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Vital Julian Frey


Member since 2015


What led you to become a harpsichordist?
When I was born, my father gave my mother a collection of records with harpsichord concertos of J.S. Bach. This music was probably on the record player a lot in my early childhood. In any case, by the age of 8 I was already convinced that I needed to learn to play the harpsichord.

What are your interests outside of music?
In addition to unwinding in natural surroundings and sailing on Lake Thun, my particular passion is for a serious single malt. It can be Scotch, Irish, Japanese, even Taiwanese… only Swiss whiskey isn’t my taste. Or at least not yet.

What was your most embarrassing moment on stage?
Once shortly before a concert I had the brilliant idea to reorganize my loose pages of music. I realised that this was actually not a good idea at all only after the concert had started. To the horror of my fellow musicians, my performance consisted of a clumsy improvisation of the actual harpsichord part with one hand, while with the other hand I tried to sort through the jumbled pile of music sheets. Unfortunately this was doomed to failure and ended in a truly breath-taking, very long grand pause…

About Vital Julian Frey

Vital Julian Frey is one of the most sought-after harpsichordists of his generation. With a full schedule of exciting performances, Frey, a native of Bern, makes a significant contribution toward repositioning the harpsichord on the classical music scene. With the workshops he offers in connection with concerts, he has introduced many children and young people to the world of the harpsichord.

Frey studied at the music academies in Freiburg i. Br. with Robert Hill and in Munich with Christine Schornsheim. Other strong influences were Christophe Rousset and Gustav Leonhardt. As a soloist, Vital Julian Frey appears regularly at prominent festivals in Switzerland and beyond. He has been artistic director of the Bachwochen Thun since 2016.

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