Death of leading US clavichordist, 94

Death of leading US clavichordist, 94


norman lebrecht

January 02, 2020

The distinguished keyboard Joan Benson died today aged 94.

Of Swedish descent, she studied with Percy Grainger at Interlochen before heading to Europe to sit with Edwin Fischer and Olivier Messiaen.

She taught at Stanford and Oregon and was one of the early proponents of the works of CPE Bach.


  • Anthony Martin says:

    If you wish to hear a sample of Joan Benson’s art, go to for an amazing performance of an amazing piece: CPE Bach’s Free Fantasy in f# minor.

    • AnnaT says:

      Thanks for this link! I’d not heard of her, but having listened to that CPE, I’ll be seeking out her recordings.

  • Here’s a review published by Early Music America last year of the two-CD set of works culled from Benson’s live performances and studio albums spanning 40 years: