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October 8, 2010

Internationally Acclaimed Pianist Performs Clementi

Erin Helyard, internationally acclaimed harpsichordist and fortepianist, performs the music of late 18th-century piano virtuoso, composer and piano maker Muzio Clementi at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum at 7 p.m. on Oct. 13.

Helyard performs music written or published in London in the decades following the American Revolution. The concert, performed on instruments from Colonial Williamsburg’s collection, traces Clementi’s path from provincial isolation to cosmopolitan fame, featuring works by Handel, Paradies and Clementi on harpsichord, square piano and grand piano.

Clementi began his musical study diligently after being “bought of his father” in 1766 by wealthy English aristocrat Sir Peter Beckford. He “devoted eight hours a day to the harpsichord” at Beckford’s estate in Dorset, where he “practiced and studied continually” the works of Scarlatti, Paradies, Handel and both J.S. and J.C. Bach. In his later years Clementi toured Europe, famously squaring off in an improvisational contest with Mozart himself.

Tickets are $6 for adults, $3 for children up to 17 and $3 for students of the College of William and Mary.

Programs and exhibitions at The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation’s DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum are supported by the DeWitt Wallace Endowment Fund.

Entrance to Colonial Williamsburg Art Museums is through the Public Hospital of 1773 at 326 W. Francis St. For information, call (757) 220-7724.

The Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg include the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum and the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum. The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum is home to the nation’s premier collection of American folk art, with more than 5,000 folk art objects made during the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. The DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum exhibits the best in British and American decorative arts from 1670–1830.

The Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg are located at the intersection of Francis and South Henry Streets in Williamsburg, Va., and are entered through the Public Hospital of 1773. Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. For museum program information, telephone (757) 220-7724.

The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational and cultural organization that preserves and operates the restored 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia as a town-sized living history museum, telling the inspirational stories of our nation’s founding men and women. Williamsburg is located in Virginia’s Tidewater region, 20 minutes from Newport News, within an hour’s drive of Richmond and Norfolk, and 150 miles south of Washington, D.C., off Interstate 64. For more information about Colonial Williamsburg, call 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg’s website at

Media Contact:
Penna Rogers
(757) 220-7121