This week was the annual visit of Carey Beebe, who takes care of all the harpsichords in Hawaii on his way back home to Australia from the Carmel Bach Festival. He not only tuned the two harpsichords in my condo (Zuckermann and Neupert) among others here in Hawaii, but also the Cammack harpsichord at the Lutheran Church of Honolulu and the Philip Belt fortepiano which now resides in LCH parishioner Mark Russell‘s studio. In case you don’t know, Carl Crosier bequeathed his fortepiano to Mark before he died almost a year ago (knowing that I don’t play the piano!)
Carey Beebe, on his website writes: The harpsichord: truly one of the most magical musical instruments. One of the crowning glories of any civilization must surely be the creation of its music and the instruments on which it can be realized. Those of us who love the harpsichord and recognize its place at the pinnacle of Western musical achievement should occasionally be humbled: Let’s remember that we’re elevating something with only six short centuries of history, originating from only a tiny area of the world’s total surface. The harpsichord then is really only a small—but brilliant reflection of the enormous diversity of mankind.
I enjoyed reading this about Carey: Carey Beebe is probably the most traveled and best known Australian harpsichord maker. After a music degree and three performance diplomas he became more interested in harpsichord construction, and trained at the prominent American workshop of D. Jacques Way. In 1982 he was made the youngest ever International Agent for Zuckermann Harpsichords Inc. and since 1999 has been working exclusively with Marc Ducornet and THE PARIS WORKSHOP. He has scrutinized original instruments in museums and private collections, and maintained or prepared instruments for concerts, broadcasts or recordings on six continents. In addition to his well-known skills as a maker, Carey Beebe has gained considerable expertise in the problems of maintaining early keyboard instruments under adverse conditions such as the tropics. As a result, his services are in constant demand worldwide.
I guess we in Hawaii are the tropics Carey refers to above!
My father and I built the Zuckermann from a kit in 1970 when I needed something to practice on in my college off-campus apartment. After I moved to Hawaii, it sat in my parents’ patio for about twenty years until I shipped it here. For many years, it resided in the Lutheran Church of Honolulu, but now finally, it will go to a new home! LCH parishioners Jean-Paul and Kathryn Klingebiel will become its new owners when they return from their San Francisco sojourn.