I have had an interest in Continuo playing since my student days, playing Harpsichord with the European Union Baroque Orchestra and here in the UK in performances of Purcell's Dido and Aeneas and Handel's Xerxes at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland with Catherine MacIntosh. Subsequent performances have included Bach's Orchestral Suite No. 3 with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, recorded for Radio 3, works by Rameau, Bach and Handel with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra including organ continuo in Handel's Judas Maccabeus, the opening concert of the Edinburgh Festival that year. I regularly play harpsichord with the Ulster Orchestra, with Baroque specialists including Christian Curnyn, David Agler, Martin Haselböck and Kenneth Montgomery, and for some years have played continuo in the annual performances of Messiah also preparing the chorus, Belfast Philharmonic Choir. A highlight of the 2015 Edinburgh Festival was playing Harpsichord in Max Richter's Recomposed: The Four Seasons with the BBC SSO.

 

Solo harpsichord performances have included several performances of Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 5, concertos by CPE Bach and Leon Coates' Concertino for Harpsichord and Strings.

 

Orchestral keyboard performances have ranged from piano in Bernstein's West Side Story, keyed Glockenspiel in Handel's l'Allegro, organ in regular performances of Faure Requiem and Harmonium in Shreker's Kammersymphonie (Scottish Chamber Orchestra.) I perform regularly with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra playing Organ, Celeste, Piano and other keyed instruments!  I also played organ in the Decca recording of Mendelssohn's Elijah with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and Edinburgh Festival Chorus, conducted by Paul Daniel and, most recently, was delighted to perform that 'dream piece' of organists- Saint-Saens 'Organ' Symphony- with the Ulster Orchestra in a season-opening concert that introduced their new Chief Conductor, Daniele Rustioni. You can hear the 'famous' tune in a snippet of the packed-out concert here

© 2020 by STEPHEN DOUGHTY

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