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Desert Baroque celebrates Mid-Century Madness - mid-18th Century, that is - with a roster of concerts and classes in mid-February devoted to the Baroque harpsichord, and the newly envisioned “harpsichord with loud and soft” - the fortepiano. In Desert Baroque’s newly established tradition: “if one is good, more is better,” we’re introducing three fortepianos and three harpsichords, a clavichord and a toy piano in a series of 4 performances and 3 master classes in a festival bidding welcome to new forms of expression, while saying Bye Bye to the Baroque. 

The young piano, invented by Cristofori, around 1700 in Italy, quickly gained interest among European musicians, as it elbowed into the space occupied for centuries by the harpsichord. Strings struck by small, leather-covered hammers replaced the pluck of quills, on an instrument resembling the harpsichord in basic appearance and construction, but with its own distinct action, sound and touch. Shortly, compositions appeared in manuscript and print for the fortepiano, and instrument builders flourished from Southern Italy to the Northern Isles.

Please join us for one, two, or ALL of these events. Spread the word, join us, bring your friends to this once-in-a-lifetime weekend here in the Coachella Valley, California!

Full Festival Subscription:

  • $275 (includes 4 concerts reserved seating, 3 masterclasses, and Sunday lunch)

  • Partner of participant: $110 (includes 4 concerts and Sunday lunch)

Masterclasses: $60 for each class, $70 at the event

Fortepianos by Belt/Metz, Thomas McCobb, Paul McNulty; Harpsichords by Keith Hill, Leopoldo Perez Robledo, Walter Burr; Clavichord by Jeffrey Lende; Toy Piano by Schoenhut.  



Thursday, February 14, 2019, 7 pm

Harrison House, Joshua Tree, CA

A Valentine’s Evening: Los Angeles Duo

Friday, February 15, 7 pm

Church of St. Paul in the Desert, Palm Springs, CA

"A Perfect Match - Music and Instruments"

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Hope Center, Hope Lutheran Church, Palm Desert, CA

"The Contest": Four Historic Keyboards vie for Position

Sunday, February 17, 2019, 4 pm

Private residence, Palm Springs, CA

Keyboard Potpourri: House Concert & Soiree

Master Classes


Friday, February 15, 2:30 - 4 pm

Randall Love, Fortepiano (Duke University)

Late Baroque & early Classical repertoire


Saturday, February 16, 10:30 am -12 pm

Charles Metz, Harpsichord & Fortepiano (Chicago, St. Louis & Palm Springs)

Haydn repertoire on harpsichord or fortepiano


Sunday, February 17, 10:30 am - 12 pm

Monica Jakuc Leverett, Fortepiano (Professor Emerita, Smith College)

Mozart repertoire for fortepiano: variations, rondos, sonata movements, etc.

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