Old instruments – native speakers of the language Interview with Dr Geoffrey Govier

Geoffrey Govier

Geoffrey Govier is one of the leading British exponents of the early piano. Having studied modern piano at the Royal College of Music in London from which he graduated with first-class honours, he studied fortepiano first privately with Melvyn Tan in London, with Stanley Hoogland in Amsterdam and then gained his doctorate from Cornell University, Ithaca, New York studying with Malcolm Bilson.

He has played in many parts of the world, including Europe, New Zealand, the far and Middle East, and America both as a soloist and a chamber musician. He has been fortunate to play with many key figures in the period-instrument movement, including the singers Charles Daniels, Catherine Bott, Gerald Finley, the horn player Andrew Clark, and the chamber groups The Revolutionary Drawing Room and Ensemble Galant with whom he has made a number of recordings (BBC, Olympia, EMI and Hyperion).

He has worked particularly with Catherine Mackintosh since the 1980s, specialising in the violin sonatas of Mozart and they began recording these works for Chandos in April 2007. In 2006, the 250th anniversary year of Mozart’s birth, they played cycles of these works at a number of venues including Hatchlands Park, East Clandon and the RCM.

He gives regular masterclasses in Britain and France and his introduction to Hummel’s Ausführlich theoretisch-praktische Anweisung zum Piano-Forte-Spiel [1828] was published in 1998 (Tokyo: Sinfonia). [Source: Royal College of Music, London]

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An interview conducted by Agata Mierzejewska during the Historical Pianos Accademy organized by The Foundation for the National Edition of the Works of Fryderyk Chopin at The Krzysztof Penderecki European Centre for Music in Lusławice, where Dr Geoffrey Govier gave masterclasses (september 2017).


Direct means of communicating

Modern piano versus music from the past

Originals versus copies

To restore or not to restore

Can one still play a modern piano after experiencing historical instruments

Period pianos – important lesson


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