Welcome to the Colin Booth website

(now incorporating Soundboard Records - see Recordings)

Bach 48 Book One


Bach’s Well-tempered Clavier, Book One

Many consider this work (the “Forty-Eight Preludes and Fugues”) to be Bach’s supreme achievement in the area of keyboard music.

“It’s the playing that counts. And I was bowled over… The most congenial playing I have heard of this remarkable set of pieces.”   (Early Music Review).

The unusual instrument used in this recording is my 2016 harpsichord after an original by Nicholas Celini.
(You may also be interested to see how I restored the original, dated 1661.)

The recording of Book Two is in preparation, with a release date in 2019.

This new recording is available as a 2-CD set, at the promotional price of £12.

Stephen Malinowski has made a video realisation of the Prelude and Fugue in A major. [Please note that by clicking to play this video you give your consent to YouTube placing cookies on your device.] (See Privacy policy.)

Playing my restored Celini harpsichord of 1661.
For more on this instrument and the CDs recorded with it, see News

[Please note that by clicking to Play this video you give your consent to YouTube placing cookies on your device.] (See Privacy policy.)


As both a maker and player of harpsichords, I enjoy the rare privilege of turning a collection of pieces of wood into a finished harpsichord and then playing it in public. photo of Colin Booth, harpsichord player and maker While geographically based in the South-West of England (home and workshop are near the beautiful city of Wells), performing has given me the opportunity of travelling far afield and forming friendships with other musicians, many of whom now own my instruments.


‘Your concert was hugely enjoyed and many people told me how astonished they were that you not only played brilliantly but built the exquisite harpsichord you brought with you.’

David Titterington, RAM, Artistic Director of the St. Albans International Organ Festival,
following the concert which formed part of the 2013 Festival.


CD cover, Goldberg Variations Building harpsichords takes time, so my concert work has been limited, compared with full-time performers. In order to reach a wider audience, in 1991 I established the Soundboard record label. There are now a dozen recordings of solo harpsichord music available on Soundboard, including the landmark CD of Bach’s Goldberg Variations.

‘For me this recording stands out in a crowded field.’

Noel O’Regan. Early Music Review, August 2011.


masterclass, Washington 2019

I also love teaching, and have developed a deep interest in the expressive capabilities of the harpsichord and its music.

You may be interested in one of my articles, The Harpsichord - an Instrument for the Head or the Heart?


Masterclass tuition
Washington DC 2019


Did Bach Really Mean That? Seminars held at the Dartington International Summer School led to “Did Bach Really Mean That?” - a 350-page handbook. Its aim is to encourage keyboard players, whatever their instrument, to go “beyond the dots”: to discover more fully the breadth of meaning which an apparently simple Baroque score may conceal.

‘The book is absolutely first class: very learned yet imaginative and totally approachable. So much to learn from it, and so much to admire. Congratulations. I have already recommended it to several keyboard players.’


Sir Roger Norrington, conductor


back to top

Click here to explore recordings of solo harpsichord music on the Soundboard label.

Click here for “Did Bach Really Mean That? - deceptive notation in Baroque keyboard music”.

Privacy Policy

Photographs of performing and teaching, courtesy of  Joe McHugh, Studio 5, Renmore, Galway
and   Aminah Hughes: www.aminah.com.au

Video clips: my thanks to Dr. Peter Mole

© 2013-2019 Colin Booth, harpsichordist and harpsichord maker


Website design by Small World Websites