“an exceptional program and an exceptional artist” – in these words, German critic, Albrecht Schmidt described Elizabeth Anderson’s harpsichord playing in Darmstadt’s International Summer Organ series. “The multifaceted Elizabeth Anderson maintains a richly decorative flow … ascending to ever higher levels of excitement and with unbridled virtuosity arrives suddenly in a state of musical weightlessness” (Darmstadt Echo).

Anderson has performed in many international festivals, including the Leeds International Festival, the Vendsyssel Festival (Denmark), the Dublin Early Music Festival and the City of London Festival.

Over a career spanning 30 years she has become known for her performances of Bach’s Goldberg Variations and other major works, for her CD recordings and for her imaginative programming: In the City of London Festival, she musically and dramatically represented the story of John Grant. Transported to Australia for shooting a lawyer in the buttock, Grant was the first person to bring a harpsichord to Australia. The program alternated works from Grant’s music library with witty readings from his diary, read by British actor, Samuel West. In Australia, the program was presented at Melbourne’s Old Magistrates Court and as part of the Organs of the Ballarat Goldfields and Port Fairy Spring Music Festivals.

She has performed Bach’s Goldberg Variations in the Castlemaine State Festival, at universities in Victoria, NSW, Queensland and the Northern Territory, at the Universität der Künste (Berlin University of the Arts), the Philharmonia Baltica (Gdansk, Poland), in the Carouge Spring Festival (Geneva), Sorø International Music Festival (Denmark). “All of us who witnessed her performance left with refreshed spirits, and the sense that far up above the arches of the church, God the Father himself had received the glory he deserved” (Hans Krarup, Dagbladet, Ringsted, Denmark).

In 2017, she was selected as one of six Australian soloists to present the complete cycle of Bach’s 48 Preludes and Fugues combined with other works in a series entitled 48 Ways of Looking at Bach at the Melbourne Recital Centre. Click here to hear her performance.

Elizabeth gives concerts in Europe every two years, either as a harpsichord soloist or in four-hands concerts with husband, Douglas Lawrence. Closer to home, she has appeared as a soloist in all of our capital cities. Festival appearances have included the Melbourne International Festival, the Adelaide Festival, the Fremantle Bach Festival and MONA FOMA (Tasmania). She has played concertos with the Queensland Orchestra, Orchestra Victoria, the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and the Sydney Opera and Ballet Orchestra and appeared as a principal artist with the Tasmanian and Melbourne Symphony Orchestras and the Australian Chamber Orchestra.

She can be heard as a harpsichord soloist on eleven CDs on the Move and Naxos labels, of which her De Falla Harpsichord Concerto (Naxos 8.554366) and her Goldberg Variations (Move MD3160) received awards.

She completed a Master of Music at the University of Melbourne with Roger Heagney and John O’Donnell and later studied with Colin Tilney and Alan Curtis.

Elizabeth Anderson teaches Chamber Music and Harpsichord Performance at The Conservatorium of Music, The University of Melbourne.

In Melbourne, she enjoys an involvement, either as a contralto soloist or playing basso continuo in the Bach Cantata series at St Johns’ Lutheran Church, Southbank. She sings with the Australian Chamber Choir and is the Manager of that organisation.

She is married to Douglas Lawrence. They have a son, Jacob Lawrence, who is currently studying towards a Masters Degree in Early Music, majoring in voice at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis.

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... one hell of a harpsichordist

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