In the past 50 years, interest in 16th-18th century music has flourished and the number of musicians exploring performance practices on original instruments has grown dramatically. Unfortunately, while interest in the harpsichord and its role in the musical life of Europe has greatly expanded, access to the original instruments for which the composers of that time wrote is rapidly diminishing. Many institutions have withdrawn access to their instrument collections, treating them as historic ‘documents’, to be seen but not heard. The consequence of this approach to preservation is that the authentic sound of these instruments and the musical insights that they provide are being lost to future generations.
The founding idea of the Piccola Accademia is to bring under one roof a spectrum of the different historic styles of instruments to allow the entire harpsichord repertoire to be played on the instruments for which the composers wrote. The Piccola Accademia cherishes the experience of playing a variety of different style of instruments, including original instruments, as an important part of the study of the harpsichord. The instrument collection is brought to life through master classes and performances given by the worlds leading harpsichord professors and performers. Since 2013 the collection is also available for the artists in residence at the Piccola Accademia.
The instruments presently in the collection: