Commended for his “masterful artistry” (The Diapason, 2019) David Baskeyfieldhas earned a reputation for creative programing, showcasing virtuoso facility tempered by intelligent interpretation, authoritative command of registration and informed above all by intuitive and communicative musicality. “From the first few notes, Baskeyfield’s musicianship let the audience relax. He has that kind of unruffled technique an audience likes in a star, and lent palpable architecture to longer works. Registrationally he made both St Jean Baptiste and the tired Notre Dame Basilica organ sound happier than the other contestants did… His rubato was the most natural of anyone’s; by not over-lingering on details early on in pieces, he won the listener’s indulgence in his grander rhythmic gestures later on.” (Choir and Organ, UK).
Mr. Baskeyfield specializes in the music of the French composers of the 19th and 20th centuries; this is complemented by research interests in organ improvisation as taught by the apostolic succession of teachers and students at the Paris Conservatoire, and in the design, construction and voicing of the instruments of that school. However, his concert repertoire in general is varied and eclectic; a special affection for the Old Masters of the 17th-century North German School in no way detracts from his interpretations of the music of the great 19th-century virtuosos. He has occasionally given theatre organ recitals.
His two recorded albums to date have been received to consistently high praise: on his debut recording, on the Canadian label ATMA Classique, “the perfect combination of organ and organist” (American Record Guide); “[Baskeyfield is] notable for his skillful registrations. His choice of tonal colours is masterful… The disc is a fabulous recording and an important document for this historic instrument now more than a century old.” (theWholeNote). His latest, “Dupré: the American Experience”recorded on the Acis label on the landmark Franco-American instrument of St. Mary the Virgin, Times Square, was released in December. It includes the US premiere recording of an unpublished transcription by Dupré that was acquired by the Sibley Music Library. The first American organ to experiment with French voicing, the Times Square organ is an ideal instrument for the music of a Frenchman whose compositional style came to be influenced by the instruments he encountered over a series of massively successful American tours. Choir and Organ notes “astounding virtuosity and musicality.”
Mr. Baskeyfield was an organ scholar at St John’s College, Oxford, where he read Law. On the encouragement of David Higgs, he crossed the Atlantic to begin graduate work at the Eastman School of Music. His doctoral research examined the influence of the Paris Conservatoire organ improvisation curriculum on the composed repertoire of Dupré and Vierne. He is the recipient of an unusual number of first prizes in playing competitions; these include CIOC, St Albans, Miami, and the AGO National Competition in Organ Improvisation, all with audience prize.
He was recently appointed to the faculty of the Sacred Music Institute of America, where he teaches organ performance, improvisation, keyboard skills and church music skills. He is also the Director of Music at Christ Episcopal Church, Pittsford, NY.
Aside from solo performance he enjoys work as a collaborative pianist, continuo player, and occasional cocktail pianist. He has been broadcast a number of times on American Public Media’s Pipedreams, as well as NPR’s With Heart and Voice and, more locally, as part of the daily playlist on classical station WXXI. He is currently enthusiastic about cooking, brewing, sports fishing, vegetable gardening, beekeeping and aquarium fish, in particular the cichlids endemic to the east African rift lakes, Malawi and Tanganyika. He shares his house with two springer spaniels, Lucy and Wilbur.
He is represented in North America by Karen McFarlane Artists, Inc.