The harpsichordist Skip Sempé studied music, musicology, organology and the history of art at the Oberlin Conservatory in the USA, and completed his training in Europe with Gustav Leonhardt in Amsterdam. His distinctive harpsichord playing, musicianship and interpretive flair were quickly noticed by Reinhard Goebel and William Christie, who encouraged him to remain in Europe and embark on his own pioneering reconsideration of well and lesser-known repertoire ranging from 1500-1750.
The little bit of accent, which Skip Sempé preserved from his American descent – since New Orleans taught him freedom very early in his life – in no way disparages his honourable position in France. The presence and the teachings of Gustav Leonhardt, whom he still remembers fondly, made him one of the bold and involved explorers of the known and unknown Renaissance and Baroque repertoire, which inspires the current and upcoming generations.
The artist is a harpsichordist, passionate about the repertoire and the structure of the instrument, as well as conductor of three variants of his Capriccio Stravagante (Capriccio Stravagante, Capriccio Stravagante Renaissance Orchestra and Capriccio Stravagante Les 24 Violons), founder of the Paradizo label, artistic director of the Festival Terpsichore in Paris and Piccola Accademia di Montisi in Tuscany a meeting place for musicians who have an interest in the harpsichord, and a great teacher.
His bold decisions, guided by his instinct enable various musical projects and collaboration with the greatest partners representing all generations to flourish. His philosophy of nonchalance combined with free, strong and creative expression allow him to better use the ideas and codes, find the taste of the original sounds and aesthetics of the 16th and the 17th centuries, offer emotions, brimming from the new interpretations, created with devotion. The thirty years of concerts and albums were marked by several great releases, including Memorandum XXI released in 2013 by Paradizo.
His extensive discography as a soloist and the director of Capriccio Stravagante illustrates his ability to fully develop his talents in a variety of ensembles and the broad musical heritage of the European Baroque and Renaissance. He also promotes Paradizo as a publisher of his recordings, as well as releases by young musicians.
Find out more at www.skipsempe.com