I gives me pleasure to announce the following, and to say that I had a
great time trying out
Michael's new instrument- it's got a clean tone, which assures the
player that anything contrapuntal
will come through, while having a wonderful, long resonance. This is an
instrument that teaches the
player, and the 4' is a joy to use! The Goldbergs are a great piece to
show off the different registrations
And qualities of the instrument. See below:
Micaela Schmitz, harpsichord, will perform the inaugural concert on the
Flemish double manual by Michael Johnson made specially for The Barber
The Goldberg Variations by J.S. Bach
Micaela Schmitz, harpsichord
Sunday, November 14, 3pm.
The Barber Institute
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston Park Road
Venue phone 0121 414 7333
The concert is free and rounds out the Royal Musical Association's
Conference which takes place at the University that weekend.
Attendees are advised to come early to get a place. The concert,
including a short
talk and an interval, will conclude by 5pm.
About the performer:
Micaela Schmitz (née Gutierrez) is a member of HPSCHD-L. Originally from
the U.S., she
studied harpsichord and fortepiano at U.C. Berkeley (Katherine Heater,
Laurette Goldberg), The Eastman School of Music (Arthur Haas, Malcolm
Bilson), and the Royal
Conservatory at the Hague (Jacque Ogg, Bart van Oort, before coming to
settle in the UK. She has
been awarded the Hertz Travelling Fellowship, was an Ambassadorial
Scholar funded by the Rotary Club, and
Had bursaries for Dartington International Summer School (Penelope
Cave), the Vleehuis (Kris Verhelst, Joos
Van Immerseel) in 2002. For further info. see www.earlymusica.org.uk
About the instrument:
The instrument is closely based on the 1637 Andreas Ruckers in the
Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg, (Inv. No. MIR 1073), which was
chosen as basis for the Johnson Flemish models as it is one of the few
Ruckers harpsichords that survive almost unaltered.
The compass has been extended from the original C/E-c3 to GG-d3
chromatic, and in order to keep as close as possible to the original
case dimensions, an octave span of 161mm. is used. This has meant a new
plan has had to be drawn to enable us to achieve the necessary
compression which retains the original Ruckers’ speaking lengths and
plucking points over C/E to c3.
The disposition and plucking directions for the upper manual 8ft choir
and the lower manual 4ft choir are those of the original Ruckers.
However, the lower manual 8ft is an added set of strings complete with
register which plucks to the bass similar to the work of 18th century
French makers enlarging those 16th – 17th century Flemish instruments.
Keyboards shafts are made from lime and the naturals covered with resin
ivory using a box wood arcade. The accidentals are made in bog oak, a
material always used by Ruckers family. Pear has been used to hand
make the jacks with traditional holly tongues and hog bristle springs.
The instrument has been quilled with black delrin and strung to work at
A415 with Malcolm Rose iron and brass wire. The keyboards will
transpose in both directions to give A392 and A440, however there is a
loss of the end note in which ever direction the keyboards are
For further info. see the website.