The Australian music director and harpsichordist, Peter Watchorn, comes from a musical family. Since 1974 he has devoted himself to a detailed study of the harpsichord, its history, repertoire and construction, achieving an international reputation for his consistently high standard of performance.
Resident since 1987 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Peter Watchorn has enjoyed an extensive career in both solo and chamber music. In 1985 at the Boston Early Music Festival he was presented with the most prestigious American prize for early music, the Erwin Bodky Award, for his performances of the music of J. S. Bach. From 1985-1992 he studied with the celebrated Viennese harpsichordist, Isolde Ahlgrimm (1914-1995) and has published numerous articles about her life and career, with a full length biography set to appear in 2007 (Ashgate Publishing, London). He was a member of ensembles Concerto Armonico Wien (directed by Peter Matzka) and Concerto Armonico (with Owen Watkins, recorder and Geoffrey Burgess, baroque oboe). He continues in his role of continuo keyboardist and artistic advisor to Publick Musick (directed by Thomas Folan) and from 1995 to 2001, with Julian Wachner co-directed the Boston Bach Ensemble.
From 1993 to 2002 Peter Watchorn was a member of the faculty of America's oldest early music program, the Baroque Performance Institute at Oberlin University, Ohio. He holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Boston University which he received in 1995.
Peter Watchorn has recorded keyboard works of J. S. Bach for the Hänssler Edition Bachakademie 2000 project. For his own label, Musica Omnia, which he founded in 2000, and for which he serves as producer, he has recorded a number of CDs devoted to Bach and the English Virginalists. He is currently working on the complete Bach solo harpsichord works, and another devoted to the complete works of John Bull.