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Richard Troeger (Clavichord, Harpsichord, Fortepiano)

Born: September 1, 1953 - Santa Barbara, California, USA

The American harpsichordist, clavichordist and fortepianisat, Richard Troeger, was largely self-taught on the harpsichord from age 12 until University (he left his piano teacher at 11), and has never had a clavichord teacher. These were his primary keyboard instruments from very early on; in his twenties he added the fortepiano. He learnt of the clavichord when he was ten years old and exploring early keyboard music. He built himself an instrument shortly afterward from parts supplied by a California builder and obtained a much better instrument from Ronald Haas about two years later - and he's built for him several since. One of his earliest public performances, in school at age 16, was on the clavichord. He played an all-Bach program - a French Suite, the 15 Inventions, a Fantasia. He is a graduate of Indiana University (BM, 1977), holds Master degrees in Performance and Musicology from Indiana University (1982) and completed a Doctorate in Early Music there (1987). His teachers include Anthony Newman, Marie Zorn, Hugh McLean, and Thomas Binkley.

Richard Troeger made his professional debut in 1981 in New York. Herforms on the clavichord, harpsichord and fortepiano and in duo-keyboard recitals with his wife, organist and harpsichordist Paulette Grundeen (married: April 12, 1982). He has been heard as a performer and lecturer throughout USA and Canada. Recitals have included appearances for the American Musical Instrument Society, American Guild of Organists, Boston Clavichord Society, Royal College of Organists, Southeastern Historical Keyboard Society, Midwestern Historical Keyboard Society, concerts on university, early-music, and museum series, and numerous radio appearances, including many performances on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's Arts National. Earlier in his life he gave more harpsichord recitals than anything else, although he has always cultivated the three instruments side-by-side. From mid 1980's he has given even more stress to the clavichord. In programs he likes sometimes to play the clavichord with harpsichord or fortepiano. His favorite clavichord repertoire includes many works from medieval through 20th-century music. However, he gives J.S. Bach first place here, as in music generally, and also J. Haydn.

Richard Troeger's publications include numerous articles and the book Technique & Interpretation on the Harpsichord & Clavichord (Indiana University Press, 1987). He was invited to write the articles on harpsichord and clavichord playing, among others, for the Garland Encyclopedia of Keyboard Instruments. He has taught at The King's College, Edmonton from 1986 to 1989, and was assistant professor at the University of Alberta, Edmonton from 1989. He has been harpsichordist for Musique Chantante and the Kensington Sinfonia of Calgary, as well as performing with Toronto's Tafelmusik. He is the current President of the Boston Clavichord Society. Currently he is writing a book on the performance of Bach's music. In preparation also is a book on Baroque and Classical instrumental articulation (undertaken as a Canada Research Fellow) and a study of the French unmeasured prelude.

Richard Troeger now lives in the Boston area, where he is completing a recording project for Lyrichord Discs (in New York) that embraces all the major keyboard works of J.S. Bach, recorded by Richard Troeger, using two clavichords by Ronald Haas of period instruments. (The harpsichord-specific works--the Italian Concerto, French Overture, and Goldberg Variations--will be recorded on the harpsichord.) This would be the first integral Bach recording using the clavichord. The first issue was the six Partitas, the first time the set has been recorded on the clavichord. The next issue was the seven Toccatas.

Source: Lyrichord Website; International Who's Who in Music & International Directory (13th Edition, 1992/93)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (October 2006)

Richard Troeger: Short Biography | Recordings of Instrumental Works
Reviews of Instrumental Recordings:
Bach’s Partitas for Harpsichord from Richard Troeger | Bach's Toccatas for Harpsichord from Watchorn & Troeger (3 Parts)

Links to other Sites

An Interview with Clavichordist Richard Troeger (Lyrichord)



Richard Troeger: Playing Bach on the Keyboard: A Practical Guide (Amadeus Press, 2003). Buy this book at:
Richard Troeger: Technique and Interpretation on the Harpsichord and Clavichord (Indiana University Press, 1987).
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Richard Troeger: The unmeasured harpsichord prelude in eighteenth-century France (1987).
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Richard Troeger: The unmeasured preludes of Louis Couperin: A stylistic study.
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