What we now call “classical music” and “early music” used to simply be called music in the 17th and 18th centuries, and it was not found chiefly in concert halls or theatres. It was found in the places people went to often in their daily lives: cafes, coffee houses, town squares and friends’ homes. And it wasn’t just amateurs making music in these places. Wolfgang Mozart played the Vienna coffee house scene right up until he died; Johann Sebastian Bach premiered many of his own works in Zimmermann’s coffee house in Leipzig; and the 17th-century French lute music I play was born and performed in the salons (read living rooms!) of the Parisian aristocracy.
It’s always been a dream of mine to take up this wonderful history and continue it in the 21st century, bringing my harpsichord out into the world, and playing its music in the places that people come and go from daily. With its unique and ebullient sound, not to mention its appearance, the harpsichord always draws people in when encountered in real life.
In Boston and its surrounding neighborhoods, there are a million such venues – coffee shops, bakeries, cafes, and neighborhood galleries – perfect for bringing music into the community. I look forward to launching this project and sharing the rich rewards with all involved.