Claudio Ribeiro - Historical performance practice

The Italian harpsichord in the early 18th century: a study of technique and performance based on historical sources

Within the field of historically informed performance, the Italian repertoire written for solo harpsichord between 1690 and 1740 is still largely unexplored and rarely performed. Through archival research I have been able to find a considerable amount of new material, thus adding to the repertoire already accessible.

My research question is: how can I perform this repertoire? I cannot rely solely on historical treatises from regions outside of Italy because they represent different styles. Research on relevant primary sources is therefore needed.

Continuing on my previous research pertaining to fingering (with important clues in scores by Alessandro Scarlatti and Pergolesi) and the addition of notes to the left-hand accompaniment of solo music, a reemerging practice still largely unresearched, I will also address aspects such as harpsichord types and registration, pitch and temperament, general technique, ornaments (e.g., trills, mordents, appoggiaturas, slides), also applied to chords (acciaccaturas and mordents), rhythmic alteration (rubato, timing), dynamics and the musical delivery as a whole.

By studying and experimenting with the perspectives offered by primary sources, I aim to assemble a comprehensive overview of the performance of this repertoire as a guide for today’s historically informed performer.

First supervisor: Anne Marie Dragosits, ABPU
Second supervisor: Univ.Prof. Dr. Markus Grassl, mdw
Third supervisor: Prof. Arnaldo Morelli, PhD, Università Degli Studi Dell'Aquila


Claudio Ribeiro is a harpsichordist, conductor and researcher. He works with a variety of orchestras and ensembles, as a regular guest at the major concert venues and festivals in Europe, and records for labels as Ramée, Ricercar, Ambronay Éditions, ORF, Brilliant and Passacaille. He combines music making with an intense research activity focused on performance practice and the discovery and promotion of unknown baroque repertoire, and is also an active harpsichord and early music teacher.

Claudio teaches at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague and at the Institut für Alte Musik und Aufführungspraxis der Kunstuniversität Graz, and is regularly invited to teach harpsichord and early music at international summer/winter courses. He is a member of the lectorate 'Music, Education & Society' of the Royal Conservatoire, conducting a joint research project with Dr. Inês d’Avena on the performance practices of Italian baroque music, and is a PhD researcher at the Anton Bruckner Privatuniversität in Linz, researching the performance practices of early 18th century Italian harpsichord music.