Harpsichords musical instruments by builder Craig C. Tomlinson

Craig C. Tomlinson

Harpsichords - Fortepianos - Virginals - Clavichords



I began building folk instruments in late 1960. In 1975 I was asked to work on a kit-based two-manual French Harpsichord for a Vancouver player. The challenge of this task opened up a new world for me. After building several more kit instruments, I decided to build my own Harpsichords adopting the designs, materials and methods found in historical Harpsichords. The instruments I envisioned combined a balance between the tonal intricacies of the sound, a keyboard and action that responded perfectly to the player's touch and an esthetic beauty in its decoration. It also had to be a very stable, reliable instrument.

Over the next few years I worked with Edward R. Turner, who was associated with the Russell Collection in Edinburgh and later with John Philips in Berkeley, California. In 1984 I returned to Canada to set up my own workshop in Vancouver, British Columbia.

In 1988 I received a Canada Council Grant to research instruments in selected collections in Europe. From this experience I came away with a wealth of information, measurements and photographs as well as a good supply of excellent tone woods.

All my instrument designs, materials and structure are based on the surviving 17th and 18th Century Harpsichords from the French, Flemish, Italian and German schools of building. To ensure stability, I use only well seasoned timbers of yellow poplar, German spruce, Swiss pear, Italian cypress and European beech along with logs of ebony, boxwood and holly. Virtually all of the parts used in the instruments including the keyboards and jacks are handmade in my West Vancouver workshop.

My instruments are used in concert halls by many of the world's top players, ensembles and orchestras.

1. Alex Waterhouse-Haywards blog last night -

2. The Vancouver Observer -

3. A Taste of Life -

4. 'The Harpsichord Maker' - A film by Morgan Inglis - http://vimeo.com/39384756

5. 'Craig Tomlinson-Harpsichord Maker' - A film by Jennifer Giesbrecht and Gudrun Jonsdottir - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4JH4-DQFjx8




Craig C. Tomlinson
1282 Jefferson Ave., West Vancouver, B.C., Canada V7T 2B1
home - 604.922.9471     cellular - 604.760.2587
Web Site: www.tomlinsonharpsichords.com
E-Mail: craigtomlinson@telus.net

Website revised & updated 2013
Olga Kornavitch-Tomlinson

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