About Charlotte Mattax Moersch
Harpsichordist Charlotte Mattax Moersch has performed worldwide as a soloist and chamber musician. Since capturing First and Third Prizes in basso continuo and solo playing in the International Harpsichord Competitions in Paris, France and Bruges, Belgium, she has appeared in solo recitals in New York, London, Edinburgh, Rome, Geneva, Paris, and Amsterdam, and at historic venues, among them Carnegie Hall, the Royal Albert Hall, the Mozarteum, and the Palazzo della Cancelleria. Called a “nonpareil harpsichordist” by Early Music America, she has received critical acclaim for her playing, at once “dashing yet intelligent” (Classical Times, London), and “fluent and expressive” (Fanfare Magazine). As a guest artist, she has performed at the Festival of the Associazione Musicale Romana, Festival Estival de Paris, Tage alter musik Regensburg, and the Bethlehem and Boulder Bach Festivals, and has toured Europe with San Francisco’s American Baroque and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra.
As harpsichordist with New York’s Grande Bande, she performed in a production of Rameau’s opera Platée at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, with Pilobolus dancers and renowned soprano Renée Fleming. She has partnered with other dancers as well, performing programs of French music with Baroque dancer Catherine Turocy of the New York Baroque Dance Company, and J.S. Bach’s harpsichord concerti with Paul Taylor’s “Taylor 2” Dance Company. She collaborated with jazz vocalist Bobby McFerrin in a concert with the New Jerscy Symphony at the PNC Bank Arts Center, a 17,000-seat amphitheater,
The recipient of several important awards and prizes, she was honored with a Solo Recitalist Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, and a Harriet Hale Woolley Scholarship for study in Paris. She is a specialist in seventeenth-century French music; her book, Accompaniment on Theorbo and Harpsichord: Denis Delair’s Traité of 1690, is published by Indiana University Press.
She has recorded for Koch, Dorian, Amon Ra, Newport Classic, Analekta, and Centaur Records. Her solo harpsichord discography includes J.S. Bach’s Goldberg Variations, W.F. Bach’s sonatas, and the complete Pièces de clavecin of Jean Henry D’Anglebert, Armand-Louis Couperin, Charles Noblet, and Pierre Février. The Bach Legacy, her most recent recording, features sonatas and polonaises of C.P.E., J.C.F., and W.F. Bach.
Professor Mattax directs Illinois’ period instrument ensemble Concerto Urbano, which she founded in 1998. At Illinois’ Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, she has directed fully staged period performances of Baroque operas, including Rameau’s Zéphyre, Purcell’s Fairy Queen, Monteverdi’s Poppea, Cavalli’s La Calisto, Handel’s Acis and Galatea, and Lully’s Armide with Baroque dance choreography by UI Professor of Dance Phillip Johnston.
Also at Illinois, Mattax Moersch has served as the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) as well as Coordinator of Faculty Affairs. As Coordinator, she ran a taskforce in faculty workload equity, revised the Faculty Handbook, and oversaw tenure and promotion cases. In 2009, she won the Campus Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching, and was honored with the Campus Research Board’s Arnold O. Beckman Research Award.
I am a performing harpsichordist with a strong commitment to the area of historical performance. My field of expertise/performance practice, which encompasses both the history of music and performance is relevant to students in the areas of musicology as well as performance. A performer today may strive not only for instrumental virtuosity, but also for stylistic and historical authenticity, thus acquiring a knowledge of historical performance practice is vital. One of my goals is to increase awareness of baroque performance practice, my intensive specialty. To that end, I work with instrumentalists and singers of all levels in courses and performances. Graduate students at the University of Illinois play on period instruments in Concerto Urbano, the university’s period instrument ensemble, which I founded in 1998. I also teach harpsichord, fortepiano and basso continuo, emphasizing a faithfulness to historical keyboard practices, technique, style, and artistry.
BA (Music), Yale University; MM (harpsichord), The Juilliard School; DMA (early music performance practice), Stanford University. Additional studies with Gustav Leonhardt at the Sweelinck Conservatory, Kenneth Gilbert at the Paris Conservatoire, and Bob van Asperen at the Hague Conservatory. Master classes with Ton Koopman; organ study with André Isoir (Saint-Germain-des-Prés) in Paris, France, and William Barnard (Christ Church Cathedral) in Houston, Texas.