Free Concert with Renowned Harpsichordist Victor Hill at the Clark

For Immediate Release

September 24, 2012

[Digital images available upon request]

WILLIAMSTOWN, MA—Renowned harpsichordist Victor Hill will present a solo recital featuring J. S. Bach’s English Suites in G minor, A major, and E minor at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute on Sunday, October 7 at 3 pm. Admission is free.

German composer Bach (1685–1750) was a master of the Baroque period. He is known for the artistic beauty, technical skill, and intellectual depth of his ecclesiastical and secular works for choir, orchestra, and solo instruments. The six English Suites comprise the earliest of the three collections of six suites each that Bach wrote for his students, most notably Johann Ludwig Krebs and Johann Christian Kittel. Earlier commentators dated this set around 1718-1720, but more recent scholarship places them at about 1715, when Bach was living and working in Weimar, Germany. 

The Baroque harpsichord suite usually consists of a sequence of stylized dances. Seventeenth-century French composers typically provided a collection of dances in a given key, from which the player chose a selection to comprise a suite. Johann Jakob Froberger (1616-1667) established the content of the dance suite: Allemande – Gigue – Courante – Sarabande. Later composers added additional dance movements, called galanteries, between the Sarabande and the Gigue. Bach followed this pattern in all six of the English and French Suites. Almost all of the dances are in AB form, consisting of two complementary sections.

Hill was Professor of Mathematics at Williams College for 40 years. He studied the harpsichord in Amsterdam with the noted Dutch harpsichordist Gustav Leonhardt and has played more than 900 concerts throughout the United States and in Europe. Hill plays the double-manual harpsichord of eighteenth-century design that was custom built for him in 1997 by Richard Kingston of Asheville, North Carolina. He tunes the instrument himself in a common eighteenth-century pitch and temperament.

About the Clark

Set amidst 140 acres in the Berkshires, the Clark is one of the few major art museums that also serves as a leading international center for research and scholarship. The Clark presents public and education programs and organizes groundbreaking exhibitions that advance new scholarship. The Clark’s research and academic programs include an international fellowship program and conferences. Together with Williams College, the Clark sponsors one of the nation’s leading master’s programs in art history.

The Clark is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts. The galleries are open daily in July and August (open Tuesday through Sunday from September through June), 10 am to 5 pm. Admission is $15 June 1 through October 31; free November through May; and free year-round for Clark members, children 18 and younger, and students with valid ID. For more information, visit or call 413 458 2303.

Calendar listing

October 7: Renowned harpsichordist Victor Hill will present a solo recital at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute on Sunday, October 7 at 3 pm. Admission is free. Featured on the program are J.S. Bach’s English Suites in G minor, A major, and E minor. The Clark, 225 South Street, Williamstown, Massachusetts, 413 458 2303,

Sally Morse Majewski
The Clark
413 458 0588

Amanda Powers
The Clark
413 458 0471


Return to the previous page