Mark Kroll, harpsichord"Portraits in Music"
Mark Kroll will perform on Saturday, Sept. 13, at 8 p.m. in Brooks-Rogers Recital Hall on the Williams College campus. This free event is cosponsored by Williams College Department of Music and The Clark and is open to the public.
In association with the symposium, Visions of the Stage: Theater, art and performance in France, 1600-1800 at the Clark Art Institute, renowned harpsichordist and musicologist will play a program of music by F. Couperin, Jean-Philippe Rameau, and Claude Balbastre. He will focus on music which paints musical “portraits’ of people, places and things, and which reflects 17th and 18th century French society and culture.
Mark Kroll has been acclaimed as one of the world’s leading harpsichordists and fortepianists. During a career spanning four decades, he has performed throughout North and South America, Europe and the Middle East, winning critical praise for his expressive playing and virtuosity.
His concert tours have included appearances as the official guest of the city of Barcelona, as featured soloist in Germany’s Regensburg Early Music Festival, France’s Festival Ambronay, Lisbon’s Gulbenkian Foundation, Rome’s Associazione Musicale Romana, Poland’s Dni Bachowski, Slovenijas’s Radovljica Festival and the Aston Magna, Saratoga and Mostly Mozart Festivals in the United States. He has been the first American harpsichordist to appear in numerous countries, including recent concerts in Abu Dhabi and Dubai of the United Arab Emirates. Equally active in the solo, chamber music and concerto repertoire, Kroll collaborates frequently with noted musicians and ensembles, and has appeared as concerto soloist with some of the world’s major orchestras, including the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Boston Symphony, the Montreal Symphony, the Belgrade Chamber Orchestra and I Solisti di Zagreb. He has served as the harpsichordist for the Boston Symphony since 1979.
Mark Kroll’s extensive list of recordings includes solo harpsichord works of J.S. Bach, Handel, D. Scarlatti, F. Couperin, Duphly and Balbastre; the complete sonatas for violin and harpsichord and for flute and harpsichord of J.S. Bach; violin sonatas of C.P.E. Bach and S. LeDuc; Schubert’s three Sonatinas for fortepiano and violin; a world-premiere recording of Mozart’s “Haffner” and Linz” symphonies as transcribed by J. N. Hummel for fortepiano and instruments; Biber’s Sonatas for Violin and Harpsichord; and contemporary American harpsichord music. He has made numerous radio and TV appearances, including Radio Nacional España, Radio Yugoslavia, Radio Catalunya, National Public Radio, Westdeutscherrundfunk Köln, Mitteldeutscherrundfunk, Bayerische Rundfunk, France Musique, the B.B.C., the C.B.C., and Radio Smithsonian.
A noted authority on performance practice and period instruments, Kroll has contributed to scholarly publications and written articles on a wide range of topics for general readership magazines and journals. These include chapters on French harpsichord music; 17th-century performance practice; the piano techniques of Beethoven and his contemporaries; and two editions of Hummel’s transcriptions of opera overtures and Mozart’s symphonies. He also served as the music critic for WBUR-FM for two years. Kroll has recently published three books: Playing the Harpsichord Expressively (Scarecrow Press) and The Beethoven Violin Sonatas (co-edited with Lewis Lockwood, University of Illinois Press), and Johann Nepomuk Hummel: A Musician and His World (Scarecrow Press).
Kroll is also a proponent of the harpsichord music of the 20th and 21st centuries. He has premiered and commissioned many new works, and his two CDs of this repertoire have been critically acclaimed. As a conductor, he has directed both orchestral and vocal ensembles, and served as the Artistic Director of Opera New England.
Mr. Kroll’s honors include a Senior Fulbright Award from the Council for International Exchange of Scholars, a Solo Recitalist Grant from the NEA, an NEH Fellowship, Whiting and Bogliasco Fellowships, a Stipendium from the City of Weimar, Germany, and grants from the DAAD, IREX, Aaron Copland Fund, Arts International, and the Martha Baird Rockefeller Fund. A dedicated educator, in 1989 Mr. Kroll served as Fulbright Professor and Artist-in-Residence in Yugoslavia, and later returned for recitals in Ljubljana, Zagreb, Belgrade and Zadar. In 1991 he was a visiting lecturer at the University of Padua, Italy and in 1993 he served as guest Professor at the Conservatory of Music in Würzburg, Germany. He has conducted master classes in the music academies of Warsaw, Krakow and Ljubljana and the Athens Conservatory in Greece. Mr. Kroll is Professor Emeritus at Boston University, where he served for 25 years as Professor and Chair of the Department of Historical Performance. He is currently Visiting Professor at Northeastern University.