Dumfries House Harpsichord Restoration Project
Soon after Huw Saunders, Donald Macleod and I visited Dumfries House to film the opening titles of my multi-part Kirkman Harpsichord TV documentary, Huw was asked if he would be interested in restoring their 1772 Kirkman harpsichord to make it fit for future recitals. As it happened, Huw had a short gap between finishing one Kirkman style harpsichord for a client in Munich and starting another Kirkman for the Budapest Palace of Arts. Arrangements were soon made and the harpsichord was safely delivered to Huw’s workshop in North London in mid-January 2020. It soon occurred to me that such a unique undertaking needed to be documented, so Huw and I agreed that I should film the restoration.
But… Covid 19 had other ideas! Halfway through the restoration work, the UK went into lockdown. With travelling impossible, Huw and I arranged a makeshift set up so that he could film his progress with his smart phone. The restoration work was completed by April 2020, but the harpsichord had to wait until October 2021 for travelling restrictions to be relaxed enough for us to take it back to Dumfries House and film its arrival and installation in the Parlour Room. The 30-minute TV documentary is available for viewing. Please click here to contact us for details. The renowned harpsichord scholar and conductor Patrick Ayrton traveled from his home in Burgundy to Dumfries House in October 2022 to play this unique instrument before an invited audience in the Tapestry Room.