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Jun 15, 2022

Harpsichord Academy in VALENCIENNES | ANTWERP

19 - 24 July 2022

Valenciennes | Antwerp

Like Stradivarius for violinists, the name Ruckers is mythical for harpsichordists. The instruments built in Antwerp for more than a century by the Ruckers and Couchet dynasty (the two families are related) revolutionised the musical world, both in terms of the organisation of work in the workshop and the sound identity of the instruments. Their instruments were quickly acclaimed by first-rate musicians and exported throughout Europe and even to South America. Their popularity through the centuries will only increase.

The Valenciennes academy will be equipped with prestigious instruments. Expect a great upheaval: never before have so many emblematic Flemish instruments from the beginning of the 17th century been brought together!

Jean-Luc Ho and Léon Berben will invite us to discover a vast repertoire, chronologically and geographically, ranging from keyboard pieces to tablature settings of vocal works, travelling between secular, Catholic and reformed spheres. A panel of organologists and organbuilders will immerse us in the history of this craze as well as in the secrets of the workshop. Thanks to our partnership with Orfanto (Fonds voor Historische Klaviercultuur / Fonds de culture des claviers historiques) of Antwerp, we will have the chance to hear three of its eminent members in concert. Finally, the course will end with a pilgrimage to Antwerp with a guided tour of the collection of the Vleeshuis Museum and the opportunity to play the historic Dulken harpsichord of 1747, heir to the Rucker tradition.

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