Wednesday, April 24th, 2024
We are so very pleased that the acclaimed harpsichordist Carole Cerasi will be in residence at the Burns House this spring.
We are doubly pleased that she will perform the inaugural recital for the Klaus Ahrend Harpsichord.
Carole will also be conducting a Masterclass for Colburn Conservatory students at the Burns House.
Carole has established herself at the very front rank of early keyboard players and recording artists in her field. Known for her expressive and virtuosic interpretations, fluidity of phrasing and refined touch, she has given recitals throughout Europe as well as in Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Colombia, Israel, Canada and the United States. Her CDs have won many major awards (Elisabeth Jacquet de La Guerre, Gramophone Awards; C.P.E. Bach and Thomas Tomkins, Diapason d'Or de l’Année; J.S. Bach and the Möller Manuscript, Diapason d’Or de l'Année and runner-up Gramophone Awards; Scarlatti, runner-up Gramophone Awards). In 2018 Metronome Recordings released her 10 CD set of François Couperin’s complete harpsichord works, which received a Diapason d’Or.
A highly respected teacher—besides her work as Professor of Harpsichord and Fortepiano at the Royal Academy of Music, the Guildhall School of Music & Drama and the Yehudi Menuhin School—Carole is a much sought-after pedagogue by talented students of the younger generation. She is also in demand as a member of international juries. Recently, she has been named Professor of Harpsichord at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague.
Carole comes from a Sephardic family based in Istanbul, and spent her childhood in Stockholm, Geneva and Jerusalem; her mother tongue is French. She is based in London with her husband James and daughters Aurélia and XinMin.
The Klaus Ahrend Harpsichord
In June 2023, I emailed Hendrik Ahrend in Leer, Germany. “I know this is remote possibility, but should you ever learn of one of your uncle’s harpsichords becoming available, would you let me know?” (The late Klaus Ahrend was the brother of Jürgen Ahrend, who built the Burns House organ, the first outside of Europe.)
Only hours later, I received a reply: “I’m amazed you asked me this question. Two days ago, I heard for the very first time ever one of Uncle Klaus’s rare instruments becoming available, when Timothy Roberts in London contacted me for advice about finding a new home for his harpsichord.”
Hendrik put me in touch with Timothy, a fine player who inherited the instrument from Martin Birnstingl, a British surgeon and husband of the architect Renate Prince. They had commissioned Klaus Ahrend to build this harpsichord for their famous Modernist flat in Hampstead.
When I suggested to Timothy we would likely never again have the chance to reunite two Ahrend instruments in the same space, he agreed.
With the generous help of contributors, I was able to acquire the harpsichord for the Burns House.
The instrument was commissioned by Martin Birnstingl, a surgeon at St Bartholemew's Hospital in London. It is in the Flemish tradition, and based on instruments by Johannes Daniel Dulcken (1706–1757). Its case, in poplar, remained unpainted at the special request of the customer, who lived in a minimalist modern apartment.
Dulcken's instruments represent the culmination of Flemish harpsichord-making, and typically are considerably larger than, for example, those built 150 to 100 years earlier by the famous Ruckers family. The reason for their great length – the spine of Ahrend instrument measures 8'6" – was (as in a modern grand piano) to allow the string lengths in the bass to increase in proportion, thus allowing thinner strings and a corresponding clarity of tone.
Ahrend had worked in the workshop of the acclaimed maker Martin Skowroneck, who had, in 1962, been commissioned by the famous harpsichordist Gustav Leonhardt, to build an instrument based on the work of Dulcken. Skowroneck did not aim for an exact copy, but studied original Dulckens in Washington and Vienna. The resulting masterpiece became famous through Leonhardt's recordings, especially of Bach's solo keyboard music and concertos, and was frequently copied. Skowroneck himself, however, made only three more "Dulckens".
The instrument took three years to design and build. The 1973 instrument by Ahrend has a special value not as a slavish copy of a Skowroneck, but rather as a top-quality instrument built in the same tradition by an associate and close friend who became a master in his own right. Now 50 years old, it is a collector's item but not a museum piece, having a superb refined sound and a light, responsive action. Its two manuals have a five-octave range from FF to f''', with the usual disposition 8'+8'+4', a sliding coupler and a buff stop on the upper manual.
Sunday, November 12
This year, Tesserae Baroque will launch its 12th season with its Annual Fundraiser in the landmark Burns House in Santa Monica Canyon.
Music director Ian Pritchard will perform an all-Bach program on both organ and harpsichord.
A reception will follow the performance.
Tickets to the fundraiser are $150.
This event is expected to sell out. Reserve your seat by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org
428 East Las Flores Drive
Altadena, CA 91001
Your generous support goes a long way in supporting Tesserae's efforts in presenting affordable, historically-informed performances of music from the Renaissance and Baroque periods.
The Charles Moore Foundation welcomes the composer Anne LeBaron as a resident at the Burns House in Santa Monica Canyon.
Anne LeBaron’s compositions have been performed worldwide. As a Fulbright Scholar, she studied with György Ligeti and Mauricio Kagel. Awards received include the Alpert Award in the Arts, a Fromm Foundation commission, a Guggenheim, and NEA grants. Her operas celebrate legendary female figures. She teaches music composition at CalArts.
MLTW Moore Lyndon Turnbull Whitaker
Before the building was completed in 1965, Charles Moore purchased Unit #9, on the structure's northwest corner. This iconic space was Moore's retreat, where generations of colleagues gathered with him to relax, write, and work on projects.
In 2021, two architectural enthusiasts purchased Unit #9 from Moore's nephews and contributed the deed to the Charles Moore Foundation, ensuring its preservation.
The Sea Ranch: Origins
Saturday, July 29
Kevin Keim will speak about the origins and founding principles of The Sea Ranch, so that new members of the community can learn more about what makes this place enduringly special.
Toward Making Places
Toward Making Places is a 1962 essay that Charles Moore, Donlyn Lyndon, Sim Van der Ryn, and Patrick Quinn wrote in 1962. J.B. Jackson, a cultural and landscape historian of great influence, published the essay in his journal, Landscape.
This essay is among the earliest and clearest statements about the set of ideas that underscored the work of MLTW Moore Lyndon Turnbull Whitaker, who were in the midst of designing The Sea Ranch Condominium One, both swim clubs, and many houses.
The Music Hall in the Burns House centers on an instrument unique in the world. In 1969, Lee Burns commissioned the eminent German organ builder Jürgen Ahrend to design and construct a 546-pipe instrument based on Baroque precedents.
In 2022, the master organ builders Manuel Rosales and Greg Harold fully restored the organ.
And the same year, Richard Konecky contributed a fine Steinway & Sons Model B Grand Piano to the Charles Moore Foundation.
Leland Burns Fellowship Inaugural Celebration
Saturday, August 5th
To celebrate the Leland Burns Fellowship, the Charles Moore Foundation will welcome visitors to the Burns House.
Andrew Nethsingha will speak about his experience directing the music program for the Coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla.
Ian Pritchard of the Colburn Conservatory, an acclaimed organist and harpsichord who specializes in historic keyboard techniques, will then play the Ahrend-Brunzema Organ. The program will center on the 400th Anniversary of the English composer William Byrd.
Leland Burns, who bequeathed the Burns House to the Charles Moore Foundation, also established a Fellowship in collaboration with St. John's College at Cambridge University.
Every year, musicians, composers, conductors, musicologists and scholars from anywhere in the world will be able to apply for the Fellowship. The recipient will be able to spend 2 months at the Burns House.
We are so pleased to welcome the first Leland Burns Fellow to the Burns House.
Andrew Nethsingha is an eminent musician and choral conductor. Recently appointed the Organist and Master of the Choristers at Westminster Abbey, Nethsingha directed the music program for the Coronation.
Andrew will serve as the Leland Burns Fellowship's first Chairman. Every year, he will convene colleagues to select the winner of a Burns House Residency. Musicians, composers, conductors, musicologists and scholars from anywhere in the world will be able to apply.
As we develop the application process, we will post more information.
The Burns House welcomes a new resident, the architectural curator and scholar, Wim De Wit.
Headlands Center for the Arts
March 3, 2023
Burns House residents Brook Lane and Evans Hankey will host a dinner in support of the non-profit Headlands Center for the Arts in Marin County, California.