL Round O from Abdelazer, or The Moor's Revenge, Z. 570
  • PURCELL Ground in C Minor, Z. D221
  • MUFFAT Passacaglia from Apparatus musico-organisticus
  • L. COUPERIN Prelude in C Major
  • RITTER Suite in C Minor
  • L. COUPERIN Passacaille in C Major
  • FROBERGER Tombeau in C Minor, FbWV 632
  • BACH Partita No. 4 in D Major, BWV 828

  • Encore:
  • FROBERGER Lamento sopra la dolorosa perdita della Real Maesta di Ferdinando IV

Event Duration

The printed program will last approximately two hours, including one 20-minute intermission.


  • Kristian Bezuidenhout 

    Kristian Bezuidenhout was born in South Africa in 1979. He began his studies in Australia, completed them at the Eastman School of Music, and now lives in London. After initial training as a modern pianist with Rebecca Penneys, he explored early keyboards, studying harpsichord with Arthur Haas, fortepiano with Malcolm Bilson, and continuo playing and performance practice with Paul O'Dette. Mr. Bezuidenhout first gained international recognition at the age of 21 after winning the prestigious first prize as well as the audience prize in the Bruges Fortepiano Competition.

    Mr. Bezuidenhout is a frequent guest artist with the world's leading ensembles, including the Freiburger Barockorchester, Orchestre des Champs-Élysées, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Concerto Köln, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, and Collegium Vocale Gent, in many instances assuming the role of guest director. He has performed with celebrated artists who include Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Philippe Herreweghe, Frans Brüggen, Trevor Pinnock, Christopher Hogwood, Pieter Wispelwey, Daniel Hope, Jean-Guihen Queyras, Isabelle Faust, Viktoria Mullova, Carolyn Sampson, and Mark Padmore.

    In 2009, Mr. Bezuidenhout embarked on a long-term recording relationship with Harmonia Mundi. His releases include Mozart's violin sonatas with Petra Müllejans, and volumes 1-7 of the complete keyboard music of Mozart. Volume 1 was awarded a Diapason Découverte and a Caecilia Prize, and Volume 3 was recently awarded the Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik. Other projects for Harmonia Mundi include Mendelssohn's piano concertos with the Freiburger Barockorchester and Schumann's Dichterliebe with Mark Padmore; both recordings won an Edison Award. Mr. Bezuidenhout's recording of Beethoven's violin sonatas with Viktoria Mullova (ONYX label) won an ICMA and an ECHO Klassik award for Best Chamber Music Album of 2011.

    In 2013, Mr. Bezuidenhout received the ECHO award for Concerto Recording of the Year (Mozart concertos with the Freiburger Barockorchester) and was nominated as Gramophone magazine's Artist of the Year. Mr. Bezuidenhout has recently appeared in concert with the Mozarteum Orchester Salzburg and Freiburger Barockorchester, and his 2014-2015 season features performances with the Seattle Symphony, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Bern Symphony Orchestra, The English Concert, Il Giardino Armonico, and Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra. His recital appearances include New York, London, Wrocław, Salzburg, Barcelona, and Frankfurt, among other cities. 

    More Info

At a Glance

Compared with other keyboard virtuosos of the Baroque era, Johann Sebastian Bach rarely ventured beyond his home turf in eastern Germany. As his D-Major Partita shows, however, Bach combined the German love of counterpoint with the French affinity for suave melodies and harmonies and the new Italian taste for brilliant display and rhetorical contrast. Bach particularly admired François Couperin and his fellow French claveciniste composers, whose highly ornate harpsichord music demanded exceptional lightness and evenness of touch.

Of the earlier masters represented on this evening’s program, Johann Jacob Froberger—arguably the greatest German keyboard composer before Bach—was especially broad-minded in his artistic sympathies. His extensive travels and friendship with kindred spirits such as Louis Couperin and Matthias Weckmann inculcated a cosmopolitan outlook that came to typify the north-German school of keyboard music in the 17th and early 18th centuries. This outlook bore fruit in a profusion of toccatas, preludes, passacaglias, fantasias, and other improvisatory-sounding pieces that exemplified the free and unrestrained method of composing known as the stylus fantasticus, or “fantastic style.” In an increasingly interconnected Europe, such stylistic influences spread far and wide—from Stockholm, where Christian Ritter served as a musician, to the Swedish court, to Henry Purcell’s London.
Program Notes


Before Bach
This performance is part of Before Bach, and Early Music Instrumental.

Part of