Frances Conover Fitch


Frances Conover Fitch has toured extensively in North America and Europe and performs with many early music ensembles. She helped found the groundbreaking ensemble for 17th-century music, Concerto Castello, and has been described as a “delightfully inventive and compelling” continuo player. Ms. Fitch has participated in major music festivals, including Tanglewood, Aix-en-Provence, Pepsico Summerfare, Tage Alter Musik (Regensburg), the Boston Early Music Festival, and the Festival de Musica Antigua in Mexico.

In addition to Affetti Musicali, a Deutsche Schallplatten Preis winner, Ms. Fitch has made more than a dozen recordings, including a double CD of music by Elisabeth-Claude Jacquet de la Guerre, featuring something from every compositional genre she explored. Frances Fitch has been credited with “elegant but unostentatious playing of great refinement and subtlety,” and her performance has been noted for its “precision and delicacy of wit.” Said of her solo recording, “O Ye Tender Babes:” "Fitch has genuine feeling for this music, especially when playing on the virginals, on which she executes quite spontaneously with rhythm and flow.”

She was a member of the faculty of the Longy School of Music for nearly three decades. She served as Chair of the Early Music department there, as well as Acting Dean, and she founded the Longy Early Opera Project. In 2006, Longy awarded her the George Seaman Award for Excellence in the Art of Teaching. Ms. Fitch is on the faculties of Tufts and Brandeis Universities and The New England Conservatory. In 2012-13, she was Guest Professor at Ferris University in Yokohama, Japan. With Jack Ashworth of the University of Louisville, she is co-author of the figured bass workbook, Running the Numbers. A licensed Body-Mapping teacher, she maintains a private studio in the Boston area, and is Minister of Music at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Beverly Farms, MA.

A recent project is Ms. Fitch’s orchestration of Bach's Art of Fugue for ten instrumentalists - winds, strings and keyboard - that brings out the brilliant architecture of this work through the use of each instrument’s special color. In 2009, Ms. Fitch performed with the Newberry Consort at the Rockport Music Festival in Massachusetts, and joined them on tours in four subsequent concert seasons: 2012-2106. Rockport Music also presented Ms. Fitch and the builder of her French double harpsichord in a program called A Thousand Sunday Mornings. In addition, she has several times appeared in main stage performances at the Boston Early Music Festival.

The Newberry Consort's ongoing project, Celestial Sirens, has resulted in several concerts in Chicago and Cleveland featuring vocal, instrumental and solo keyboard works by and for women from 17th-century Italy and Mexico. The broadcasts of this program by American Public Radio have joined Ms. Fitch’s list of radio recordings by national stations of numerous European countries, from the United Kingdom to Austria and Spain.