Parthenia - David Ponsford (RVRCD61)

Dr David Ponsford

‘What one hears is a kaleidoscope of sound which combines virtuoso brilliance with scholarship’ (Musical Opinion).  This review of David Ponsford’s first solo recording has been a hallmark of his performances throughout his career.  As an organist, harpsichordist and conductor, he has travelled all over Europe, to America and to the Far East.  His solo recordings for harpsichord and organ have been acclaimed, and he is regarded as one of the foremost experts in the performance practice of Baroque music, matching skills as a performer with those of a scholar.  He has recently recorded J. S. Bach’s great organ cycle Clavierübung Part 3 for Guild Records, Parthenia (virginal music by Byrd, Bull and Gibbons) for Riverrun Records, and J. S. Bach’s complete sonatas for violin and harpsichord with Jacqueline Ross for ASV Gaudeamus.
Born in Cardiff, South Wales, he won an exhibition to Emmanuel College, Cambridge, when he gained the Fellowship of the Royal College of Organists.  Among his teachers, he studied organ with Peter Hurford, Lionel Rogg and Piet Kee, and with an Arts Council scholarship studied harpsichord with Kenneth Gilbert and Gustav Leonhardt.  More recently he held a Research Studentship at Cardiff University, Wales, where he was awarded a Ph.D for his doctoral dissertation in French Baroque organ music, working with Professor Peter Williams.
He began his career as Assistant Organist of Wells Cathedral, subsequently becoming conductor of Cheltenham Bach Choir where he directed many performances of major choral works by J. S. Bach, Handel and Monteverdi.  Later, he served as musical adviser to Yehudi Menuhin.  He has played and recorded with many chamber orchestras and choirs in the UK, appearing in major European festivals including BBC Promenade Concerts at the Royal Albert Hall, London.
In addition to his performing career, David Ponsford is Associate Lecturer at Cardiff University, and has given lectures at Bristol, Cambridge, Edinburgh and Queen’s University, Belfast.  He has published articles in The Organ Yearbook, Musical Times, Organists’ Review, Choir & Organ and the Journal of the British Institute of Organ Studies.  Currently, he is recipient of a Leverhulme Research Fellowship to write a book on French Baroque organ music for Cambridge University Press.  

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