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This October, baroque violinist Dorian Komanoff Bandy and I will be embarking on a three-concert series entitled "Bach Explored," with concerts in Boston and New Bedford. (For more information on the venues and dates, see:

As part of the runup to the series, Dorian has been writing short articles about the music on the program. You can visit his blog here:

Rare harpsichord recital links music and scholarship 

From the archives:

February 1998

Rare harpsichord recital links music and scholarship

By Justin Urcis for the Yale Herald

For some musicians, a recital demands more preparation than practice. When a rare instrument like the harpsichord is involved, even a certain amount of research is even required for the performance. After the harpsichord was gradually displaced by the piano in the 18th century, it remained in a state of neglect for over a hundred years--until it was rediscovered in the 20th… Read more

Review: NBSO offers another dazzler
By Laurie Robertson-Lorant Contributing writer February 12, 2014 12:00 AM

The first half of Saturday's program featured Suite #2 from Manuel de Falla's spirited ballet score "The Three-Cornered Hat," and Joaquin Rodrigo's soulful Concierto de Aranjuez — two works whose flirtations with the sexy harmonic minor evoke the exotic cross-cultural currents of Al Andalus. There the Spaniards, gypsies, Greeks, Moors and Jews mingled their musical DNA despite their precarious,… Read more

Early Music Thursdays resumes 

The Music of First Church Boston announces Early Music Thursdays

Thursdays, 12:15-12:45pm, February 13, 20 and 27; April 24; May 1 and 8

donations accepted

First Church in Boston is handicapped accessible

For more information, visit


About the series...

Boston has long been known for its important role in the modern harpsichord revival and in the world of "early music." First Church in Boston continues this revival with a series of Thursday… Read more

Breakfast with Paul: In Memorium 

A number of readers have enjoyed my Breakfast with Paul blog with the Fall River Herald News. The online version of the newspaper recently underwent some changes, and, consequently, all of my previous posts disappeared. Also, the new blog writer does not allow for video embedding. If you were a regular reader, you know that embedded videos were a big part of my "guides to classical music." 

Thus, I've discontinued writing for the Herald News. In the meantime, I'll be spending more time on getting my bookRead more

Website update 

After much delay, I've finally rebuilt my website. Enjoy!

A review from my past life... 

In the early 90's, I played with Baal Tinne, a Chicago-based Irish semi-traditional band. I came upon this review yesterday of an album we released in 1994. If I'm not mistaken, the recording came out in cassette and CD. Now, you can download it. We're gonna party like it's 1994!

The Celtic Music Fan, June 1, 2013

Band: Baal Tinne
Album: The Haunting
Musicians in the album:
Noel Rice
Cathleen Rice-Halliburton
Matt Sundstrom
Paul Cienniwa

Year of release: 1994

Read more

By Heart: internalizing music 

As many of you know, performing solo repertoire from memory is a topic that has become very important to me. Over the past year or so, a number of audience members and colleagues have asked about how I memorize. In order to respond to this, I've created a blog, By Heart: internalizing music

You can visit the blog here:

If you're interested in the topic, be sure to sign up for email alerts via the "follow by email" box on the blog.

KRCB interview 

In advance of my performances last week in Sonama County, CA, I was interviewed on KRCB Radio's Curtain Call, a weeky show presented by Charles Sepos--who, I was really happy to learn, had studied harpsichord with Eiji Hashimoto at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. How fortuitous! 

Click here to listen to the interview:

(I start at about 15', following a strange juxtaposition with YoungRead more

Cienniwa chooses French works for Sunday recital 

The New Bedford Standard-Times
March 07, 2013 12:00 AM

At 3 p.m. Sunday, Paul Cienniwa, a favorite local musician and choral conductor, will be the featured recitalist in the Music at St. Anthony's program.

Complimentary tea and refreshments will be served after the recital at a reception to meet the organist in the church hall. Freewill donations are collected during the event, and patrons are encouraged to "Adopt an Organ Part" to help the fundraising.

For the first time in the recital… Read more

Assumption College recital in review 

Harpsichordist Paul Cienniwa pays Assumption a visit
by Matt Doherty, Staff Writer
Le Provocateur
February 28, 2013

A once silent room quickly filled with applause as harpsichordist Paul Cienniwa approached the front of the Chapel of the Holy Spirit Community Room. He stood poised in a navy blazer and collared white shirt as he introduced the first piece he would play for the anticipated crowd. He then proceeded to sit down at the 20th century harpsichord, close his eyes, and let his fingers fill… Read more