Robin Morace (DMA Piano Perf, Cert. Early Keyboard Perf. – student of Dr. Willis) and Stephanie Schmidt (DMA Piano Perf, Cert. Early Keyboard Perf. – student of Dr. Willis & Dr. Salmon) represented UNCG in the Annual Meeting of the Historical Society of North America held this past May (2015) at McGill University in Montreal.  This was, both Morace and Schmidt’s second year presenting at this national conference (the previous year with Dr. Willis and DMA student Sally Todd on the Bach sons).

Each year, HKSNA has an annual themed conference in North America. In 2015 (May 21-24), the theme of this conference was ‘French Connections: Networks of Influence and Modes of Transmission of French Baroque Keyboard Music’.

Both Morace and Schmidt have studied harpsichord, and collaborated to come up with a lecture-recital fitting this year’s conference theme, titled ‘Le prélude français non mesuré‘, or ‘The French Unmeasured Prelude‘.

The premise of their presentation was this: this type of keyboard prelude existed only from the 1650s to the second decade of the 18th century, and was notated (often exclusively) in semibreves. The ambiguity of the notation has been puzzling to many performers then and now, and their lecture-recital was an attempt to grapple with the mystery of these pieces. The presentation was interspersed with our performance of works by Louis Couperin, Nicolas Lebègue, Jean-Henri D’Anglebert, Jean-Philippe Rameau, and François Couperin.

In the Fall 2015 newsletter it is noted that, “Robin Morace and Stephanie Schmidt ([The] University of North Carolina [at] Greensboro) gave inspired performances of unmeasured preludes of the 17th-century France, and gave insightful commentary about the flourishing and then disappearance of this beautiful genre.”

For the full text, click here.