EAC’s Sunday Afternoons at the Arts Center series will continue at 3 pm, Sunday, March 20, when Gregory Biss will present the popular annual Harpsichord Hour. This year Biss will perform and talk about several selections from the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book, a large compendium of chiefly English keyboard music composed between 1560 and 1610. He will be playing on EAC’s harpsichord, an 18th century style, single-manual instrument, built in 1964 by Eric Herz in Cambridge, Massachusetts. 

Biss was born in Illinois and educated in New England and Germany. He studied piano with Lionel Nowak and Nadia Reisenberg and composition with Leon Kirchner and Karlheinz Stockhausen. His music has been performed by the Denver Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Vermeer Quartet. Retired from a 20-year career as a scuba diver in the aquaculture industry, Biss remains active as a piano technician, has been a longtime member of the piano faculty at Summer Keys in Lubec, and serves as president of the EAC Board. His violin concerto, Just a Sec, was premiered by Trond Saeverud with the Passamaquoddy Bay Symphony Orchestra. Recently, he has been rekindling a long-time interest in providing music for dance choreographers, and is at work on a children’s opera project.  

EAC’s harpsichord awaits Gregory Biss. Photo by Brandy Argir.

Sunday Afternoons at the Arts Center programs are held in the Washington Street Gallery, downstairs at EAC. Voluntary donations sustain these programs; no one will be turned away for lack of funds. Proceeds are shared equally between the presenters and EAC constituent group The Concert Series, which offers year-round programming run by volunteers. The series runs at 3 pm Sundays, including March 27, April 4 and April 10, and will conclude in May (date TBA) with a presentation by Mark DeVoto. For more information, and to view the rest of the series lineup, please visit https://eastportartscenter.org/constituent-groups/the-concert-series/

Eastport Arts Center is at 36 Washington Street, Eastport and eastportartscenter.org, and is handicapped-accessible. EAC abides by State of Maine CDC COVID guidelines. Additionally, at this time, patrons are required to wear masks when in the EAC building. Weather-related program postponements will be announced by 11 am on the day of the event, on the EAC site and Facebook page, and on the Center’s answering machine: (207) 853-4650.