Meet “Big Red”
“Big Red,” also known as A. Cecil Taylor Opus V, was built for my father, the late Dr. Willard A. Palmer, in 1979, by Dr. A. Cecil Taylor, a dentist from Houston who was also a harpsichord aficionado. It is a two manual instrument with the following disposition 16', 8', 8', 4'. It also has a nasal stop, a peau de buffle stop and English lute stops.
Here are a some thumbnails of pictures of this harpsichord. If you click on them, you will see views of various parts of the instrument.
Willard A. Palmer at his harpsichord “Big Red”
Dr.Taylor made his own jacks for this instrument.
To see their construction and parts, click here.
Willard Palmer was known and respected all over the world as an expert on baroque ornamentation and an innovator in keyboard pedagogy. He started the Masterwork series for Alfred Publishing Co.
Willard Palmer played this instrument at several colleges and universities, as well as in concerts all over the United States. The late Igor Kipnis used it during one of his tours through Texas. It is a very unconventional instrument.
After searching in vain for more than a decade for a technician who could help me set this wonderful instrument up, it was decided that Big Red should go to a museum with a staff of technicians and musicians who could administer the proper care.
Big Red is now located permanently at A World of Accordions Museum in Superior, Wisconsin.
A World of Accordions Museum also has one of Dr. Palmer's special accordions as well as much of his archival material. For this reason, we decided Big Red belongs there.
Here is Dr. Helmi Harrington, Curator of A World of Accordions Museum
at the manuals of Big Red.