Barbara Cadranel is a dynamic harpsichordist who has delighted audiences across the globe with her fresh interpretations of the music of the Baroque period and championing contemporary music for the harpsichord. In addition to performing throughout the United States, Europe, and South America, she has taught a number of master classes, and given interviews and performances on radio and television.
Born in Los Angeles and classically trained on piano, flute, and violin from age 5, Barbara discovered the harpsichord when she was 18 and never looked back. As a Cal Arts grad (BFA 1972) and Protégé of Fernando Valenti, she has become known for generating special electricity. After moving to New York upon graduation, she has played all the major venues: Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher, Merkin Hall, and more.
The New York Times wrote that her performances were “mingled with majesty and introspection,” and WKCR-FM considered her playing to be “Extra-terrestrial.” The legendary harpsichordist Fernando Valenti called her “the most gifted of the younger generation of international harpsichordists.” During a tour in Sao Paulo, Brazil, when she introduced her “Scarlatti by the Yard” concert series, and played the J.S. Bach’s D minor harpsichord concerto 6 nights in a row, the Metropolis in Sao Paulo responded with “….not a stuffed shirt like the others, [but a] master artist!”
A leader in the contemporary harpsichord field, Ms. Cadranel’s passion is expressed through her unique performances, which include multi-media presentations. While commissioning new works, she also founded and directed “The Los Angeles International Harpsichord Festival” which received rave reviews from The Los Angeles Times. Barbara served as founder and Administrative Director of the “Baroque Music Center” and Library in New York, running it’s concert series and keeping stock of the best editions of their collection of music for the harpsichord.
Cadranel made her Lincoln Center concerto debut in the “Basically Bach Festival” at Avery Fisher Hall and followed it with a solo recital debut at Merkin Concert Hall. In celebration of the tercentennial of Bach, Scarlatti and Handel, she played another debut at Carnegie Recital Hall and performed in Scarlatti’s 300th birthday celebration where she included the first known classical music video in the “rock style” entitled “Scarlatti’s Birthday Party.” She has also appeared and taught at “The International Music Festival en Pollesna” (Mallorca, Spain), Festival Musica en Compostela, the “Festival Manuel de Falla” of Granada, and many many others.
At the moment, she is editing one of Fernando Valenti’s books including “The Scarlatti Handbook” which was dedicated to her. She has recently toured Peru, Canada, and performed in “The Boston Early Music Festival” where she has played numerous times, and as usual, after that festival, she played a recital for William F. Buckley, Jr. and has done so until his last year. She has concert bookings globally through 2014, and many of these concerts include mini residencies at universities and “informances” that engage kids and teens, making classical music relevant and fun.