Ahead of his Australian performances with Concerto Italiano, we ask the harpsichordist about his Italian leanings.

Was there a moment when you chose Baroque or Early Music over more mainstream classical music?

I think we’re talking about something like 35 years ago, probably. I’d been a modern piano student and one special day I played a harpsichord. I was really touched by the sound, and this is why in a very short time I decided to change and move to harpsichord full time, finishing my piano career. I did very few concerts with the piano. The sound of the harpsichord had such a very special meaning for me.

Did that lead you immediately into the Italian Baroque, or did you lean towards Bach and other harpsichord composers? 

Italian music was very important to me and my friends, 30 years ago, it was very special. We were especially devoted to the 17th century. It was a fantastic discovery playing music by Frescobaldi, Fontana or Castello, it was very nice, very exciting – it was a new language for us. But of course, Bach as well played an enormous part in our day, listening or performing. I don’t remember a single day in my life where...