Digital booklet:  View · Download

The Convict Harpsichordist

John Grant, frustrated in love, shot a London lawyer in the buttock and was sentenced to death at the Old Bailey. Granted a reprieve, he arrived at Sydney Cove in 1804, bringing with him Australia's first harpsichord. But what music did he play? Harpsichordist Elizabeth Anderson answers the question.

With a bonus CD-ROM video section (over 18 minutes) featuring the John Grant story told in words and music, a comprehensive illustrated historical booklet and a newly commissioned work, Ron Nagorcka's This Beauteous Wicked Place (a work symbilosing the reconciliation of two cultures) this recording is for early music and Australian history buffs alike.


Elizabeth Anderson

Elizabeth Anderson has performed in no less than eleven international concert tours to Europe, Japan and Singapore. She is a regular guest lecturer and performer at universities and music schools throughout Australia.

Press quotes

“entertaining ... Elizabeth Anderson engagingly performs a selection of music Grant may well have played on his harpsichord” ★★★★

— Tony Way, The Age - Green Guide

“There is much to like in this release ... recorded very well ... magnificent playing ... excellent balance of works ...”

— Barnaby Ralph, Early Music, UK

“a welcome mix ... a pleasing change from the usual single-composer discs ... a fascinating disc.”

— Clifford Bartlett, Early Music Review, UK

“Anderson is in top form ... her playing calls that of Wanda Landowska to mind - and praise doesn't get much higher than this ...”

The West Australian

“an innovative idea and presentation ... Elizabeth Anderson's playing is energetic and sprightly: in both the flavour and spirit of the story as portrayed ... An ideal Christmas gift, even for yourself.”

— Neville Olliffe, Early Music News

“This attractive keyboard performance ... brings to life a marvellous episode in early Australian history ... The true-life anti-hero was convict John Grant, and Elizabeth Anderson's CD does his memory proud.”

— Philip Gore, Good Medicine / Your Destiny

“playing is superb ... a highlight of the [2003] year.”

— Michael Easton, Herald Sun

“accomplished and clearly voiced.”

— Clive O'Connell, The Age

“[Anderson's] deft fingerwork, wonderful control of the rhythms, dynamics and nuances of this lovely music are models of refinement and elegance ... a most agreeable sound ... splendidly recorded.”

— John Barns, 3MBS FM Libretto

“In years of reviewing compact discs, many of the highest quality, I have never encountered so satisfying a product as this MOVE CD. For quality of content, fullness of liner notes with accompanying illustrations as well as a fascinating CD-ROM visual component. This is a product that ought to be recognised as the model it is; it deserves the very highest praise.”

Read full review

— Neville Cohn, OzArts Review

Audio previews

Track Listing

  1. Sonata in F minor, K 386 Presto Domenico Scarlatti
  2. Sonata in F minor, K 387 Veloce e fugato Domenico Scarlatti
  3. Sonata No. 10 in D major Pietro Domenico Paradies

  4. Vivace
  5. Presto
  6. Prelude and Fugue No. 24 in D major, BWV 893 Johann Sebastian Bach
  7. Prelude and Fugue No. 15 in G major, BWV 884 Johann Sebastian Bach
  8. Suite No. 5 in E major George Frideric Handel

  9. Allegro Moderato
  10. Allemande
  11. Courante
  12. Air con Variozioni
  13. Sonata in E major, K 380 Andante commodo Domenico Scarlatti
  14. Sonata in E major, K 381 Allegro Domenico Scarlatti
  15. Sonata in D major, K 32 Aria Domenico Scarlatti
  16. Sonata in D major, K 33 Domenico Scarlatti
  17. Sonata in C minor, R 18 Cantabile Padre Antonio Soler
  18. Sonata in C minor, R 19 Allegro moderato Padre Antonio Soler
  19. Variations on Ah vous dirai-je Maman (Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star), KV 265 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
  20. This Beauteous Wicked Place Ron Nagorcka



Pietro Domenico Paradies

Pietro Domenico Paradisi Paradies (originally named Paradisi), Pietro Domenico was an Italian composer and Harpsichordist born in Naples 1707 (died Venice 1791).

Johann Sebastian Bach

Johann Sebastian Bach was a German composer, organist, harpsichordist, violist, and violinist whose sacred and secular works for choir, orchestra, and solo instruments drew together the strands of the Baroque period and brought it to its ultimate maturity.

George Frideric Handel

George Frideric Handel was a German-British Baroque composer, famous for his operas, oratorios, and concertos. Handel's music was well known to such later composers as Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven.

Padre Antonio Soler

Antonio Soler (1729-83) was a monk of Monasterio de San Lorenzo de El Escorial and also the choir master. He composed much church music, mainly for choir, and for the Royal Court.

Domenico Scarlatti

Giuseppe Domenico Scarlatti (1685–1757) was an Italian composer who spent much of his life in the service of the Portuguese and Spanish royal families.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was a prolific and influential composer of the Classical era. He composed over 600 works, many acknowledged as pinnacles of symphonic, concertante, chamber, piano, operatic, and choral music. He is among the most enduringly popular of classical composers.

Ron Nagorcka

Ron Nagorcka has a long-held interest in the sounds of the Australian bush (in particular its birds), the use of electronics in music and the system of tuning known as just intonation. His recordings of nature in Tasmania and in the arid zones of mainland Australia provide the basis for many of his compositions.

Where to buy

The Convict Harpsichordist is available for download from the iTunes Music Store.
It's available for streaming through Spotify and Apple Music.

The Convict Harpsichordist is available as as CD. It can be purchased online through Buywell Music or the Australian Music Centre which both offer secure online ordering.

Move CDs can be ordered through music retailers across Australia including Readings.

Product details

Recorded at the Move Records Studio, Melbourne Australia.

This recording project has been assisted by the Commonwealth Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.

(track 18)

List price
$25.00 AUD
Martin Wright
Thomas Grubb
Move Records Studio
Thanks to
Australia Council (track 18)
Release date
© 2003 Move Records
℗ 2003 Move Records
Baroque, Keyboard
Catalogue number
MD 3242
Alternate catalogue number
EAN 9314574324228