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Cornell University School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions


David Yearsley

Over the last two decades, David Yearsley has immersed himself in the musical culture of the German Baroque. In his musicological work he has read widely in cultural, literary, and theological sources from the period in order to provide both broader and more specific contexts for the music he is interested in. He has written on a wide range of topics, including music and death, alchemy and counterpoint, imagination and musical invention. As a performer he has received numerous awards, among them all major prizes at the 1994 Bruges Early Music Festival.

In his book on Bach, David has sought to explode long-held notions about the status of counterpoint in the mid-eighteenth century and to illuminate unexpected areas of the musical culture into which Bach's most obsessive and complicated musical creations were released. His musical and musicological interests extend to the Elizabethans, the Italian keyboard traditions of the seventeenth century, Handel's operas, the film scores of Bernard Hermann, and improvisation from the age of Antonio Cabezon to that of Dexter Gordon.

David is currently working on a biography of Anna Magdalena Bach, which aims to offer a fuller vision of musical life in the Bach household, and a recording of the Bach Trio Sonatas and music for organ and violin from seventeenth-century Hamburg with his long-time collaborator, Brian Brooks.