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).
Other recordings include: 'The Oriental Miscellany' SIGD415, awarded the Preis der Deutschen Schallplatted Kritik for keyboard, works by British composers with electronics WIRED (NMC), ZOJI (MoonJune) with Mark Wingfield (electric guitar) and Adriano Adewale (percussion), Three Windows (DEM) with Mark Wingfield 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). See more details and full list under CDs in Info/Text. 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 until recently Turner Sims Fellow at the University of Southampton and 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)
HIGHLIGHTS/NEW WORKS/PROJECTS 2023
PRIX ANNELIE DE MAN - Contemporary Music Festival, Amsterdam, adjudicating and performing - 29th Nov to 3rd Dec.
LIFEM (London International Festival of Early Music) Solo harpsichord recital including a world Premiere by ROXANNA PANUFNIK taking inspiration from Byrd’s Pavana Lachrymae - Nov 9th.
Inaugural Recital for the University of Liverpool’s Jonathan Rushworth Hollick (Taskin) Harpsichord - Byrd, Bach, Couperin, Elisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre, Hindustani Airs from the Oriental Miscellany published in 1789. New work “Delamere Postcards” by MIKE VAUGHAN - 25th October, Tung Auditorium, Liverpool.
City Symphonies - A film by Subha Das Mollick exploring the Hindustani Air and musical life in Calcutta in the 18th century, produced by Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Govt. of India - September 20th Nehru Centre, London.
"ON THE WILD SIDE" Dartington Summer School - 25th July
Featuring STRANGE BLOOMS, by composer/producer GABRIEL PROKOFIEV, whose detailed processing of a recording of Louis Couperin's "La Complaignante" becomes the seed for an exploration of the resilience, inter-pollination and evolution of plants. Music by Frescobaldi, Rossi, Louis Couperin, and JS Bach's Chromatic Fantasy.
RCM Junior Dept Contemporary Music Concert - 16 new works for solo harpsichord by young composers - June 10th.
Consort 21 - Creating vibrant performance practice through collaboration and the exploration of new techniques and sound worlds, using period instruments. Student ensemble directed by Jane Chapman drawing together the RCM’s HP and Composition Departments performing new work - March 23rd.
“Divertissements” - Recording project with Tom Armstrong and Simon Zagorski-Thomas.
News 2022 currently being revised
Dartington International Summer School WILL be happening.
Prix Annelie de Man WILL be happening in the autumn.
Horniman Museum premieres for virginals WILL be happening in late spring following on from recent symposium 'Musical Instrument Collections Inspiring New Work' where a paper was presented entitled - 'The Real Thing'.
Currently writing article about the composer John Palmer for Vision Edition (harpsichord works recorded on Sargasso).
New disc ZOJI released 1/1/21
ZOJI with Mark Wingfield - electric guitar and Adriano Adewale - percussion (Moon June).
"Dizzying constellations of notes netted within the soundboard of the harpsichord, quill-plucked and sent spinning in darting arcs and ascending steps. . . Harmonic fog adrift from which notes slip out in silvery streaks, gleaming with passion, while some, disconsolate, fall into dark silence snuffing out their glow. . .
Cymbals sizzle and resonate, ceding space to the crackle of shells shaken. Wood, skin, clay all brushed, touched and tamped, honed into accents and beats, breathing between the firefly flurries criss-crossing through their time. . ."
Sid Smith - music journalist
Listen here and more details
Some interesting things happened in 2020 despite all. I’ve been exploring new repertoire both baroque and 21st century for future performances. Here are some highlights including working with young composers and players.
11/3 University of Surrey - Divertissments by Tom Armstrong for harpsichord and electric guitar (Sam Cave). CD of Tom’s compositions in preparation.
UK premiere of Siyâh Mashq III by Idin Samimi Mofakham.
5/3 Consort 21 (RCM) - directing students performing on original instruments from the HP Department - new works including electronics devised with Michael Oliva.
29/9 Benjamin Tassie - Resonance FM - Interview
Playing new music particularly with electronics featuring Simon Emmerson’s ‘Points of Departure’ (Sargasso) and Paul Newland’s exploration of the inner world of the harpsichord (WIRED).
Interview with Benjamin Tassie - Sept 29th, Series 2, Episode 4
Online digital opera ‘Grief’ for Opera Harmony (opera vision) - Ella Marchment Artistic Director.
Music performed and recorded by all players in isolation.
Joining the judges for one of the composition categories for the Ivor Academy Awards. Results announced on Radio 3 Tuesday 1st December.
Online lectures include - seminar for composition students from Department of Music University of California Berkeley USA.
Horniman Museum (postponed) - new works inspired by the Guraccino Virginal (1668) by Peter Falconer, Olly Selwood, Harry Matthews.
Prix Annelie de Man (postponed) - performing new works and judging a competition for young players.
Dartington International Summer School (postponed) - a programme of works by 17th and 18th century French composers. Masterclasses.
HIGHLIGHTS FOR 2019
6/2 Cadogan Hall, London - London Chamber Orchestra
Vivaldi 4 Seasons with a Latin twist including accordion
11/3 Turner Sims, Southampton - Recital with violinist Mira Benjamin
Works by Elisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre and Isabella Leonardo
14/3 Lincoln Arts Centre
An eclectic programme, from Bach’s Chromatic Fantasy and 18th century transcriptions of Indian music, to 20th century classics by Ligeti, and new work including electronics and music boxes.
Martin Scheuregger - Mechanical Asynchronicity III (WP)
Lace patterns from the Nottingham Lace Archive are turned into music. The lines of these patterns have been re-encoded as a punch card for a music box, recorded, chopped up, and a harpsichord part added to the mix. The sound of the music box is played back as the harpsichord part imitates, interweaves and interrupts. This work is the result of a collaboration with artist Danica Maier.
9/4 Borough New Music, London - New works by Tom Armstrong
Divertissements - harpsichord and electric guitar (James Woodrow)
Moto - harpsichord and live electronics (Jeevan Rai)
26/4 Turner Sims, Southampton - LGBTQ+ Music Symposium
Works by Barbara Strozzi with male-soprano Robert Crowe
27/4 King’s Lynn Festival - All Saints Church
From Byrd to Bird - Jane Chapman brings to life music from the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book and the Oriental Miscellany
11/6 Playlist Concert Series - Baffi, Southampton - music in amazing and unusual spaces.
Ben Oliver- Drip Feed (WP) Arts Council commission
27/7 - 3/8 Dartington International Summer School
Recital - 17th Century French Clavecinistes and beyond
23/10 Hatchlands - performed on the Virginals
Music from the 17th century Bauyn Manuscript - rarely heard pieces by French composers such as Dumont, Hardel, La Barre, Monnard and Richard, as well as those by Chambonnieres and his pupil Couperin
THRUST - New generation women composers inspired by Newtonian physics
HIGHLIGHTS FOR 2018
6/10 - LSO - St Luke's - CONTOUR - Jerwood composer Jasmin Kent Rodgman
Step into new worlds and tear down your idols. Music meets dance, film and electronics in an evening exploring movement: the body, sound and geography.
Built around the imagery of doors and the crossing of waters, we step into a soundworld of journeys and yearning through Kaija Saariaho’s ballet Maa, and Sohrab Uduman’s Breath Across Autumnal Ground, featuring celebrated harpsichordist Jane Chapman.
2/2 - The British Library - The Courtesan and the Memsahib - presentation with Katherine Schofield
20/2 - Hay Music - Oriental Miscellany with Yu-Wei Hu
9/3 - St John Smith's Square, London - solo works by Stephen Montague
6/5 - Mottisfont House (National Trust) - presentation with students from University of Southampton
22-26/5 - Prix Annelie de Man, Amsterdam - adjudicator for contemporary harpsichord competition - solo performances
HIGHLIGHTS FOR 2016/17
Tour with Nigel Kennedy: Bristol 24/1, Manchester 26/1, Edinburgh 27/1, RFH London 29/1, Birmingham 31/1
10/3 - Audiograph, Holywell Room, Oxford, Trio Aporia - electroacoustic concert
21-25/3 - Adjudicator at the Jurow Harpsichord competition, Ohio, USA - performance of the 'Oriental Miscellany'
7/4 - Handel Hendrix House -Trio Aporia playing Rameau and new works by composer in residence Edwin Hiller
18/4 - Handel Hendrix House with Mark Wingfield electric guitar
4/5 - Premiere and tour launch of a new working of the Tempest with Sound Affairs
20/5 - Kings Place -J PR - Trio Aporia plays Rameau and new works by Paul Whitty, Tom Armstrong and Paul Newland
13/9 - International computer Music Conference (ICMC) - Utrecht - Trio Aporia plays Neal Farwell
15/9 - 'Lines of Flight' - Ivy Theatre, University of Surrey. Trio Aporia - multi media concert directed by Andy Lavender: music by Tom Armstrong, video design by Sebastian Melo
11/10 - University of Bristol Research Seminar -'L'art de toucher le Clavecin: new approaches to harpsichord composition and composer-performer collaboration'
17/11 - 'Rituals to Mould her with' - RWA, Bristol. Twin composers Effy and Lithe Efthymiou's new multi media venture, with actor Esme Patey-Ford and dance artist Harriet Parker-Beldeau
Tempest tour with Sound Affairs: 8/11- OXFORD Holywell Music Room, 9/11 - BATH Spa University,10/11 - CARDIFF Royal College of Music & Drama, 11/11- LIVERPOOL Hope University, Capstone Theatre, 12/11 - SWANSEA Taliesin, 25/11 - LONDON St Giles Church, Cripplegate, 2/12 - ABERYSTWYTH Arts Centre
5/2 - Kings Place -'Rituals to Mould her with'
10/3 - Turner Sims Southampton - Extrapolations - Premieres by Leo Loebenberg (Facing the Flow), Leo Grant, Alexander Glyde-Bates, Jamie Howell, Mark Wiseman
19/5 - 'Handel Hendrix House - 'Rituals to Mould her with'
29/7 - 5/8/ - Dartington Summer School - baroque and contemporary courses
2/8 - Dartington Great Hall - baroque recital with Richard Boothby viola da gamba
3/8 - Dartington Great Hall - 'Hindustani Airs from the Oriental Miscellany' - Contemporary works by Ligeti
NEW COMMISSION by Stevie Wishart inspired by mists on the river Dart at dawn, performed with Joanna MacGregor
13/10 - Brunel University lunchtime recital
GROUNDBREAKING 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.
Awarded the Bestenliste Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik - Keyboard Instrument Award 2015
'The harpsichordist Jane Chapman is known for her fearless advocacy when it comes to unconventional discoveries. The Indian songs transcribed and edited by William Hamilton Bird are a genuine trouvaille, one of the first, if not the first, examples of musical Orientalism. This recording comes so lively, fresh and inspiring that musical knowledge and listening pleasure are equally guaranteed. Chapman always discovers new facets of the harpsichord, rarely has this instrument been more timely and up-to-date than here. In a nutshell, a hitherto unknown work is opened up and so gorgeously performed that one is lost in admiration.'
'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. 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.'
Featured on BBC Radio 3 - Private Passions, Amitav Ghosh
Went to number 16 in the Indian Classical Charts!
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).
Performances of Hindustani Airs: Music Gallery, Horniman Museum, Chawton House, Dartington Summer School, The British Library - The Courtesan and the Memsahib - presentation with Katherine Schofield, Hay Music with Yu-Wei Hu.
British Harpsichord Society 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 - RITUALS TO MOULD HER WITH Effy and Litha Efthymiou bring their new multimedia venture to Kings Place, Turner Sims and RWA this autumn/winter. Like all their staged compositions, it has a strong theatrical, choreographic and directorial style, fusing music for harpsichord, electronics, percussion and found objects with theatre and movement. The project unites Jane Chapman, with two rising stars of the theatre and dance worlds, actor Esme Patey-Ford (West End debut Hand to God, Vaudeville Theatre) and dance artist Harriet Parker-Beldeau (recent collaborator of Willi Dorner, Charles Linehan and Wayne McGregor). ‘Rituals to Mould her With’ is a conceptual stage work inspired by the musical ritual that celebrated the Virgin Mary in early-medieval Spain. The composers and performance artists have drawn material from 1500-year-old manuscripts and engaged with cutting-edge research at the University of Bristol, uncovering how the ‘Mary Ritual’ was a loaded and powerful tool used by prominent men to shape and communicate male ideals of femininity.
TRIO APORIA Stephen Preston baroque flute, Richard Boothby viola da gamba, Jane Chapman harpsichord with Paul Whitty composer - Electric Underground - electroacoustic works performed at Aldwych tube station (King's College Festival)
WIRED (NMC D145)
Pioneering disc of solo electronic works by British composers: Paul Dibley, James Dillon, Sam Hayden, Paul Newland, Roger Redgate, Sohrab Uduman, Mike Vaughan, Paul Whitty.
'Wired features a consistently engaging set of performances that are united by Chapman's searching musicality.' Musical Criticism.com
'Wonderful new aural pastures.' BBC Music Magazine
'In-the-moment responses from an inspired Chapman - ancient keyboard hardware meets state-of-the-art electronica.' Gramophone
'vorsicht hochspannung!' (caution, high voltage!). Neuheiten Note 1
'Chapman seems to get straight to the heart of each of these diverse works, forming a conduit for each composer's designs on the instrument.' Harpsichord&fortepiano
'Jane Chapman"s playing is excellent throughout, and her work developing new repertoire for her instrument is worthy of recognition.'
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.
Simon Emmerson's classic work for harpsichord and electronics 'Points of Departure' is reworked by Yumi Hara Cawkwell.