David Fuller Portrait 220x314


In tribute to David Fuller

June 29 2022

It is with great emotion that William Christie and Les Arts Florissants have learned of the death of the great American musicologist David Fuller on Sunday, June 19 at the age of 95.

David Fuller died on Sunday, June 19 at the age of 95. An organist, harpsichordist and a great musicologist specializing in 17th and 18th century music, he was a mentor of William Christie and a close friend of his. Among other things, he discovered the works of Armand Louis Couperin. He taught with passion many generations of musicians and was a faithful participant in the Festival Dans les Jardins de William Christie since its creation. Les Arts Florissants pays him a moving and grateful tribute.

Born in Newton, Massachusetts, USA, on May 1, 1927, David Fuller studied at Harvard University (BA 1949, AM 1950) before receiving a John Knowles Paine Fellowship (1960-61) and defending his doctoral dissertation on 18th-century harpsichord music in 1965. He also trained as an organist with Biggs, William Self and André Marchal, and as a harpsichordist with Albert Fuller. He taught at Robert College (Istanbul), Bradford Junior College, Dartmouth College, and from 1963-97 at SUNY Buffalo. In 1963, while completing his doctorate at Harvard, he met the young William Christie, then in his first undergraduate year.

David Fuller's research and teaching interests include seventeenth- and eighteenth-century French music and performance practices, and automatic musical instruments. His publications include editions of the keyboard works of Armand-Louis Couperin (1975) and of two Handel ornamented organ concertos (Op. 4 Nos. 2 and 5) as performed on an early barrel organ (1980). He was co-editor of the book A Catalogue of French Harpsichord Music, 1699-1780 (1990) and has written articles for a number of specialized journals. With William Christie, he has recorded Couperin's Simphonie de clavecins and the Second Quartet for two harpsichords. Fuller's erudite, careful and witty writing has made him an exemplary musicologist as well as a sensitive performer on both harpsichord and organ.