Bradford Tracey

Bradford (Whitman) Tracey. Performer on historical keyboard instruments, including harpsichord, virginal, clavichord, fortepiano, and organ, b Sydney, NS, 7 Jul 1951, d Bad Krozingen, West Germany, 17 Sep 1987.

Bradford Tracey

Bradford (Whitman) Tracey. Performer on historical keyboard instruments, including harpsichord, virginal, clavichord, fortepiano, and organ, b Sydney, NS, 7 Jul 1951, d Bad Krozingen, West Germany, 17 Sep 1987. In his youth he was exposed to the traditional instruments of the Maritimes and learned the recorder. He took courses at Mount Allison University, played recorder and harpsichord under Wolfgang Bottenberg at Acadia University, and studied harpsichord and musicology with Greta Kraus at the University of Toronto. In the early 1970s with the aid of a Canada Council grant he studied harpsichord and clavichord with Rolf Junghanns and Hans Martin Linde at the Schola Cantorum in Basle, Switzerland. He studied fortepiano with Fritz Neumeyer in Germany, which gave him access to the Neumeyer's outstanding private collection of some 80 historical keyboard instruments in Bad Krozingen Castle near Freiburg. Tracey based his activities there and, with Junghanns - with whom he had formed a duo in 1973 at the Schola Cantorum - inherited the collection in the mid-1980s on Neumeyer's death. In 1979 Tracey began teaching at Berlin's College of Fine Arts, Music Conservatory Division, giving him access to that institution's highly regarded collection of historical keyboard instruments.

With Junghanns Tracey toured Canada and parts of the US in 1977; they made their debut at Carnegie Recital Hall in a program of four-hand works played on the fortepiano. They made additional tours in Canada and the US in 1979 and 1981. The duo also gave concerts in several cities in Austria, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Spain, and Switzerland, many broadcast on radio. Tracey toured eastern Canada and the US with Nigel Rogers in Nov 1978, appeared as soloist in festivals in England, toured Japan as soloist with Collegium Aurem in 1980, performed with the Berlin Philharmonic in 1982, and appeared at the Nova Scotia Festival of Music in 1984. He also appeared in Paris, London, and Madrid. In 1986 he organized the Friedenau Chamber Concerts series in Berlin, which gave some 60 concerts in its first season.

Tracey's recordings are acclaimed for their value as aural documents of some of the most important historical keyboard instruments in the world and for Tracey's capacity for expression in many historical styles.


Further Reading

  • Sedgwick, Don. 'Tracey-the Bright Star of Europe's Early Music,' Music, vol 1, Jul-Aug 1978

    Stroud, Carsten. 'Cameo-Bradford Tracey,' Fugue, vol 3, Dec 1978