The American harpsichordist, Maggie Cole, began playing the piano from an early age. A growing interest in early keyboards led her to England, where she now makes her home. She studied the harpsichord with Jill Severs and Kenneth Gilbert, and she is pleased to be part of this "family tree" which began with Wanda Landowska.
Maggie Cole enjoys a richly varied musical life with performances on harpsichord, fortepiano and piano. Best known in Britain through numerous recitals on BBC Radio 3 and appearances at leading festivals, abroad she has performed in venues from Seattle to Moscow, and from Finland to India. In addition to solo recitals with Bach's Goldberg Variations (BWV 988) a speciality, given in London, Paris, Cologne, Basel, Mallorca and Chicago she frequently performs in duos with partners including Michael Chance counter-tenor, Nancy Argenta soprano, Catherine Mackintosh violin, Philippa Davies flute, and Steven Isserlis cello. She is also particularly devoted to the Classical chamber music repertoire and explores this with her recently formed "Trio Goya" with Kati Debretzeni violin and Sebastian Comberti cello. She is a member of the Sarasa Ensemble and frequently appears with them playing both harpsichord and fortepiano.
From the 20th century, Maggie plays the concertos by Falla, Francis Poulenc and Gerhard. Gavin Bryars has written After Händel's 'Vesper' for her, and she takes every opportunity to programme new works by Dodgson, Hallgrimsson, Ligeti, Andriessen and others. Recent anniversary concerts have included two in the presence of Henri Dutilleux for 80th birthday performances of Les Citations in 1996; a Wigmore Hall concert in 1998 to mark the 50th anniversary of the death of the pioneering harpsichordist Violet Gordon Woodhouse; and a 75th birthday concert for Stephen Dodgson in March 1999, when Maggie played his Duo Concertante with John Williams guitar.
Maggie Cole performs frequently in the USA on fortepiano and harpsichord with the chamber ensemble, "Sarasa". With the group, she takes performances and workshops into areas where classical music is not often heard - facilities for young offenders, hospitals, prisons and geriatric homes. This work has become of increasing interest to her as an amplification of her extensive private teaching practise. Maggie is harpsichord teacher on the annual Caixa "Curso Internacional de Música" in Spain.
Alongside her activities as a player, Maggie Cole is active as a promoter of concerts. Focusing on her immediate neighbourhoods, she has run a 5 year series of charity concerts at London Lighthouse, raising a considerable sum of money for this AIDS/HIV facility. She currently promotes concerts at Bush Hall with the aim of bringing this hall's exceptional charm and acoustic to a growing audience.
Recordings of a recital on various harpsichords on Hyperion, and of Scarlatti on Saydisc, have been followed by several on Virgin Classics: J.S. Bach recital, his Goldberg Variations (BWV 988) (a top selection in various CD surveys), Soler Keyboard Sonatas, Boccherini Sonatas with Steven Isserlis, and F. Poulenc's Concert Champêtre with the City of London Sinfonia conducted by Richard Hickox. With Catherine Mackintosh she has has recorded the complete J.S. Bach sonatas for Chandos, and a solo recital of music by George Frideric Handel, Scarlatti, Arne, Johann Christian Bach and Gavin Bryars has been released on Droffig. A CD of music for cello and fortepiano with Sebastian Comberti for his Cello Classics label has just been released.