In Conversation

Joanna Butler

In this interview, harpsichordist Joanna Butler talks about the music of JS Bach, how she came to play the harpsichord and more.


Joanna studied piano in her native Poland where she graduated with a Diploma of Music from the Music High School at Zdunska Wola and it was while studying there that she became interested in early music.

After moving to Australia, Joanna 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 and completed her Bachelor of Music (Performance) in June 2009.

By attending many music camps and masterclasses in both Australia and Europe, Joanna has further developed her knowledge and experience in historical performance. 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 with many groups on both harpsichord and chamber 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, Sydney Chamber Choir, Sydney Philharmonia Choirs, Gondwana Choirs, Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra 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 working with Paul Dyer in the Artistic Department of the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra and enjoying teaching harpsichord, Joanna also loves cooking and sharing meals with family and friends.

Biography: Joanna Butler, 2020
Image Credit: Steven Godbee