Well known as an organist and harpsichordist, Douglas Hollick studied with Peter Hurford whilst organ scholar at Hull University, and subsequently with Marie-Claire Alain in Paris and Gustav Leonhardt in Amsterdam. He has played widely both here and abroad, including the 1991 Prague Early Music Festival, and in Melbourne, Sydney, and the 1992 Fremantle Bach Festival in Australia. Visits to the Czech Republic have continued, with teaching and concerts in Prague, Brno and Ostrava, a member of the jury of the 1996 Organ Competition in Opava, and two Czech Radio recordings, the latest in 2007. In 1999 he played in the Dolní Lukavice Haydn Festival in Bohemia. In visits to Germany he has played concerts on the Silbermann organs in Dresden and Pfaffroda, and in 2004 and 2005 on the restored 17th century organ of St Johannis, Hamburg-Neuengamme. Elsewhere in Europe have been organ recitals in Stuttgart, Roskilde Cathedral and Helsingør in Denmark, and Helsingborg in Sweden, where he played in the Buxtehude Festival of 2007. 2003 saw a return to Sydney in Australia, and four concerts. A recent highlight was a performance of Bach's Goldberg Variations in the 2008 St David's Festival in Wales to a large and appreciative audience in the Cathedral. Other concert venues have included Westminster Abbey, St Paul's Cathedral and St John's Smith Square in London, Winchester, Ely, Carlisle and Chester Cathedrals, Southwell Minster, Trinity, Clare, Wolfson, Girton and St Catharine's Colleges Cambridge, and in the Edinburgh, King's Lynn, and Finchcocks Festivals, together with Hull, Southampton, Nottingham, Warwick and Edinburgh Universities. He teaches both organ and harpsichord at Cambridge University and the Birmingham Conservatoire.
A wide repertoire includes major works like the Goldberg Variations and Clavierübung III of Bach, and also works by lesser known composers such as Kuhnau, Benda, Moyreau and Séjan. Programmes often have a particular theme (such as Fantasy, inebriation and madness), and mixed harpsichord and organ programmes can be particularly interesting. The musicality, authority and virtuosity of Douglas Hollick's playing ensure that his concerts are always stimulating and enjoyable. For harpsichord recitals and chamber music in the UK, he uses his own 1989 copy of the 1711 Pierre Donzelague instrument. Lecture recitals and educational work are also undertaken with this instrument - Douglas Hollick made early keyboard instruments for 15 years up to 1990 in parallel with his playing, so he is uniquely qualified in this respect. Masterclasses can be arranged to link with a particular concert programme, giving students a deeper insight into the music by being able to listen to performances as well as play themselves. Private consultation lessons can be arranged either in Cambridge or at home, where apart from the harpsichord, there is also a Klop two manual and pedal chamber organ, a copy of an early 17th century German clavichord, and two early English pianos, a square of 1811 by Clementi and a grand of 1809 by Broadwood.
Chamber music with various other artists is under the group name Chameleon, and ranges from duo and trio sonatas to larger groupings and chamber cantatas. A key player in this is the brilliant Czech baroque violinist Iva Fleischhansová, with works by composers such as Biber, Schmelzer, Rebel and Bach contributing to exciting duo programmes with harpsichord. A development from early 2004 is the availability of a chamber organ for concerts, and this together with the theorbo of Robert Foster opens up yet more of the 17th century violin repertoire. A new strand of repertoire is late 18th and early 19th century English songs, in which Douglas is joined by the Cambridge based Australian mezzo-soprano Lynette Alcantara. For this he uses either his 1811 Clementi square piano or 1809 Broadwood grand, both of which he restored himself. From 2011 a new duo partnership is the Dussek Duo with harpist Eleanor Turner playing a beautiful early 19th century Paris Erard double action harp which is a perfect foil to the early English pianos. Duos by C P E Bach, Mozart, Dussek, Naderman, and others are interspersed with piano and harp solos.
A year 2000 Churchill Fellowship enabled Douglas to pursue further research into the keyboard instruments from the period of Buxtehude and the young Bach, and to assess the performance implications of the acoustics in churches where Buxtehude worked as organist. His project took him to North Germany and Denmark for a month, visiting such places as Hamburg, Lübeck, Lüneburg, Copenhagen, Roskilde, Helsingør and Stralsund, visiting museum collections and historic organs. The results of the trip have been seen in Douglas' playing, teaching and writing, and in the 2002 recording called 'Buxtehude, master and pupil' made in Buxtehude's church in Helsingør. 2007 saw the release of another CD dedicated to this period and area of repertoire - a tercentenary tribute to Buxtehude called Music of the Baroque avant-garde which presents free works for harpsichord and organ and is accompanied by a substantial essay which can be found on the Riverrun website. This and Douglas' other Riverrun recordings and articles for various magazines form a part of the Birmingham Conservatoire submission to the 2007 Research Assessment Exercise as part of Birmingham City University, and his continuing research is being actively encouraged, resulting in a trip to Malmö in Sweden in 2008 to see the important mid-17th century organ in the museum there.
Recordings available from Riverrun Records: World Première recording of harpsichord and organ works of Christophe Moyreau (RVRCD 60). This is enigmatic and wonderful music of mid-18th century France, superbly performed on Douglas Hollick's own Donzelague harpsichord and the Metzler organ of Trinity College Cambridge (by kind permission of the Master and Fellows of Trinity College). Buxtehude, master and pupil (RVRCD 67) contains organ music by Buxtehude, his teachers Lorentz and Scheidemann, and his pupils Leyding and Bruhns. Recorded on the Marcussen reconstruction of Buxtehude's organ in the church of Sct Mariae, Helsingør, where Buxtehude was organist from 1660-1668, this recording illustrates many aspects of Douglas' research into performance practices of this period, and has attracted very good reviews. Following this on Riverrun is 'Revolution' (RVRCD 71) - Music from the period of the French Revolution, featuring organ, harpsichord and square piano. The latest recording is Buxtehude, a tercentenary tribute: music of the Baroque avant-garde (RVRCD 79) recorded on the organ of Trinity College Cambridge and a harpsichord by Douglas Hollick based on the 1638 Ruckers in the Russell Collection. The next CD has been recorded and will be released around Easter 2011 - 'Haydn and the London Connection' featuring the Dussek Duo with mezzo-soprano Lynette Alcantara. Please go to http://www.rvrcd.co.uk for further information and to order.
Comments from the press have included:
A musician of substantial worth .....
Played with flair and conviction ..... this was a jewel in the University early music series.
Douglas Hollick possesses a vitality and spirit which brings a freshness to all his performances. His remarkable technical skills and imaginative ornamentation succeeded in restoring to the music that charm which lies beyond the mere notes.
The Prelude opened with a brilliantly executed and lengthy passage for the pedals ....... The clarity with which each subject entry was contrived together with the seeming ease with which rapid virtuoso manual and pedal sections were dispatched, added to the excitement of a masterly performance.
Extracts from recording reviews:
The Young Bach (Supraphon SU 3015-2 131) ‘vivid, imaginative and exciting ..... the quality of this recording is superb’‘utterly delightful playing of a most intelligent programme’
Moyreau: Pièces de Clavecin 1753 (Riverrun Records RVRCD 60) ‘His playing has an expressive spaciousness …… he is certainly up to all the technical challenges – on a par with those of Scarlatti and Rameau – that Moyreau presents.’‘Douglas Hollick weaves his way dexterously around this frequently challenging music ….. there are expressive, imaginative, even zany moments to enjoy.’
Buxtehude, master and pupil (Riverrun Records RVRCD 67) ‘A sheer delight’‘A programme thoughtfully put together, sensitively played and offering a rewarding insight into the genius of this wonderful period of organ composition’
Revolution! Music from the period of the French Revolution (Riverrun Records RVRCD 71) 'The Balbastre Prélude (1777) is a fabulous example of expressive writing ….. the stops, starts, drama, and passion in the work were arresting ….. a very effective performance''This can certainly be recommended as an exposition of an area of music that would not usually be so accessible in one collection'
Buxtehude: a tercentenary tribute. Music of the Baroque avant-garde. (Riverrun Records RVRCD 79) 'It is both refreshing and informative to hear Buxtehude's music juxtaposed with that of his predecessors and contemporaries. Such 'contextualisation' is a trademark of Hollick's imaginative recordings. A most welcome release.''Hollick plays with a confident sense of freedom (and perhaps more life than Ton Koopman) while allowing the music to speak for itself '
The National Centre for Early Music - http://www.ncem.co.uk/
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