Although virginal players are usually associated with English music, 16th century Antwerp was home to important national and international composers who wrote music for keyboard instruments. John Bull and Peter Philips, for instance, were two Englishmen who had fled to Antwerp for religious reasons. Both worked as organists at the Cathedral of Our Lady. The city was also an important hub for the makers of virginals and harpsichords: the German Hans Ruckers came to Antwerp in 1575 and founded a workshop that made famous instruments.
Jean Rondeau, described by the Washington Post as “one of the most natural artists you are likely to hear on a classical music stage”, is a global ambassador for his instrument. His exceptional talent and innovative approach to keyboard repertoire have met with widespread acclaim, marking him out as one of the most prominent young harpsichord players of the moment. At Laus Polyphoniae Jean Rondeau will play a virginal, making the world of Antwerp’s composers for the virginal resound as faithfully as possible.
Jean Rondeau, virginal