Jane Chapman : text

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JANE CHAPMAN * HARPSICHORD


Jane Chapman is one of Britain's most innovative harpsichordists, with a repertoire that embraces both baroque and contemporary music. She studied at Dartington College of Arts and the Royal College of Music where she won various prizes, and gained a British Council scholarship to study at the Amsterdam Conservatory with Ton Koopman. She also received an Allmusic Award for her versatility and innovation. Jane is an Honorary Fellow of Dartington College of Arts, and an Honorary Member of the Royal College of Music where she is also professor of harpsichord.

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.'

Jane Chapman has been described in The Independent on Sunday as 'Britain's most progressive harpsichordist'. Equally passionate about contemporary and baroque music, she has revitalised new repertoire for the instrument, and has inspired a new generation of composers premiering over 200 solo, chamber and electroacoustic works. She is involved in cutting edge collaborations with ground breaking musicians and visual artists, exploring innovative approaches to performance. She has performed at major festivals in Britain, Europe and America.

Chapman's recordings reveal both a scholarly and inventive approach to the baroque repertoire. A three CD set of 17th century music from the Bauyn Manuscript, described by The Times as 'stylish and eloquent', was selected in Critics' Choice by Gramophone Magazine. Her other recordings for Collins Classics under the title of 'The Lady's Banquet' - harpsichord and spinet music of the 18th century - have been highly acclaimed and Volume 1 was chosen by BBC Music Magazine in its top fifty recordings for that year.

She has also recorded contemporary works for NMC, Sargasso and ARGO. Releases include 'Rounds' by Berio for the New York based Mode label (NY Times pick of the year 2006), Three Windows (Dark Energy) - a CD of contemporary works for harpsichord and electric guitar by Mark Wingfield featuring jazz saxophonist Iain Ballamy, WIRED (NMC) - solo and electroacousic works for harpsichord by James Dillon, Paul Whitty and Paul Dibley, Sam Hayden, Mike Vaughan, Roger Redgate, Paul Newland, and Sohrab Uduman, also the NMC Song Book, electroacoustic works by Simon Emmerson (Sargasso), duos with harpsichordist Pamela Nash (ASC).

Jane Chapman has performed frequently at King Place, at London's South Bank, and her concert 'Soundscapes for the 21st Century' was supported by the Holst and Hinrichsen Foundations. She has also featured at major festivals including the Platform series at the ICA, London, premiering new works by Django Bates featuring her as a harpsichordist and vocalist. She has appeared at the York Early Music Festival, Huddersfield Festival of Contemporary Music, Brighton Festival, Dartington Summer School, Meltdown Festival at the South Bank, and the Harpsichordfest in Manchester. International appearances include Merkin Concert Hall NY, Hertz Hall UC Berkeley, Viitasaari Festival - Finland, the Bartok Festival - Hungary, Transit - Belgium, UNAM - Mexico City, touringlive music for film in Greece. She has broadcast from the Ijsbreker - Amsterdam, Wittener Tage - Germany, baroque and electroacoustic works at the Nutida Musikdaggar - Sweden, and Tage fur neue Musik - Zurich. She has also broadcast extensively for BBC Radio 3.Programmes have included an electroacoustic concert from Bangor Festival, the Gorecki Concerto with the BBC Concert Orchestra, and solo works by Ligeti.

Jane has also performed in the UK and internationally with 'Composer's Ensemble', 'Lontano', 'Expose', 'Sinfonia 21', The 'Smith Quartet', 'rout', 'Continuum' and 'MusikFabrik', and has also recorded with 'Music Projects London' and 'Cambridge New Music'. She presents programmes with Trio Aporia, pianist Kate Ryder (Keynote+) harpsichordist Pamela Nash, baroque flautist Eleanor Dawson, and electric guitarist Mark Wingfield. As well as performing and recording Jane contributes to the music press. She has written for The Musical Times, Harpsichord and Fortepiano, and has compiled and edited 2 issues of Contemporary Music Review on new music for harpsichord. She has given lectures and master classes at many institutions including UNAM Mexico, and UC Berkeley.

Recent and ongoing projects include (H+), new music with video artists, which was launched at the SPNM Sound Source series at Cargo Club, London, The ensemble Keynote + (Kate Ryder and Jane Chapman) was also launched with a sellout concert in the prestigious BMIC Cutting Edge Concert Series in London. A unique multi-keyboard project, it explores the interface between early and modern instruments and cutting edge new music, and examines the fascinating sound world and subtle sonorities of prepared piano, harpsichord, clavichord, and miniature instruments with visual imagery and sound installations. Jane continues her innovative collaboration with electric guitarist Mark Wingfield, and guest, Iain Ballamy.

In WIRED 2 she collaborated with the dancer Gregoire Meyer at the Cutting Edge autumn series, premiering new works by Newland, Rothwell and Whitty,


Performances encompass baroque repertoire on original historic instruments at Fenton House, and a collaboration with software designer Nick Rothwell, and multimedia artist Julia Bardsley in the prestigious SPNM Solo Spotlight Series at Wapping Hydraulic Power Station. Also new electroacoustic and solo works at The Spitz (WIRED), supported by the RVW Trust, with images by the renowned photographer Norman McBeath. Jane has also performed a duo by James Dillon at the Transit Festival, Belgium. Solo recitals include contemporary works with Bach Inventions (Reinventions) at the Merkin Concert Hall, Kaufman Centre, New York, UC Berkeley, and Los Angeles.

As well as performing, recording and publishing, she has worked extensively in the field of education, and teaches in both the senior and junior departments of the Royal College of Music. She is also currently a consultant to the ABRSM. Through her work she aims to inspire a wide and diverse audience with an interest and knowledge of baroque and new music, and to encourage participation through composition and performance. Jane is musician in residence with Kate Ryder at Goldsmiths College, London, and has been collaborating with the Sonic Arts Research Unit (SARU) at Oxford Brookes University. She is involved in a major collaborative project with the Studios at the Royal College of Music investigating creativity and sonic theatre (Intimate Handling).