Cornell Center for Historical Keyboards fosters original and imaginative approaches to the performance and study of keyboard instruments, their technological underpinnings, their intersections with other arts, and their participation in the global currents of cultural and social history.


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The Orpheus of Amsterdam: The Musical Worlds of Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck, October 20–23

To mark the 400th anniversary of the Dutch composer and keyboardist Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck’s death, this Center festival offers an opportunity to revisit a remarkable body of inventive and pioneering music. Sweelinck’s erudition and imagination, his virtuosity as a composer and keyboardist, and his excellence as a teacher, inspired contemporaries to compare him to the mythical Orpheus whose musical powers could charm all things. Young musicians were sent to Amsterdam from across northern Europe to study with the great master, and his legacy stretched across the 17th century.  

The four concerts of this festival present the music of Sweelinck alongside that of his Italian and German contemporaries and his students, for organ and harpsichord alone, and in the company of voice and violin. Please see our main festival homepage, as well as the festival’s concert programs and performer bios.

Please note that reservations are recommended for the final event on Saturday, October 23 at 8:00PM. RSVP here.

Image of Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck
Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck

COVID-19 Protocols

All in-person events will follow current Cornell COVID-19 protocols. Compliance with the university’s mask mandate will be required for all audience members. Please note the following public health requirements:

All attendees who are current Cornell students or employees must show their Cornell ID for admission to events. Cornell employees must complete the Daily Check prior to attendance.

All attendees who are not current Cornell employees or students (such as alumni, visitors, guests, parents, community members, third party event attendees and others) must provide one of the following: 1) proof of being fully vaccinated for COVID-19 with an FDA- or WHO-authorized vaccine; 2) results of a negative FDA- or DOH-authorized PCR, rapid PCR, or nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT) COVID-19 test collected within 72 hours of the event start; or 3) an FDA-authorized antigen test performed on a specimen collected within six hours of the event start.

Hands Playing Organ

Fall 2021 Season Announcement

Organ recitals this semester bring you the multifaceted music of the Northern European baroque, balancing the splendid with the learned, the glittering with the melancholic. The semester’s piano events, meanwhile, explore works by Haydn, Bach, Brahms, Beethoven, Chopin, and more, on several of the Center’s distinctive array of instruments.

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History, Music, Physics Harmonize in Keyboard Project

Elizaveta Zabelina ’24’s project demonstrates how instruments, performance and research intersect at the Cornell Center for Historical Keyboards. “Both the act of performing and doing technical work inside the mechanism involve a developing relationship between the human and the instrument,” Zabelina said. “I’m observing and participating in the relationship between material and immaterial.”

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Conrad Graf Piano (Opus 502, gift of Nancy Garrett) Arrives in Ithaca

The Cornell Center for Historical Keyboards is delighted to announce the arrival of Conrad Graf Opus 502 (ca. 1823-24) into our collection. The piano is the generous gift of Nancy Garrett, Professor Emeritus of Piano at the Butler School of Music, University of Texas at Austin (who is also the benefactor of our 1799 Broadwood).

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Research Profile

Developing a Contemporary Performance Practice

richard valitutto

DMA candidate Richard Valitutto documents his ongoing work into the music, performance practice, and personality of Julius Eastman.


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Cornell Center for Historical Keyboards is the home and host of the Westfield Center for Historical Keyboard Studies. Learn about the Westfield Center at