The harpsichordist, Carole Cerasi, was born in Sweden of Sephardi/Turkish origins, with French as her first language. She has been based in London since 1982. Her playing, like her background, resists being easily placed in any category. She has long been recognised as having a special affinity with the French clavecinistes, while her repertoire extends from the English virginalists through all the national styles to the early sonatas of Haydn and L.v. Beethoven, which she performs on fortepiano.
Carole Cerasi first became interested in the harpsichord at the age of eleven and was invited three years later by Kenneth Gilbert as the youngest participant on his course at the Vleeshuis in Antwerp. From that time until the present day one of her strongest musical influences has been Jill Severs, with occasional lessons from Gustav Leonhardt and Ton Koopman. She is now Professor of harpsichord at the Yehudi Menuhin School and of fortepiano and harpsichord at the Guildhall School of Music and the Royal Academy of Music.
Carole Cerasi's performances have included concert work throughout Europe, including acclaimed recitals at the Wigmore Hall, the Nobel Prize Ceremony in Stockholm, the Festival du Perigord, the Istanbul International Festival, and a concerto appearance with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment on London's South Bank, recitals at the Harrogate, Warwick, Brno, Dieppe, Tallinn and Ludwigsburg festivals and the Musikinstrumenten-Museum in Berlin. She premiered a new work for harpsichord and tape by the South African composer Kevin Volans, touring throughout the UK as well as Munich and Copenhagen. In 2002-2003 she performed in France (La Roque d'Anthéron, Sablé, Ambronay), Belgium, Israel, Norway, Germany, Denmark and Japan; she has recently returned from a trip to Bogota, where she gave two recitals and a masterclass, and gave the opening concert at the 2003 Lausanne Bach Festival.
With her group Ensemble Türk, a flexible group with the classical trio format at its centre, performing on original instruments, and comprising some of England's finest and most respected young musicians, Carole Cerasi explores the classical fortepiano chamber repertoire; they have recently given concerts at the Wigmore Hall, Zürich Tonhalle and for the BBC.
Carole Cerasi's first solo CD, the complete works of Elisabeth Jacquet de La Guerre on the Ruckers harpsichord housed at Hatchlands Park, received unanimous praise from the press and won the prestigious Baroque Instrumental Gramophone Award; discs of sonatas by C.P.E. Bach and works by Thomas Tomkins were received to great critical acclaim, including the Diapason d'Or de l'Année. Her next CD, J.S. Bach and the Möller Manuscript, was released in 2002, winning a further Diapason d’Or de l'Année and coming second in the Gramophone Baroque Instrumental Awards. Her latest disc has just been released, of music by one of Scarlatti's most colourful and quirky contemporaries, Manuel Blasco de Nebra.