Philharmonia Chamber Players

Bach Family Keyboard Concerti
with Kristian Bezuidenhout, harpsichord, and Nicholas McGegan, director

8:00 PM Satuday, June 7
FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH – 2345 Channing Way (entrance at Dana and Durant).

Tickets: $65/48/32, $15 students under age 30 with ID – BUY TICKETS

Kristian Bezuidenhout joins forces with the Philharmonia Chamber Players–a division of the Bay Area’s Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra–and director Nicholas McGegan for a program of Bach family works and keyboard concerti.


Johann Ludwig Bach (1677-1731) – Suite in G major
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) – Concerto for Harpsichord No. 1 in D minor, BWV 1052
xxxxxKristian Bezuidenhout, harpsichord

Wilhelm Friedemann Bach (1710-1784) – Sinfonia in F major “Dissonant,” F. 67
Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (1714-1788) – Keyboard Concerto in C major, Wq. 20
xxxxx Kristian Bezuidenhout, harpsichord

About the Artists

Kristian Bezuidenhout, harpsichord

Kristian Bezuidenhout

Kristian Bezuidenhout

Kristian Bezuidenhout was born in South Africa in 1979.  He began his studies in Australia, completed them at the Eastman School of Music and now lives in London.  After initial training as a modern pianist with Rebecca Penneys, he explored early keyboards, studying harpsichord with Arthur Haas, fortepiano with Malcolm Bilson and continuo playing and performance practice with Paul O’Dette.  Bezuidenhout first gained international recognition at the age of 21 after winning the prestigious first prize as well as the audience prize in the Bruges Fortepiano Competition.

Bezuidenhout is a frequent guest artist with the world’s leading ensembles including The Freiburg Baroque Orchestra, Orchestre des Champs Elysées, The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Concerto Köln, The Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and Collegium Vocale Gent, in many instances assuming the role of guest director. He has performed with celebrated artists including John Eliot Gardiner, Philippe Herreweghe, Frans Brüggen, Trevor Pinnock, Christopher Hogwood, Pieter Wispelwey, Daniel Hope, Jean-Guihen Queyras, Isabelle Faust, Viktoria Mullova, Carolyn Sampson and Mark Padmore.

Bezuidenhout now divides his time between concerto, recital and chamber music engagements, appearing in the early music festivals of Barcelona, Boston, Bruges, Innsbruck, St. Petersburg, Venice and Utrecht, and the festivals of Salzburg, Luzern, Edinburgh, Schleswig Holstein, Tanglewood & Mostly Mozart; and at many of the world’s most important concert halls including the Berlin and Köln Philharmonie, Suntory Hall, Theatre des Champs Elysées, Symphony Hall, Konzerthaus Vienna, Wigmore Hall and Carnegie Hall.

Since 2009, Bezuidenhout has embarked on a long-term recording relationship with Harmonia Mundi.  Recordings include Mozart Violin Sonatas with Petra Müllejans, and Volumes 1, 2, 3 & 4 of the complete keyboard music of Mozart (Volume 1 was awarded a Diapason Découverte and Caecilia Prize and Volume 3 was recently awarded the German Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik).  Other projects for Harmonia Mundi include Mendelssohn piano concertos with the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra and Schumann Dichterliebe with Mark Padmore – both recordings won the Edison Award. His recording of Beethoven violin sonatas with Viktoria Mullova (ONYX label) won an ICMA and an ECHO Klassik award for the best chamber music album of 2011.

Bezuidenhout was awarded the ECHO Klassik 2013 Award for Concerto Recording of the Year (Mozart Concertos with the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra) and nominated as Gramophone Magazine’s Artist of the Year 2013. Concerts in the 2013-14 season include appearances with the Mozarteum Orchester Salzburg, the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra, the Rotterdam Philharmonic and Arcangelo at the Tetbury Festival, as well as a play-direct programme with Tafelmusik.  Recitals include Zankel Hall New York, Wigmore Hall London, Konzerthaus Berlin, Palau de la Musica Catalana Barcelona, Auditorium du Louvre Paris, and Oji Hall Tokyo, and the complete Mozart Sonatas at the Mozart Woche.

Nicholas McGegan, Artistic Director

nicholas mcgegan photo steve sherman

Nicholas McGegan. Photo: Steve Sherman

As he embarks on his fourth decade on the podium, Nicholas McGegan, hailed as “one of the finest baroque conductors of his generation” (London Independent), is increasingly recognized for his probing and revelatory explorations of music of all periods. He has been music director of Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra for 27 years, and was Artistic Director of the International Handel Festival Göttingen for 20 years (1991–2011). Beginning in the 2013-14 season he becomes Principal Guest Conductor of the Pasadena Symphony, and in 2014 becomes Artist in Association with Australia’s Adelaide Symphony.

His approach to period style — intelligent, infused with joy and never dogmatic — has led to appearances with major orchestras: including the New York, Los Angeles, and Hong Kong Philharmonics; the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Louis, Toronto and Sydney Symphonies; the Cleveland and the Philadelphia Orchestras; and the Northern Sinfonia and Scottish Chamber Orchestra, where his programs often mingle Baroque with later works. He is also at home in opera houses having conducted companies including Covent Garden, San Francisco, Santa Fe and Washington, and he was Principal Conductor at Sweden’s famed Drottningholm Theatre from 1993-1996.

English-born Nicholas McGegan was educated at Cambridge and Oxford. He was made an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) “for services to music overseas.” Other awards include the Halle Handel Prize; the Order of Merit of the State of Lower Saxony (Germany); the Medal of Honour of the City of Göttingen, and a declaration of Nicholas McGegan Day, by the Mayor of San Francisco in recognition of his work with Philharmonia Baroque. In 2013 he was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Music by the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

His extensive discography includes six recent releases on Philharmonia Baroque’s label, Philharmonia Baroque Productions (PBP), including Brahms Serenades; Beethoven Symphonies nos. 4 and 7; Berlioz Les Nuits d’été and Handel arias with Lorraine Hunt Lieberson; Haydn Symphonies nos. 88, 101 and 104 (nominated for a GRAMMY® Award); Vivaldi The Four Seasons and other concerti with violinist Elizabeth Blumenstock, and Handel’s Atalanta featuring soprano Dominique Labelle.

Philharmonia Chamber Players

The Philharmonia Chamber Players, a select group of musicians from the Bay Area’s own Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, was formed in 2005 for a concert at London’s Royal Opera Covent Garden.

The Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra has been dedicated to historically-informed performance of Baroque, Classical and early-Romantic music on original instruments since its inception in 1981. Under Music Director Nicholas McGegan, Philharmonia Baroque has been named Ensemble of the Year by Musical America.

The Orchestra performs an annual subscription series in the San Francisco Bay Area, and is regularly heard on tour in the United States and internationally. The Orchestra has its own professional chorus, the Philharmonia Chorale, directed by Bruce Lamott, and welcomes talented guest artists such as mezzo-soprano Susan Graham, countertenor David Daniels, conductor Jordi Savall, fortepianist Emmanuel Ax, conductor Masaaki Suzuki, and violinist Rachel Podger.

The Orchestra has had numerous successful collaborations with celebrated composers and choreographers. Philharmonia premiered its first commissioned work, a one-act opera by Jake Heggie entitled To Hell and Back, in November 2006. In collaboration with the Mark Morris Dance Group, Philharmonia Baroque gave the U.S. premieres of Morris’s highly acclaimed productions of Henry Purcell’s King Arthur and Jean-Philippe Rameau’s ballet-opera Platée.

Among the most-recorded period-instrument orchestras in the United States or in Europe, Philharmonia Baroque has made thirty-four highly praised recordings – including its Gramophone award-winning recording of Handel’s Susanna – for harmonia mundi, Reference Recordings, and BMG.

In 2011, Philharmonia launched its own label, Philharmonia Baroque Productions, with an acclaimed recording of Berlioz’s Les Nuits d’été and Handel arias featuring mezzo-soprano Lorraine Hunt Lieberson. The second CD release, Haydn Symphonies No. 104 “London”, No. 88, No. 101 “The Clock,” has been nominated for a GRAMMY® Award for Best Orchestral Performance.

Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra was founded by harpsichordist and early music pioneer Laurette Goldberg.

Back to Main Stage Concert Calendar