Harpsichordist Mark Edwards Named to Historical Performance Faculty

April 11, 2016

Erich Burnett

Mark Edwards
Photo credit: Elizabeth Delage

Mark Edwards, first-prize winner at the 2012 Musica Antique Bruges International Harpsichord Competition, has been named Assistant Professor of Harpsichord at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. His appointment begins July 1.

Edwards will be the successor to Webb Wiggins, a fixture on Oberlin’s historical performance faculty, who is retiring at the end of the 2015-16 school year.

A native of Canada, Edwards has presented solo recitals at numerous major festivals and series, among them the Utrecht Early Music Festival, Bozar, and the Montreal Baroque Festival and Clavecin en concert. He has performed concertos with prominent ensembles including Il Gardellino, Neobarock, and Ensemble Caprice, and he has played chamber music with Il Pomo d’Oro, Les Boréades de Montréal, and Flûtes Alors! His debut solo CD, Orpheus Descending, is due for release in 2016.

“Mark Edwards brings the listener to new and unpredictable regions, using all the resources of his instrument...of his virtuosity and of his imagination,” La Libre Belgique wrote in 2012.

"I'm very pleased to be joining the faculty of Oberlin Conservatory," says Edwards, who performed on campus March 28. "During my first visit, I worked with some of Oberlin's fantastic students: inquisitive, creative, hard-working, independent musicians who understand the harpsichord as an expressive instrument in its own right. Oberlin has a strong tradition of historical performance as an integral part of contemporary musical culture, and I very much look forward to contributing to that tradition."

"We are excited to welcome Mark to Oberlin," says Associate Professor of Historical Performance David Breitman, who is also director of Oberlin's Historical Performance Program. "He combines the flair of a top-notch performer with the rigor of a scholar—and he brought these two aspects together in an impressive way by opening his Oberlin recital with a beautiful improvisation in the style of Louis Couperin."

Edwards earned a bachelor of music with highest distinction from the Eastman School of Music, followed by graduate degrees from McGill University and the Hochschule für Musik Freiburg. He is a PhD candidate at Leiden University and the Orpheus Instituut, Ghent, where his studies focus on the intersection of memory, improvisation, and the concept of musical work. His teachers have included Robert Hill, William Porter, Hank Knox, and David Higgs.

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