Harpsichord Recital

The Mark Rosa Harpsichord Recital at First Unitarian Society seeks to provide visibility for one of the finest harpsichord replicas in the world and to promote harpsichord music in general. Artistic direction, production, and promotion of the Rosa Harpsichord Recital is shared by FUS Music Director Drew Collins and Madison Bach Musicians Associate Music Director Kangwon Kim. Each year, the recital is underwritten entirely by Sue Rosa—FUS is grateful for her generosity.

An Exciting Venture for 2023–2024!

We are thrilled to partner with Madison Bach Musicians to present the complete Musikalisches Opfer (Musical Offering), BWV 1079. It is a collection of canons and fugues and other pieces of music by Johann Sebastian Bach, all based on a musical theme given to him by Frederick the Great (King Frederick II of Prussia). The high point of the work is the Ricercar a 6, a six-voice fugue. The Musical Offering is one of Bach’s crowning achievements. Tickets available on the Madison Bach Musicians website (click here).

Featured Guest Artists

Each Mark Rosa Harpsichord Recital features a different world-renowned harpsichordist. Guests from past years:

  • 2011–12 — Trevor Stephenson, with special guests Rachel Edie Warrick (soprano) and Monica Steger (Baroque flute). Works by J. S. Bach, Handel, and Scarlatti. *This was a memorial concert to celebrate the life and mourn the passing of harpsichord builder Mark Rosa (1950–2011, see below).
  • 2013–14 — Stephen Alltop. Works by J.S. Bach, George Frederic Handel, Domenico Scarlatti, and F. Joseph Haydn.
  • 2015–16 — Mark Shuldiner. Works by D’Anglebert, Munday, Storace, Sweelinck, and Frescobaldi.
  • 2016–17 — JungHae Kim, with special guests Kangwon Kim (Baroque violin). Works by Sweelinck, Leclair, D. Scarlatti, d’Anglebert, Le Roux, and Corelli.
  • 2017–18 — Joseph Gascho. Works by J.S. Bach, C.P.E. Bach, Scarlatti, and Rameau.
  • 2018–19 — Jason Moy. “The Angel, The Devil, and The Sun King: Music and Rivalry in the Court of Louis XIV.” Works by Marais, Duphly, Forqueray, and Rameau. With special guests Kangwon Kim (Baroque violin) and Kate Shuldiner (basse de viole).
  • 2021–22 — Jory Vinikour. Three works by J. S. Bach: French Suite in G Major, Toccata in D Major, and Ouvertüre nach Französischer.

About the Builder

Robert Mark Rosa (May 31, 1950—November 18, 2011) was born and raised in Monroe, WI, where his interest in early music and harpsichord building began. He moved to Madison in 1981, and, for a brief period, built historical keyboard instruments for a living before returning to the University of Wisconsin-Madison and completing degrees in linguistics and library science. He worked at UW-Madison Mills Music Library until retiring in 2005.

About the Instrument

Harpsichord builder Mark Rosa constructed the instrument in 1979 (see more information about Mark below). Of all the instruments he built, it was this which served as his personal instrument. It is a replica of the 1769 Pascal Taskin “French double” harpsichord now housed at Edinburgh University. It features two keyboards, two 8-foot stops, one 4-foot stop, and two buff stops. The soundboard features a decorative painting by Julia Zwerts, which is based on the one found in the original 1769 instrument. In 2006, Mark and Sue Rosa donated it to First Unitarian Society, where it was fully restored by Norman Sheppard and Trevor Stephenson. Mr. Stephenson continues to maintain the instrument. The Mark Rosa Harpsichord Recital at FUS is a recurring event designed to showcase the instrument.