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Catalina Vicens

Artistic Direction

Historical Keyboards

The historic keyboards specialist from Chile, resident in Basel, Switzerland, started at an early age an international career. By age 20 she had already played in the main concert-halls of more than ten North- and South American countries, including Teatro Colón de Buenos Aires Argentina,  Kimmel Center of Philadelphia and Teatro Municipal do São Paulo. To the present, she has performed as a soloist and with renowned ensembles in Central Europe, Scandinavia, Great Britain, North- and South America, as well as being invited to give several courses and master-classes.


As a child, Catalina developed a strong interest in music, history, science, visual arts and film. She took on the piano at age 7, and while studying at the conservatory, she was awarded with a full scholarship to study harpsichord with Dr. Lionel Party at the Curtis Institute of Philadelphia (where she shared the classroom with some of today's leading classical musicians and conductors).

By getting into early music, she found the right combination of technical skill and critical knowledge she was aiming to combine. This is what took her to move to Europe and continue her harpsichord studies with Prof. Robert Hill in Freiburg, Germany, and Andrea Marcon at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, Switzerland.

It was in Basel where Catalina found a place to discover things beyond the classification of herself: a harpsichord performer.  She encountered Iranian Percussion, and enchanted by the richness of its sounds started to study with the Iranian Master Madjid Khaladj and other percussionists. She taught herself organ. At the same time she attended theory classes with Crawford Young at the Medieval Department of the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, and fascinated by the tuning systems, history and constellation of sounds of medieval music, started a new chapter as the world's first "Master in Medieval Keyboards". 


After winning a major historical keyboards competition on harpsichord and forte-piano, she came back to one of her early musical loves, and devoted three years to a Contemporary Music Performance Master at the Musik Hochschule Basel. Since then she has toured the world giving performances as a soloist and in diverse constellation, given lectures on an array of subjects, taught at Universities and Conservatories in over 10 countries, and currently teaches at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels and pursues a Ph.D degree at University of Leiden, The Netherlands, and the Orpheus Institute, Ghent, Belgium. 

This wide view on music, sound and history has taken Catalina Vicens to create Servir Antico, with whom she wants to express her artistic creativity, skill and vision, and share the experience with esteemed and respected colleagues as well as with the audience.


Photo: Christoph Prendl 2013

Servir Antico

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