Fall 2023


Research and ideas, scholarship and performance, are flourishing at the Center for Historical Keyboards as we embark on this Fall Semester 2023.  We invite you to join us for Friday evening Salons at the A. D. White house, for Midday Music for Organ in Sage and Anabel Taylor chapels on Wednesday lunchtimes, and for evening concerts and other events across the semester, including our Atkinson Forum symposium “Sustaining Keyboards” on September 15-16. All events are free and open to the public. 

Highlights include an exploration of the German “song-evening’ on both sides of the Atlantic, from Salzburg to Port-au-Prince, with Xak Bjerken and Jean Bernard Cerin (September 1); Messiaen’s landmark cycle for organ, ‘La Nativité du Seigneur’ performed in full by Annette Richards on the Aeolian-Skinner organ in Sage Chapel (December 8); Romantic medievalism in Brahms’ single and rarely-heard song cycle, ‘Die schöne Magelone,’ with guests Lucy Fitz Gibbon (soprano) and Ryan McCullough (piano), conjuring Brahms’s sound world on a 19th-century Streicher piano (September 22-23); the latest research on the late 18th-century Viennese composer Marianne Martines presented by guest artist Patricia García Gil on two of Cornell’s late 18th-century-style fortepianos (November 17); the remarkable oeuvre of contemporary Ukrainian composer Valentyn Silvestrov performed and discussed by distinguished guest pianist Boris Berman (November 3); improvisations and adaptations at the organs in Sage Chapel by David Yearsley (September 15); and a progressive recital from Anabel Taylor to Sage by one of the most exciting organists on the international scene today, Nathan Laube (September 16).

At the “Sustaining Keyboards” symposium (September 15-16) we will build on our recent work with the CNY Humanities Corridor ‘Historical Keyboarding’ working group to think about how notions of sustainability might prompt us to think anew about keyboard histories, embedded as they are in ecologies of nature and commerce, artifice and art, craft and industry. We invite you to join musicologists, instrument makers and curators, as well as local and guest performers, to reflect on the past and future of historical keyboard instruments—and to listen to many of the instruments that continue to be beautifully curated in Cornell’s collection.

You’ll find the full schedule of the semester’s events below. We hope to welcome you at many of them.

The Salon Project

Audience at the salon

Co-sponsored by the Society for the Humanities, The Salon Project brings together music, instruments, research, and conversation in a compact, hour-length format at the historic A. D. White House on select Fridays at 5pm.

September 1: Xak Bjerken and Jean Bernard Cerin. “A transatlantic Liederabend. German Song in the salon from Salzburg to Port-au-Prince”

September 22: Lucy Fitz Gibbon and Ryan McCullough (Bard College). “Murmelt fort, ihr Melodien: Brahms’ Epic Song Cycle”

November 3: Boris Berman (Yale School of Music). The music of Ukrainian composer Valentin Silvestrov (b.1937) [Cancelled]

November 17: Patricia García Gil (UNC Greensboro). Marianna Martines’s Keyboard Sonatas: “A most agreeable mescolanza of antico e modern.”

Piano and Organ Recitals


Pianist on stage

September 15-16 “Sustaining Keyboards”. Symposium sponsored by the Atkinson Forum in American Studies.

|              September 15, 12:30pm: Annette Richards and David Yearsley. The Organ’s Nature. (Italian organ and Aeolian-Skinner). Including music by Monteverdi, Sweelinck, Pärt, and Yearsley, as part of “Sustaining Keyboards.” Sage Chapel.

|              September 16, 5:30pm: Nathan Laube. A recital of varied repertoire beginning in Anabel Taylor and moving to Sage as part of the “Sustaining Keyboards” symposium. Anabel Taylor and Sage Chapels.

Visit the main page of the symposium for the full schedule. 

September 15, 8pm: Matt Bengston. Includes music by Mozart, Beach, McDowell, Schmitt and Chopin (Wolf/Schantz, Blüthner and Pleyel pianos). Barnes Hall.

September 16, 12:30pm: Malcolm Bilson, Xak Bjerken, J. B. Cerin, Sezi Seskir, Brian Wang and Miri Yampolsky. Includes music by Schumann, Schubert, Sibelius, Berio, Beach, Tchaikovsky and Reena Esmail on multiple pianos. Barnes Hall.

September 23, 8pm: Lucy FitzGibbon and Ryan McCullough. A complete performance of Brahms’ rarely heard song-cycle ‘Die schöne Magelone.’ Sage Chapel.

December 8, 8pm: Annette Richards. Messiaen’s ‘La Nativité du Seigneur’. Sage Chapel. [Cancelled]

Midday Music for Organ


Audience listening to an organ concert

Midday Music for Organ offers informal 40-minute programs on alternate Wednesdays at 12:30pm, giving busy Cornellians and guests musical respite at the center of the week. Events take place across campus.

September 6: Annette Richards.  Echoes from the Land Without Music: Tallis, Byrd, Howells, Ives and Judith Weir. (Italian organ and Aeolian-Skinner). Sage Chapel.

September 20: Jonathan Schakel. Organ Psalms: Reincken, Matter, Mendelssohn. Anabel Taylor Chapel.

October 4: Annette Richards. Mid-18th-Century Modern: C. P. E. Bach and J. L. Krebs. Anabel Taylor Chapel.

October 18: Jeffrey Snedeker. The Nightingale and the Cuckoo: Steigleder, Daquin, Couperin, Handel. Anabel Taylor Chapel.

November 1: Daniel Minnick. (Aeolian-Skinner). The Eclectic Virtuoso. Bach, Widor, Karosi, Conte, and Demessieux. Sage Chapel.

November 15: Edoardo Bellotti. A 17th-Century Roman Influencer and his followers: Corelli, J. G. Walther, Buxtehude, Handel. Sage Chapel (Italian organ).

November 29: students of Annette Richards for the Xmas season. Sage Chapel (Aeolian-Skinner Organ).

Past Events

Navigate to these pages to explore what the CCHK offered in the past semesters and themed series: