He studied organ and harpsichord with Paul Jordan and Eugene Roan, and conducting with Jahja Ling and Otto-Werner Mueller, and attended Princeton University and Westminster Choir College. He served as Associate University Organist at Princeton from 1977 to1979, while a student there, and was Organist and Senior Choir Director at Hillsborough Reformed Church, Millstone, New Jersey, from 1988 until 1994. He has been a teacher of organ, harpsichord, clavichord and continuo-playing since 1979, teaching from time to time at Westminster Choir College and at the Westminster Conservatory of Music. He currently writes a monthly column on organ and harpsichord teaching for The Diapason.
As a performer, Gavin Black has focused on 17th-century keyboard music, especially music of Dutch, German, or Italian origin, and on the organ music of Bach, which he has performed in its entirety. In the year 2002 he performed Bach's Art of the Fugue on the new organ at the Princeton Theological Seminary, and elsewhere. His recording of harpsichord music of Sweelinck, played on a Philip Tyre copy of a Ruckers transposing double , was released in 2006 by Centaur Records (interesting online review here) and his recording of music of Frescobaldi played on a 17th century Italian harpsichord will also be released by Centaur. Gavin Black has also specialized in the music of the 20th-century American composer Moondog, recording a selection of his harpsichord music for the Musical Heritage Society in 1978. He has made a specialty of Bach's Art of the Fugue, and has recently recorded that work in a version for two harpsichords, with George Hazelrigg (see The Art of the Fugue.com)
Gavin Black has also been a founding member of several chamber ensembles, including the Princeton Baroque Ensemble, Whitechapel Baroque, and Channel Crossings. He is currently the continuo player for the ensemble Col Legno.
In this conversation Gavin shares his insights about teaching so if you're a teacher or a student of harpsichord or organ, I hope you will find this conversation inspiring. It's a rather long episode but we didn't want to split it into two parts because listening to it all (maybe not in one sitting) will be worth it.
Enjoy and share your comments below.
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Thanks for caring.
Princeton Early Keyboard Center
Vidas Pinkevicius' conversations with internationally renown experts from the organ world - concert and church organists, improvisers, educators, composers, organ builders, musicologists and other people who help shape the future of our profession.