Connect with Mariken: 413-441-4317

Performing

The greatest privilege for me is to share the music I love with others. It’s a profound experience to connect with an audience. Each space and acoustic, setting and audience inspire a different performance and the music will reveal new dimensions. It’s humbling and exciting.

I love giving solo recitals on the harpsichord, but equally enjoy collaborating with other musicians, whether in a small ensemble or in an orchestral setting. I have played at intimate house concerts, in historic churches, and in large concert halls.

Upcoming Performances

The Solo Harpsichord with Mariken Palmboom

  • Saturday, October 14, 2023 | 4pm, Kellogg Music Center at Simon’s Rock, Great Barrington, MA
    Dutch, English, and German keyboard music by Sweelinck, John Bull, Orlando Gibbons, Henry Purcell and J.S. Bach played by Dutch harpsichordist—and Berkshires resident—Mariken Palmboom. She performs on a single-manual harpsichord built by distinguished maker Carl Dudash of Norfolk, CT, and a double-manual instrument built by William Dowd.
    For more details: https://berkshirebach.org/events
  • Read PREVIEW in the Berkshire Edge

A Baroque Spring Posy

  • June 8, 2024, 4pm Venue to be announced
    Join Berkshire Bach in a concert of music for violin and harpsichord by J.S. Bach and others with The Berkshire Bach Ensemble’s Laura Lutzke, Baroque violin, and Mariken Palmboom, harpsichord.
    For more details: https://berkshirebach.org/events

Solo Harpsichord Recitals

The harpsichord has a rich repertoire, not only of music of the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries, but also of music written in the last few decades. I mostly perform the earlier repertoire, but now and then I’ll add a contemporary composition. I have had a couple of pieces specifically written for me by composers Winfried Michel (Giovanni Paolo Simonetti), and Cheng Chia Wu. I particularly enjoy putting different programs together for specific audiences, occasions or with a special theme in mind. I love taking the listeners on a musical journey, illustrating my programs with short verbal introductions to the compositions, their composers, and the culture of their times.

Collaborating with Other Musicians

A large part of a harpsichordist’s job is to accompany other musicians. In the Baroque the accompanist was only given a bass line with ‘figures’ to indicate the harmony or chords. It was up to each harpsichordist to fill out to their own ability and taste how to interpret and improvise that accompaniment. This is called basso continuo playing. Each time it is a unique challenge to find the appropriate application of this art so as to support and highlight the soloist’s depth, brilliance, and performance. It’s creative, and always new to be in this supportive role. Inspiration goes both ways, and it is the greatest joy to merge with other musicians in playing together!

House Concerts

I have had the pleasure to play in intimate settings for small gatherings, groups of friends or colleagues, special celebrations, inaugurations of new harpsichords, fundraisers, etc. This has given me the opportunity to engage with my listeners very directly, and for them to have an (almost) hands-on experience with the harpsichord. I can provide my own harpsichord.

My Own Instrument

When I first visited Carl Dudash (https://vintageperformance.com/cdh/) at his workshop in Norfolk, CT, I knew instantly that I didn’t need to look any further for someone I could trust to build a harpsichord for me. I didn’t know that someone would build me a harpsichord that sounded even more beautiful than in my wildest imagination! His work is sublime, precise, and beautiful. His wife, Marilee Wagner painted the exterior and the decorations on the soundboard of my single manual instrument. Its design incorporates a feature found on just a handful of extant early German instruments. The three individual rows (registers) of jacks that pluck the strings, rather than running parallel to each other as on most harpsichords, spread apart toward the bass producing large differences in where the strings are plucked along their lengths. This results in very noticeable differences in timbre between the registers. The player can choose to use registers individually, or in various combinations, to suit a particular piece of music.

Bringing My Own Harpsichord

One of the great features of owning one’s own instrument is that (if it’s not too far from the Berkshires) I can bring my own harpsichord. This is a bonus not only for me as I will be able to play on a familiar instrument, but also for the concert organization, or venue as they don’t need to provide a harpsichord themselves. Occasionally I rent out my harpsichord for other concerts.

Solo Harpsichord Repertoire

Each country and time period in the Renaissance and Baroque had their own distinct style, both in instruments and in character. Below are the different national styles and some of the most important composers I like to perform:

Early English or the Virginalists

William Byrd, John Bull, Orlando Gibbons, Thomas Tomkins, and I would say the Dutch composer Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck also is a representative of that school.

Later English Repertoire

Matthew Locke, Henry Purcell

Early Italian

Giovanni de Macque, Girolamo Frescobaldi, Michelangelo Rossi, Bernardo Storace, Johann Jakob Froberger

Italian of the High Baroque

Domenico Scarlatti

French

Louis Couperin, François Couperin, Armand Louis Couperin, Jean-Henri d’Anglebert, Louis Marchand, Elisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre, Jean Philippe Rameau, Jacques Duphly, Johann Jakob Froberger

German

Heinrich Scheidemann, Johann Adam Reincken, Johann Jakob Froberger, Dietrich Buxtehude, Johann Sebastian Bach, George Friedrich Händel, Carl Philip Emanuel Bach, Joseph Haydn, W. A. Mozart

Some Past Performances

With Orchestras

Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century, Ensemble del’ Anima Aeterna, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Brussels Opera of the Munt, Delft Student Orchestra, Albany Symphony Orchestra, Crescendo

With Smaller Ensembles

Ensemble Amaryllis, Ensemble Les Échos, Ensemble Les Inégales, Amphion Ensemble, Ensemble La Silva

Memorable Performances with Other Instrumentalists

Jos van Immerseel, Jaap Schröder, Ageet Zweistra, Frank de Bruine, Taka Kitazato, Dana Maiben, Alice Robbins, Anne Legêne, Judy Gerratt, Tricia van Oers, Marion Verbruggen, Christine Gevert, Rodrigo Tarraza, Jane Hershey, Adriane Post, Jesse Lepkoff, Emily Hale, Mollie Glazer, Colleen McGary-Smith.