Hélène Papadopoulos, piano
Extracts from JS Bach's Clavier-Übung: Four Duets BWV 802-805 & French Overture in B Minor BWV 831.
Center for New Music and Audio Technologie, Saturday, April 20, 2024, 8:00pm to 9:30pm

The monumental Clavier-Übung ("Keyboard Practice") cycle is one of the most intense, grandiose, and demanding collections of keyboard music in the history of music. Part I contains the Six Partitas BWV 825-830. Part II, featuring the Concerto in the Italian Taste BWV 971 and the Overture in the French Manner BWV 831, juxtaposes the two preeminent national styles of European music in the 18th century in a remarkable and delightful way. Part III includes the Four Duets BWV 802-805, which illustrate Bach’s magnificent craftsmanship in counterpoint. Part IV consists of the Aria with 30 Variations BWV 988, which became known as the "Goldberg Variations". Altogether, the four volumes explore and surpass all possible genres of keyboard music from the first half of the 18th century, propelling keyboard playing technique to new high standards and establishing formidable new compositional benchmarks.


Hélène Papadopoulos is a pianist known for her intricate and deeply sensitive personality who possesses a transversal vision of music creation and performance. She completed her higher music education in France, earning advanced degrees in piano, harpsichord, cello, and chamber music from the Conservatoire National de Région de Strasbourg and the École Normale de Musique in Paris. Additionally, she obtained a PhD in computational musicology from IRCAM / Paris Sorbonne University.

She performs both as a soloist and chamber musician across Europe and North America, gracing distinguished festivals such as Musica, Strasbourg Music Festival, and Paliesiaus Dvaras. Since her early years, she has harbored a particular fascination with J.S. Bach’s music and in its connections with the music of today. She dedicates herself intensively to performing his keyboard music, presenting this season the complete Clavier-Übung and the entire Bach Sonatas for Keyboard and Violin. Recent appearances include the Union Arts Center in New York, An die Musik Live in Baltimore, Piano Forte in Chicago, and Paliesiaus Dvaras in Lithuania.

Continually enriching her artistry and interpretation, Hélène Papadopoulos engages in scholarly research to refine her performance style. Her scholarly endeavors have been supported by prestigious fellowships from the Government of Canada and the European Commission. She has also contributed to the field with the publication of a commented edition of Euler’s complete works on music theory. Furthermore, she serves as the artistic director of the music Festival aux Chandelles in Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines, France, which places special emphasis on the music of J.S. Bach and contemporary music.

Hélène says "I began playing the piano at the age of 6. I cannot recall exactly when my journey with Bach started; it feels like it has been with me since the very beginning. During the pandemic, I halted my travels, concerts, and interactions with audiences and I sought refuge in my mother's family house in the French countryside. I would start each day playing Bach for two hours before sunrise. Then I would read: I have always nourished my performance art with scholarly learning. One day, I stumbled upon Rosalyn Tureck’s article, 'Toward a unity of performance and musicology.' While I knew her thoroughly as a pianist through her recordings, I was not aware of her scholarly work. It resonated deeply with my own musical, aesthetic, cultural, and philosophical ideals and questioning. And thus, my journey with her began."

Supported by the Bach-Archiv Leipzig, Hélène Papadopoulos embarks on a residency at CNMAT to delve into the legacy of American keyboardist Rosalyn Tureck (1913-2003) for Bach performance in the 21st century. During her residency, she seeks to examine the vitality of music from a past era within the contemporary technological, cultural, aesthetic, and social landscape. Additionally, she aims to commission works from living composers inspired by Tureck’s perspective, fostering a dialogue between tradition and innovation in Bach performance.

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Saturday, April 20, 2024, 8:00pm to 9:30pm
1750 Arch St
Berkeley, CA
This Event is Free and Open to the Public