Christopher Stembridge

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Christopher Stembridge

Christopher Stembridge studied languages at Cambridge University and musicology at Oxford University. He was awarded the Turpin Prize on obtaining Fellowship of the Royal College of Organists.

After 20 years as a lecturer in music at University College Cork (National University of Ireland), he moved to Northern Italy where he now lives. He gives regular master-classes on Renaissance organs and travels widely giving lectures, recitals and seminars in European, Russian and North American universities and conservatoires. For ten years he was Professor of Organ and Harpsichord at the Scuola di Musica Santa Cecilia, Brescia, and Professor for Organ at the Accademia Chigiana, Siena 1994-6; he taught at the Montreal Summer Academy for Organ in 2003. In 2006 (Summer Semester) he held a guest professorship in harpsichord at the Gnesin Academy, Moscow. He has recently directed concerts with the early music group Insula magica in Novosibirsk, and the Baroque Orchestra of Armenia in Yerevan.

His special field of interest is Italian keyboard music of the renaissance and early baroque. He has published various papers and edited music by de Macque, Mayone and Frescobaldi. (He is currently preparing the new Bärenreiter edition of Frescobaldi’s organ and keyboard music for which he was recently awarded the Noah Greenberg Prize by the American Musicological Society. His edition of the works of Marcoantonio Cavazzoni di Bologna for CEKM is in the press.

He wrote the chapter on Italy for the Cambridge Companion to the Organ (Cambridge University Press 1999).

He also plays the clavichord and the cembalo cromatico, a harpsichord with 19 notes to the octave - a reconstruction of an instrument that was widely used in late 16th-century Italy - and together with Willard Martin of Pennsylvania has designed the reconstruction of a 19-note just intonation keyboard similar to that proposed by Descartes in 1643.

Photo: Björn Ross 2008

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