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Gwendolyn Toth (Harpsichord, Organ, Fortepiano, Clavichord, Conductor)

Born: USA

The American harpsichordist, organist, fortepianist, and clavichordist, Gwendolyn Toth, holds the D.M.A. in performance from Yale University. She won prizes in the Magnum Opus Harpsichord competition and in American Guild of Organist competitions.

Recognized as one of America's leading performers on early keyboard instruments, Gwendolyn Toth performs with equal ease on the harpsichord, organ, fortepiano, and clavichord. Her interpretations have been acclaimed for their spirit and intelligence, and her technique is founded on historical performance principles of fingering, articulation, and phrasing. She has been heard in concert throughout North America, Europe and the Far East, and on radio networks in Holland, Germany, France, and America's National Public Radio. She has performed in early music festivals in Boston, USA; Utrecht, Holland; Regensburg, Germany; and the Czech Republic.

Gwendolyn Toth also has an active career as one of only a few American conductors of historical performance ensembles and orchestras. Currently, she is the director and founder of New York City's virtuoso period instrument ensemble, Artek. Under her direction, the ensemble released the first North American recording of Monteverdi's opera, Orfeo, on the Lyrichord label, to outstanding critical acclaim. Toth and Artek have toured throughout America and Europe with the Mark Morris Dance Group, and in September, 1999 she conducted Antonio Vivaldi's Gloria at Sadler's Wells Theater in London with the company. She has also conducted at the Skylight Theater in Milwaukee, the Kaye Playhouse, Merkin Hall, and the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York City, and for the German Radio Broadcasting system; Opera News honored her as an "Outstanding Young Conductor" in 1989. In 2002, Clarion Society named her the first recipient of the "Newell Jenkins Prize" for excellence in early music, honoring her for her work with Artek.

Gwendolyn Toth's interests also extend to contemporary music. She has worked and recorded with eminent composer/performers such as John Cage, Rhys Chatham, Petr Kotik, Dave Soldier, Louis Andriessen, and Elliot Sharp at BAM Next Wave Festival, The Kitchen, Bang on a Can Festival, Cage Nachttage in Köln, Germany, and others.

Gwendolyn Toth is Director of Music at St. Francis of Assisi Church in New York City and has taught at Yale University, Mount Holyoke College and Mannes College of Music. Currently she is on the faculty of the Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University in New Jersey.

In September 2003 Zefiro Recordings, Artek's own recording label, released two new CD's featuring Gwendolyn Toth: a CD of organ works by Heinrich Scheidemann on the meantone organ in Zeerijp, Holland, and a recording of J.S. Bach's Goldberg Variations (BWV 988) performed on a lautenwerk, a reconstruction of Bach's gut-strung harpsichord built by Willard Martin of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and owned by Toth.

Source: Goldbergweb
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (August 2009)

Gwendolyn Toth: Short Biography | Recordings of Instrumental Works
Reviews of Instrumental Recordings:
Bach's Goldberg Variations on the Lautenwerk
Discussions of Instrumental Recordings:
Goldberg Variations BWV 988 - played by G. Toth

Links to other Sites

Gwendolyn Toth - Biography, Discography (Goldberg)

Artek Early Music: Artists

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