Charlotte Mattax Moersch

MattaxProfessor of Harpsichord and Chair of the Harpsichord/Organ Division 

B.A. (Music), Yale University; M.M. (harpsichord), The Juilliard School; D.M.A. (early music performance practice), Stanford University. Additional studies with Gustav Leonhardt at the Sweelinck Conservatory, and Bob van Asperen at the Hague Conservatory.

The recipient of several important awards and prizes, Charlotte Mattax Moersch first gained critical attention as a top prize-winner in 1980 and 1983 at the International Harpsichord Competitions of Bruges and Paris. She was honored with a Solo Recitalist Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and a Woolley Scholarship for study in Paris. Professor Mattax Moersch studied with Gustav Leonhardt at the Sweelinck Conservatory, Bob van Asperen at the Hague Conservatory, and Kenneth Gilbert in Paris.

She has performed in the United States and Europe, including appearances in London, Geneva, Paris, Amsterdam, Rome, and Salzburg. As a guest artist, Professor Mattax has been heard at major music festivals, including Saratoga Festival, Festival of the Associazione Musicale Romana, Tage alter musik Regensburg, San Luis Obispo Mozart Festival, and Bethlehem Bach Festival, at which she appears regularly. As a chamber musician, she has performed with New York’s Grande Bande as well as San Francisco’s American Baroque, and has toured Europe with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. She has collaborated with such artists as Arleen Auger, Julianne Baird, Laurence Dreyfus, and baroque dancer Catherine Turocy. Her solo recordings include toccatas and partitas of J.S. Bach (Koch International Classics) and the harpsichord sonatas of Wilhelm Friedemann Bach (Centaur Records). (For a recent review of this recording, please go to W.F. Bach review). She has also recorded for Dorian Recordings, Newport Classic, and Amon Ra Records.

A specialist in 17th-century French music, she is the author of the book, Accompaniment on Theorbo and Harpsichord: Denis Delair’s Traitè if 1690, published by Indiana University Press. Professor Mattax Moersch’s current research focuses on the Italian cimbalo cromatico and Handel’s keyboard transcriptions of his opera overtures.

In spring 2009 she was named a recipient of a Campus Award for Excellence in Graduate and Professional Teaching

Teaching Philosophy

I am a performing harpsichordist with a strong commitment to the area of historical performance. My field of expertise/performance practice, which encompasses both the history of music and performance is relevant to students in the areas of musicology as well as performance. A performer today may strive not only for instrumental virtuosity, but also for stylistic and historical authenticity, thus acquiring a knowledge of historical performance practice is vital. One of my goals is to increase awareness of baroque performance practice, my intensive specialty. To that end, I work with instrumentalists and singers of all levels in courses and performances. Graduate students at the University of Illinois play on period instruments in Concerto Urbano, the university’s period instrument ensemble, which I founded in 1998. I also teach harpsichord, fortepiano and basso continuo, emphasizing a faithfulness to historical keyboard practices, technique, style, and artistry.


University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign