Concert 3 : 1+2+3+4 (Bach’s Concerti)

Following a widespread interest in last year’s multi-harpsichord performance, the ensemble will present Johann Sebastian Bach’s Concerti for 1, 2, 3 and for 4 harpsichords. The Sydney Consort welcomes back international keyboard virtuoso, Dr Michael Tsalka, who as part of this program will also perform Bach’s masterful concerto for a single harpsichord.



Johann Sebastian Bach 

Concerto for Harpsichord in F Minor BWV 1056 

Concerto for 2 Harpsichords in C Minor BWV 1062

Concerto for 3 Harpsichords in D Minor BWV 1063

Concerto for 4 Harpsichords A Minor BWV 1065


Monika Kornel harpsichord
Joanna Tondys harpsichord
Michael Tsalka harpsichord
Diana Weston harpsichord

Stan W Kornel baroque violin
Meg Cohen baroque violin
Valmai Coggins baroque viola
Laura Moore baroque cello




Monika Kornel studied at the Torun State Conservatorium of Music (Poland), where she received her Diploma in Music and Piano Performance. With her husband, violinist, Monika has performed extensively, giving violin and piano recitals in Europe and later in Australia. After furthering her studies at the Academy of Music in Lódz (Poland), Monika moved to Sydney and completed a Bachelor of Music degree in piano and a Master of Music degree in performance in harpsichord and early music at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

Willoughby Orchestra, SBS Orchestra, the St Laurence Baroque Orchestra, Marais Project, Salut!Baroque. In 1998 she also appeared in the Sydney Bach Festival, regularly participating in major music festivals and concerts in Australia. Monika has recorded six CD’s with the Sydney Consort and more with other ensembles, including Salut!Baroque and the Australian Baroque Brass among others. 

Joanna Tondys studied piano in her native Poland where she graduated with a Diploma of Music from the Music High School at Zdunska Wola. While studying there she became interested in early music. After moving to Australia she commenced her harpsichord studies with Monika Kornel and continued with Neal Peres da Costa at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. In 2007 she received a scholarship from the University of Sydney to study at the Royal College of Music in London with harpsichordist Terence Charlston.  She completed her Bachelor of Music (Performance) in June 2009.

Joanna's knowledge and experience in historical performance has grown by attending many music camps and masterclasses in both Australia and Europe. She has taken the opportunity to learn from such renowned musicians as Nicholas Parle, Rachel Brown, Jane Gower, Peter Holman, Ashley Solomon, Elisabeth Wallfisch and Jan Willem de Vriend.

She has performed continuo on both harpsichord and organ in Australia and Europe, including Sydney Conservatorium Early Music Ensemble, New Cologne Philharmonia, RCM Baroque Orchestra, Tall Poppeas, Sounds Baroque, Sydney Consort, St James’ King St and the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra. Joanna is always eager to discover and learn as much as she can about the music of the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries.

Currently Joanna is working with Paul Dyer, Artistic Director of the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, enjoying teaching harpsichord and looking after all the early keyboard instruments at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

Early keyboard performer and pianist Michael Tsalka has won numerous prizes and awards in Europe, the U.S.A., the Middle East and Latin America. A versatile musician, he performs with equal virtuosity a wide span of repertoire from the early Baroque to our days on the harpsichord, fortepiano, clavichord, square piano, chamber organ and modern piano. Tsalka was born in Tel-Aviv, Israel. After obtaining a Bachelor’s degree from Tel-Aviv University, he continued his studies in Germany and Italy. In 2001, he received a piano solo diploma from the Scuola Superiore Internazionale del Trio di Trieste, where he studied with Dario di Rosa. From 2002-2008, he studied at Temple University under the guidance of Joyce Lindorff, Harvey Wedeen, and Lambert Orkis. Tsalka holds three degrees from that institution: a Master’s degree in chamber music/accompanying, a Master’s degree in harpsichord performance and a Doctorate in piano performance. Other teachers included Sandra Mangsen, Klaus Schilde, Malcolm Bilson, and Charles Rosen.

Dr. Tsalka maintains a busy concert schedule. Recent engagements include performances at the Boston Early Music Festival, the Forbidden City Hall in Beijing, Bellas Artes Theater in Mexico City, the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, the Metropolitan Museum in New York, St. Denis Festival in Paris, Der Gasteig in Munich, Beethoven House in Bonn, the Volksbuehne Hall in Berlin, the Jerusalem Music Center, Sydney Conservatorium of Music, and interviews and live performances for radio stations in Hong Kong, Chicago, Buenos Aires, Berlin, Munich, St. Petersburg, Beijing, Stockholm, Helsinki, Auckland, Amsterdam, Brussels, Geneva, London, and Jerusalem.

From 2006 to 2015, he has been an artist-in-resident every July at the Anderson Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Red Wing, Minnesota ( Dr. Tsalka has recorded 15 CDs for labels such as Naxos, Grand Piano, Ljud & Bild (Stockholm), Brilliant Classics (Amsterdam) Paladino (Vienna), and IMI (Israel). Current and future recording projects include CDs dedicated to keyboard works by J. S. Bach, Daniel Gottlob Türk, Johann Baptist Wanhal, Carl Dittersdorf, Ferdinand Ries, Franz Schubert, Felix Mendelssohn, Viktor Ullmann, Leonardo Coral, and Yehezkel Braun. Together with Dr. Angelica Minero Escobar, he is preparing a critical edition of Türk’s 30 keyboard sonatas for Artaria Editions in New Zealand ( Sonatas 1–12 were published in 2013. Sonatas 13-24 will be published in 2016. Tsalka often collaborates with composers: In 2015-2017, he will perform sixteen world premieres dedicated to him by composers of fourteen different nationalities. Michael Tsalka has presented 75 master classes and lecture-recitals in academic institutions in all continents. Several of his scholarly articles have been published by music journals, including De Clavicordio(Italy), Piano Bulletin EPTA(Netherlands), Early Keyboard Journal and Early Music America (U.S.A.). He taught Temple University in Philadelphia, at the National Center for the Arts (Mexico), and Lilla Akademien (Stockholm). Currently, he is a visiting professor at Celaya Conservatory in Guanajuato, Mexico. In 2011, Tsalka was the artistic director of the Bach Festival, at the Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing, with presentation at Qingdao’s Grand Theatre and Wuhan’s Qintai Concert Hall. From 2012 to 2015, he was the co-artistic director of the Nordic Historical Keyboard Festival in Kuopio, Finland. In December 2014, he was the artist director of a mini-festival for the Dutch Embassy in Stockholm. From 2014, he is the artistic director of the Geelvinck Fortepiano Festival, Netherlands ( Dr. Tsalka currently resides in Valencia, Spain.

Diana Weston is a musician living in Sydney. Since changing her career path from medicine to music, gaining her Masters in Music in 2008 with a study of harpsichord continuo styles, she has been involved with many musical activities and projects including festivals and concerts, operas and recitals. She is the director of the ensemble Thoroughbass which she formed in 2009. Thoroughbass is a group dedicated to the presentation of little-known early and contemporary music on period instruments. While the backbone of Thoroughbass is in early music, Diana routinely commissions and arranges contemporary music for the ensemble. In addition to her highly qualified regular players, Diana invites outstanding guest artists to participate in her concert series and provides opportunities for younger players.

Diana is a recording artist for Wirripang. She is also music director for Ondine Productions and a free-lance harpsichordist. She has commissioned a number of works by Australian composers for the group including Magpie Baby: A Childhood Suite by Nadje Noordhuis (2013), Flying West by Ann Carr-Boyd (2014), The Birch Tree by Elena Kats-Chernin (2014), Suite for Diana by Ann Carr-Boyd (2015) and Flutter-by, the Butterfly by May Howlett (2015).

Recordings include: Bach and Harmonious Euphony: Music for 2 harpsichords with Monika Kornel (2010), Blue Skies, Magpies and Goldfish: Music for harpsichord, recorders, voice and cello by Australian women composers (2013), Flying West: the music of Ann Carr-Boyd, a double CD (2014/15, published by Wirripang), The Birch Tree: music based on folktunes (2015). All recordings include works by Australian composers. Tracks from these recordings appear regularly on ABC Classic FM and other radio stations.

Major projects with Ondine Productions: Francesca Caccini’s La liberazione di Ruggiero dall’isola d’Alcina (2012 fully staged); Glass’ Akhnaten (2013, a scented opera), Legacies of Love and Loss: lieder recital with international soprano Claire Primrose (2013); Britten’s Phaedra/Gorecki’s Concerto for Harpsichord and String Orchestra (2014).