Julia Brown


  • The Ill-Tempered Bach – Wilhelm Friedemann’s Eight Fugues
    911 Stewart St
    July 7 @ 9:00 am
    Wilhelm Friedemann (1710-84), eldest son of Johann Sebastian Bach, was one of the most independent-minded composers of his time; he was a brilliant improviser and keyboard performer and one of the first freelance musicians.  He has gained a reputation as a difficult, moody, unstable – indeed “ill-tempered” individual.  His surviving music reflects his flamboyant character, the traditional, contrapuntal writing learned from his father, and the changing musical tastes of his generation.  The Eight Fugues, F. 31, are small musical gems: accessible, beautiful and useable as teaching, concert and church repertoire.  They work equally well on organ and harpsichord (and other keyboard instrument).  This workshop will include biographical background on the composer, possible reasons why this music is not often heard, and a performance of the eight fugues.


Projecting “a warmly musical personality”, Julia Brown’s many recordings on Naxos hail her as an “unquestionably first-class artist and superb technician… exceptionally sensitive”.  Her organ and harpsichord recordings of W. F. Bach, J. S. Bach, Buxtehude and Scheidemann have gained high critical acclaim.  In demand as a historical keyboardist and collaborative artist, Brown’s performances include chamber music, orchestral repertoire, and continuo playing in addition to solo recitals.  Brown has appeared in concert in North and South America and in Europe, having performed at the Oregon Bach Festival, Astoria Music Festival, Chico Bach Festival, American Guild of Organists Regional and National Conventions, Organ Historical Society Conventions, Latin American Organist Conventions, and National Public Radio.  Born in Rio de Janeiro, Brown studied piano, harpsichord and organ in her native Brazil before receiving her MM and DMA from Northwestern University as a student of Wolfgang Rübsam.  She has served as president of ABO (Brazilian Association of Organists) and has served in various capacities on AGO chapter boards in Pennsylvania, Oregon and Michigan.  She currently works as Director of Music and Organist at Mayflower Congregational Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan.