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Bradley Brookshire

biography
philosophy
performance
venues/tours
recordings
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Musical Projects | Festivals
Radio Broadcasts | Press Quotes

Mr. Brookshire’s partners in recent musical projects have included:

The Chamber Orchestra of Europe (Berlin and London)
The English Chamber Orchestra (Aix-en-Provence)
Das Neu-Eröfnette Orchester (Cologne)
The Shanghai String Quartet (Vail)
The Orchestra of St. Luke’s
Sinfionetta de Picardy
Glimmerglass Opera
The Washington Opera
Virginia Opera
Eugenia Zukerman
Roger Norrington
Jane Glover
Ivor Bolton
Will Crutchfield
James Bowman
David Daniels
Drew Minter
Bejun Mehta
Phyllis Pancella
John Cheek
Amy Burton
Sanford Sylvan
Olga Makarina
Robert Hill
Simon Callow
Jonathan Miller
Paul Taylor

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His recent festival appearances have included concerts at:

Aix-en-Provence Festival de la Musique et de la Lyrique
Paris (Senlis) Festival des Cathedrales
Caramoor Festival
Vail Valley Music Festival

Mr. Brookshire has also performed on live radio broadcasts on:

National Public Radio
American Public Radio
Radio France
Radio Free Europe
Radio España
Hungarian State Radio

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Press quotes

“Brookshire is perhaps the finest Bach harpsichordist active in New York today”
The New York Times
September, 2000

“Andras Shiff is deft at finding humor in Bach’s writing. This attribute, perhaps rarer among harpsichordists than among pianists, is nevertheless notably shared by the splendid New York harpsichordist Bradley Brookshire, who in 1997 gave the finest performance of the French Suites in recent memory, which has so far no counterpart on records: a worthy project for some label in the Bach year.”
The New York Times
March, 2000

“Here, just in time for commemorations of the 250th anniversary of Bach’s death next year, is a harpsichordist of genuine flair, imagination and humor as well as remarkable skill. His playing at Weill, as on previous occasions, was everywhere stimulating and often provocative. The wonderful First Partita, just before intermission, seemed especially enticing in prospect. And although Mr. Brookshire’s rhapsodic treatment of the Courante went farther than one might have wished in imparting fluidity to the rhythms, the opportunity to share in this intelligent and unfailingly artistic exploration of the nature of the music proved satisfying; indeed, it seemed important.”
The New York Times
November 28, 1999

“But on Saturday afternoon there was a little gem of a recital by Bradley Brookshire, a harpsichordist who more and more appears to be the rising star on the New York early-music scene. Mr. Brookshire played a fascinating series of variation works leading up to Bach’s masterpiece, as well as a few items from Bach’s own 'Art of Fugue.' Mr. Brookshire played it all with remarkable technical ease and security. New York need to hear more of him, soon and often.”
The New York Times
February, 1999

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“Can it be that simple? One of the things the New York music scene has needed most desperately in recent years is an excellent Bach harpsichordist, and there was every reason to believe, on Tuesday evening, that it has found one. Just like that.”

Not that the young American Bradley Brookshire, who teaches at Mannes College and elsewhere, has figured prominently in group efforts onstage and in recordings, but so had others who went on to falter in the solo spotlight.

Mr. Brookshire fairly blossomed, playing all six of Bach’s French Suites at Weill Recital Hall. It was a remarkable tour de force and, better, merely the first installment of a complete survey of Bach’s keyboard works over three seasons.

Fine technical aplomb like Mr. Brookshire’s can by no means be taken for granted among harpsichordists these days. But it seemed the least of his attributes here, backed as it was by wonderful musicality, personality and wit.

For the most part, he kept individual voices distinct. And he applied great imagination to the separation of phrases, at the same time characterizing the various dance forms (imparting an occasional galumph to allemandes, for example).

Mr. Brookshire’s stamina was also remarkable. Proceeding quickly from one work to the next, he seemed to tire only slightly, toward the end of one or two suites. (By why such haste?) He even added a delightful encore, 'La Mandoline,' by Antoine Forqueray.

All of this despite the fact that he observed most of the sectional repeats. Those he skipped were in some of the sarabandes, and it seems ungracious to complain, but it was here that Mr. Brookshire may have stood out most.

These movements are often played at a deadly pace and drenched in sentimentality. Mr. Brookshire’s bright, voluptuary approach (especially in the First Suite, where he took the repeats and laid on insinuating ornamentation) finally made credible what one has always heard about the lascivious origins of this dance form.

Mr. Brookshire played a 1991 copy of a 1728 German instrument with a single keyboard, which looked from a distance to extend six octaves or so. It hardly seemed big enough to hold all the notes, let alone the color, Mr. Brookshire coaxed from it.”

The New York Times
October 16, 1997

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“Scales fairly danced off the keyboard and embellishments were invariably clean and flawless...a fascinating use of rubato: in passagesconsisting of only two lines, Brookshire actually seemed able to shape each line according to its own needs...Brookshire’s dazzling”
The Indianapolis News

“Bradley Brookshire in a program complied of works by Böhm, Scarlatti and Bach convincingly showed that he is a thoroughly professional artist whose name we shall surely hear again in the future. Astounding virtuosity, wonderful harpsichord sound, deliberate, purposeful formal construction and a commanding personality - all these qualities found their most convincing expression in the final captivating Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue, and rank the young artist alongside the international vanguard of harpsichordists.”
Hungarian Early Music Quarterly

“Brookshire is a brilliant performer”
The American Organist Magazine

“...graceful, elegant and fluid.”
New York Newsday

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