Artistry is the key: Music for clavichord on tap June 3

WINTER HARBOR — St. John’s Catholic Church Music Director Kevin Birch will present an evening of music for clavichord at 7 p.m. Friday, June 3, at Hammond Hall. A historical instrument specialist, Birch will perform on the precursor to the piano, played largely from the late Middle Ages through the Renaissance, Baroque and classical eras. Hosted by the Winter Harbor Music Festival, the in-person performance also will be livestreamed.

St. John’s Catholic Church’s music director, Kevin Birch, will perform on the clavichord at 7 p.m. Friday, June 3, at Hammond Hall in Winter Harbor. BALTIMORE RECORDERS PHOTO

The clavichord was thought to have a uniquely beautiful and expressive sound. The instrument is capable of producing vibrato using a technique called bebung, which refers to the rapid movement of the finger side-to-side on the key.

Since 1992, Birch has served as director of music at St. John’s Catholic Church in Bangor. He also is executive director of St. John’s Organ Society. The nonprofit organization is dedicated to the preservation and stewardship of E. & G. G. Hook’s Opus 288 organ built for St. John’s in 1860.

“He is especially devoted to the many fine historic organs in Maine on which he enjoys frequent opportunities to study and perform,” said Winter Harbor Music Festival’s Executive Director Deiran Manning.

On organ or clavichord, Birch has performed solo recitals in the United States, Canada, Europe and South America, and for several of the Organ Historical Society’s national conventions. He holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Iowa. He also studied at New England Conservatory in Boston and the Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam. He is a music faculty member at the University of Maine’s School of the Performing Arts in Orono and serves on the Liturgical Commission for the Diocese of Portland. He is a member of the Netherlands Clavichord Society and the Boston Clavichord Society.

Tickets cost $15 per person. To reserve seats, visit For more info, email [email protected].

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