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Kirkpatrick, Ralph Leonard

Born: 1911 AD
Died: 1984 AD
Nationality: American
Categories: Harpsicordist

1911 – Born on June 10th in Leominster, Massachusetts. American musicologist and one of the most influential harpsichordists of the 20th century.

1930 – Kirkpatrick studied piano from age six and began to play harpsichord.

         – He gave his first public harpsichord recital in Paine Hall at Harvard.

1931 – He graduated from Harvard University and then went to Paris to continue his studies.

1933 – Made his European concert debut in Berlin performing Bach’s Goldberg Variations.

1937 – Was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship to study seventeenth and eighteenth-century chamber and keyboard music in Europe.

1938 – Inaugurated a festival of baroque music at the Governor’s Palace in Williamsburg, Virginia and, for a number of years, he continued to be the adviser and principal performer in annual festivals there.

1940 – Appointed to the music faculty at Yale University and he remained at Yale until his retirement.

1953 – Twelve years of research culminated in Kirkpatrick’s acclaimed biography of Scarlatti, was published. In this book, he also catalogue Scarlatti’s keyboard sonatas and this catalogue has became the standard source for identification of the sonatas.

1956 – Deutsche Grammophon Gesellschaft, the German recording company, selected Kirkpatrick to record all of the keyboard works of Johann Sebastian Bach, with the exception of the works for organ, for its Archiv label.

1961 – He gave the first public clavichord recital ever heard in New York City at Carnegie Recital Hall.

1969 – He was selected to perform at Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center shortly after its opening.

1981 – He played a recital at the first Boston Early Music Festival that commemorated the 51st anniversary of his first public concert.

1984 – Died on April 13th in Guilford, Connecticut at the age of 72, his art collection was given to the Yale University Art Gallery.