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. The following year, she was invited to join ‘Sound Heritage’, and performed and advised as artist-in-residence at Dyrham Park for the National Trust.
From 2018-20 she was a Visiting Scholar at Wolfson College, Oxford. Dr Cave is an active committee member of the British Harpsichord Society and, as an Attingham Scholar, she is keen to advise on the use of music in enhancing specific country house style and character.
During the pandemic, she has gained considerable experience in delivering harpsichord and piano lessons online.
She was married to the musical instrument maker, the late Michael Heale.
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 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, ‘Panorama’, of 20th-century harpsichord music, was released by Prima Facie and reviewed with excerpts on http://www.mvdaily.com/2016/11/cave.htm She has also recorded for Hyperion, Naxos, Belgian Radio and BBC Radio 3.
Penelope Cave’s latest CD has been released on the Prima Facie label.
Buy it from Presto Classical
“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
Four short Films on Music at Tatton Park
Dr Penelope Cave 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: Lecturer and Teacher of Early Keyboards
Well known for her educational work, Dr Cave has given masterclasses, workshops, courses and adjudication 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 the Junior Department of the Royal College of Music.
Since June 2013, in addition to 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, she has given papers at many conferences in London, Oxford, Cardiff, Leeds, Edinburgh, organised by the IMR, BSECS, ISECS, Music in 19th-century Britain, RMA, and ICHKM, and was invited to contribute to a round-table discussion at the ‘Roots of Revival’ conference. Further afield, at the Ringve Musikkmuseum in Trondheim, Complesso Monumentale di San Micheletto in Lucca, the Paris Conservatoire and Lisbon University.
Her FIMTE conference essay, “The Scarlatti Connection”, was included in 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. She writes and reviews for various early music publications, with articles published in ‘the Consort’, ‘Women’s History Magazine’, and ‘Sounding Board’. She has also contributed to Muzio Clementi and British Musical Culture, edited by Luca Lévi Sala and the late Rohan Stewart-MacDonald, published by Routledge in 2018, and now available in a paperback edition. At present, she has three further essays in the process of publication in Norway, Paris, and for the Bucknell University Press, USA.
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.”
Recitals have included 20th-century harpsichord repertoire at the Cello Factory, London; a virginals recital for Lodge Park, Gloucestershire; keyboard performance and lecture for Reigate Probus Club at Hatchlands House; Bach’s 5th Brandenburg Concerto with the Waverley Ensemble, a number of Jane Austen related presentations with piano, including Chawton House, the Cadogan Hall for ‘Opera Prelude’, and ‘The Parisian & the Provincial’, a solo recital French harpsichord repertoire at the Handel House.
She has also enjoyed giving first performances of harpsichord works by Karen Tanaka, Raymond Head (from whom she commissioned a piece), Ben Mawson and Enno Kastens.
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.
Since which they have also performed in Paris, Lisbon, and at the Geelvinck Music Museum, Zutphen.
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.
For further details or enquiries into online lectures and lessons,please contact:
Penelope Cave, LRAM, GRSM, ARAM PhD
Telephone: 07447 044344