Death of organ and harpsichord player Kenneth Gilbert

The Canadian harpsichordist, organist, musicologist and pedagogue Kenneth Gilbert died yesterday, at the age of 88, at his home, according to the Spanish magazine Scherzo.

Born in Montreal on December 16, 1931, Gilbert won the Prix d’Europe for organ in 1953, which enabled him to study in Europe for two years with Nadia Boulanger (Composition), Gaston Litaize and Maurice Duruflé (Organ) and Sylvie Spicket (Harpsichord). He returned to France, on a scholarship from the government of Quebec, in 1965, with the purpose of making an edition of the complete keyboard work of François Couperin (published by Heugel in four volumes), whose third centenary was to take place in 1968. The edition was highly praised, which encouraged him to prepare the edition of the 555 sonatas by Domenico Scarlatti (also published by Heugel in eleven volumes).  Later on he would also make two editions of the keyboard works by Jean-Henri d’Anglebert and Girolamo Frescobaldi, as well as the Goldberg Variations by Johann Sebastian Bach.

At the same time, he began his activity as a performer. In 1988, he started teaching at the Mozarteum in Salzburg. And he didn’t stop giving master classes halfway around the world. But fame came with his recordings for the Harmonia Mundi label in the late 70’s and during the 80’s.

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