Malcom Bilson

I have often heard it stated by scholars and others interested in performance on early instruments that they would rather hear a great artist on the wrong instrument than a mediocre player on the right one. I am no longer willing to accept that statement....For a mediocre performance it does not matter what kind of instrument is used. This is not merely a platitude; the choice of instrument only becomes meaningful when the artist has something very specific to express....Musicians who do not are in no way better served by authentic instruments than standard modern ones....I would like to hope that it is not the sound of the instrument that pushes the [historical performance] movement forward, but rather the searching for an even-better interpretation of the music....
-from "The Viennese Fortepiano of the Late 18th Century", published in the journal Early Music, (pg. 161-2). Bilson is a professor at Cornell University and specializes in fortepiano performance methods.