Penelope Cave is an international prize-winning harpsichordist and specialist in early keyboards, and has performed and broadcast throughout Europe.
She studied at the Purcell School, and the Royal Academy of Music, where she won the Raymond Russell prize. She also gained first prize at the National Harpsichord Competition at Southport and was a laureate of Bruges International Harpsichord Competition.
Penelope Cave has given solo performances at the Purcell Room, the Wigmore Hall and at music clubs throughout Britain. Festivals have included Flanders, Edinburgh, York, Winchester, Ryedale, Presteigne and Greenbelt. She has Recorded for Hyperion, Naxos, Pace Recordings, Prima Facie, and Belgian Radio, Classic FM and BBC Radio 3.
She was awarded a PhD on music in the English Country House, in July 2014, by the University of Southampton, and is currently performing and advising on music at Dyrham Park for the National Trust. She was married to the musical instrument maker, the late Michael Heale.
Penelope Cave in Concert
Penelope Cave owns a number of early keyboard instruments and specialises in programmes that bring the music alive with entertaining readings. Recitals are designed around music for English virginals; Italian, Portuguese or French harpsichords; a small square piano of 1795; and an 1819 Stodart grand piano. She also celebrates historical figures and events; buildings and historic houses. “Cave’s evocative transitions from high renaissance via restoration to the verges of the classical era made this programme quite remarkably enlightening.”
Recent solo recitals have included French baroque and 20th-century repertoire at the Cello Factory, London; a virginals recital for Lodge Park, Gloucestershire; keyboard performance and lecture for Reigate Probus Club at Hatchlands House; and work with the Waverley Ensemble with whom she will be performing Bach’s 5th Brandenburg Concerto in September 2015.
She has also enjoyed giving first performances of harpsichord works by Raymond Head (from whom she commissioned a piece), Ben Mawson and Enno Kastens.
Solo programmes (continued):
- Music for an English Country House is an eclectic guide to English taste, tailor-made for each venue.
- Made in England: Early Music Today wrote of a performance for the Stratford on Avon Festival, “ At Nash’s House, abutting Shakespeare’s spacious Stratford residence, more treats awaited: “Made in England” was Penelope Cave’s spring-in-a-step harpsichord recital spanning Byrd, Farnaby, Tomkins, Blow, Purcell, John Alcock of Lichfield, Handel (the overture to Radamisto) and Handel’s amanuensis…” [J.C. Smith].
- An Englishman in Arcadia: a programme that has grown out of my work for the National Trust; it traces the grand tour made by John Blathwayte of Dyrham Park, which included meeting and performing with the most celebrated musicians in Venice and Rome, during 1707. Performance invitations have included the university of Huddersfield in April 2015.
- Couperin: The King the Court and the Country a popular programme that explores the rich world of Louis XIV at Versailles and Paris.
- All in a Garden Green is a gentle evocation of pastoral delights and gardeners’ inventions, given during church flower festivals.
- An Introductory Recital for Children alongside a ‘hands-on’ workshop for children with teachers or parents. Godalming Festival has invited a return visit in 2015.
In Concert with Katrina Faulds
Since 2012, Penelope Cave has performed piano-duet repertoire with Australian fortepianist, Katrina Faulds.
They have given recitals and lecture-recitals for four hands at the Universities of London, Cardiff, Southampton and Leeds, Blickling Hall, Chawton House, and recordings at Tatton Park.
They also combine solos and duets, and after the success of their celebration of the Battle of Waterloo, at Chawton House, they were invited back for the Chawton conference on Belle of Zuylen in September 2015, with a programme entitled Les Belles Lettres de Musique: Madame de Charrière in London.
Programmes for Four Hands:
- Mostly Mozart: celebrates both the interest this composer had in composing for four hands, and his relationships with other musicians, performed at Hatchlands, Handel House and the Winchester Early Music Series.
- Sense and Sensibilities: The charming forgotten works for four hands and those by Burney, Clementi, Pleyel and Giordani, are interspersed with entertaining contemporary readings, chosen from diaries, letters, novels and poetry of Jane Austen.
- Duets in the Drawing Room: a programme of music and readings evoking an elite evening entertainment.
- And Pray, Sir, Who is Bach? : A tribute to Dr Johnson and his circle.
- La Vittoria: Music during the Napoleonic Wars including stirring battle pieces and dance music from Lady Richmond’s Ball.
Four short Films on Music at Tatton Park
Dr Penelope Cave recently project-managed and appeared in four short films for the National Trust on music at Tatton Park, directed by her PhD supervisor at the University of Southampton, Professor Jeanice Brooks.Using historic instruments and music in the Egerton family collection, they feature women’s music-collecting, domestic performance, dancing and piano lessons in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.
To view all four films see:
Penelope Cave: Recordings
Her CD, ‘From Lisbon to Madrid’, received 5 stars for performance, and recording quality, from the BBC Music Magazine, and she contributed to the recently released British Harpsichord Society CD, ‘Shadow Journey’, of 21st-Century Music for Harpsichord, in which she plays the title piece, Enno Kastens’ Schattenreise. Her solo CD on 20th-century harpsichord music will be released later this year by Prima Facie. She has also recorded for Hyperion, Naxos, Belgian Radio and BBC Radio 3.
“Penelope Cave’s immaculate yet wholeheartedly spirited playing, on a gloriously warm modern copy of a Portuguese harpsichord, throws light on familiar Scarlatti. Highly recommended.”
BBC Music Magazine January 2001- 5 stars for both sound and performance
“Fine, outgoing, interesting playing which could hold its own with anything else now available. Most enjoyable.”
Early Music Review
To buy a copy of this highly recommended CD visit tutti.co.uk
Listen to an excerpt from Penelope Cave’s performance of
Scarlatti: Sonata in D, K.492
From Lisbon to Madrid with Scarlatti
1 Seixas: Sonata in G minor – 6’41
2 Scarlatti: Sonata in D major K.490 – 3’30
3 Scarlatti: Sonata in D major K.491 – 2’46
4 Scarlatti: Sonata in D major K.492 – 2’31
5 Jacinto: Sonata in D minor – 3’11
6 Scarlatti: Sonata in A major K.24 – 2’52
7 Albero: Sonata no.3 – 2’14
8 Albero: Sonata no.4 – 1’27
9 Scarlatti: Sonata in G major K.105 – 2’58
10 Scarlatti: Sonata in E minor K.402 – 4’19
11 Scarlatti: Sonata in G major K.201 – 2’34
12 Soler: Sonata in D major R.86 – 2’34
13 Soler: Sonata in D major R.84 – 1.46
14 Scarlatti: Sonata in A minor K.175 – 2’35
15 Scarlatti: Sonata in C major K.485 – 2’09
16 Scarlatti: Sonata in C major K.502 – 2’18
17 Ferrer: Sonata in G minor – 3’12
18 Scarlatti: Sonata in G major K.144 – 2’28
19 Scarlatti: Sonata in G major K.146 – 1’29
20 Carvallo: Toccata & Andante – 5’23
21 Scarlatti: Sonata in D major K.443 – 2’32
22 Scarlatti: Sonata in D major K.444 – 2’20
23 Soler: Sonata in D minor R.117 – 2’34
Penelope Cave: Lecturer and Teacher of Early Keyboards
Well known for her educational work, Dr Cave has given masterclasses, workshops and courses throughout Europe and Britain, including the European Piano Teachers Association, Godalming Festival, Benslow Music, Jackdaws, the Universities of Ulster & Stirling, Dartington International Summer School, and regularly deputises for the Junior Department of the Royal College of Music. She gave a seminar and masterclass on Preluding for the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and a module of music appreciation, built around the newly restored Kirkman harpsichord at the Horniman Museum.
Between June 2013 and June 2014, she gave papers at conferences in London, Oxford, Cardiff, Leeds, and Edinburgh, organised by the IMR, BSECS, Music in 19th-century Britain, RMA, and ICHKM, and was invited to contribute to a round-table discussion at the ‘Roots of Revival’ conference.
Her FIMTE conference paper was published, “The Scarlatti Connection.” Five Centuries of Spanish Keyboard Music, edited by Luisa Morales, 291-300. Almeria, Spain: Asociacion Cultural LEAL, 2007. Her PhD thesis, “Piano Lessons in the English Country House, 1785-1845.” University of Southampton, 2014, is available online.
Dr Cave is an active committee member of the British Harpsichord Society and, as a recent Attingham Scholar, she is keen to advise on the use of music in enhancing specific country house style and character. She writes and reviews for various early music publications, and currently has articles in preparation for the Consort, & Early Music.
For brochures, programme details, fees and availability, please contact:
Penelope Cave, ARAM, GRSM, LRAM
Fridays Hill Cottage
Telephone: 01428 652287