As part of this extraordinary weekend, we are delighted to have four concerts by the world leading performers of John Dowland’s music. Paul, Jakob, and Nigel have recorded the whole of Dowland’s solo lute music, and Emma and the Rose Consort of Viols are equally accomplished (read bios below).
The concerts will include the expected display of sublime artistry and a few surprises… do not miss the grand finale with The Rose Consort of Viols featuring many of these fantastic artists performing Dowland’s consort works with the company of Cambridge University singers.
- Nigel North (solo lute) Sat 4 May 13:20
- Emma Kirkby & Jakob Lindberg (lute song) Sat 4 May 18:40
- Paul O’Dette (solo lute) Sun 5 May 13:40
- The Rose Concert of Viols (with lutes and voices) Sun 5 May 17:40
About the artists…
Emma Kirkby feels very lucky in many ways: that she met renaissance vocal polyphony while still at school, that she studied Classics at university, that she sang with a wonderful choir, the Schola Cantorum of Oxford, and, best of all, that she encountered from the start the “historical” instruments known to Renaissance and Baroque composers, the lute, harpsichord, and wind and string instruments whose sound and human scale drew from her an instinctive response. Continuing this passion as a schoolteacher, she was soon invited to perform professionally with pioneer groups; and long partnerships followed with British and international ensembles, individual players, and record companies, so that now Emma’s voice and style are recognized worldwide.
Of a series of honours the most recent have been a DBE in 2007 and in 2011 the Queen’s Medal for Music. Amazed by all this, she is nevertheless glad of the recognition it implies, for a way of music-making that values ensemble, clarity and stillness over such things as volume and display; above all she is delighted to see a new generation of singers and players bringing their skills to the endeavour.
Jakob Lindberg was born in Djursholm in Sweden and developed his first passionate interest in music through the Beatles. He started to play the guitar and soon became interested in the classical repertoire. From the age of fourteen he studied with Jörgen Rörby who also gave him his first tuition on the lute. After reading music at Stockholm University he went to London to study at the Royal College of Music, where he further developed his knowledge of the lute repertoire under the guidance of Diana Poulton, and decided towards the end of his studies to concentrate on renaissance and baroque music; he is now one of the most prolific performers in this field.
Jakob has made numerous recordings for BIS, many of which are pioneering in that they present a wide range of music on CD for the first time. He has brought Scottish lute music to public attention, demonstrated the beauty of the Italian repertoire for chitarrone and recorded chamber music by Vivaldi, Haydn and Boccherini on period instruments. He is the first lutenist to have recorded the complete solo lute music by John Dowland and his recording of Bach’s music for solo lute is considered to be one of the most important readings of these works. Most recently released are:
- Sonatas of Weiss 2
- Orpheus in England, lute solos and songs by Dowland and Purcell with Emma Kirkby.
- Italian Virtuosi of the Chitarrone.
An active continuo player on the theorbo and arch lute, Jakob has worked with many well known English ensembles including The English Concert, Taverner Choir, The Purcell Quartet, Monteverdi Choir, Chiaroscuro, The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and The Academy of Ancient Music. He is also in demand as an accompanist and has given recitals with Emma Kirkby, Ann Sofie von Otter, Nigel Rogers and Ian Partridge. He assisted Andrew Parrott in the musical direction of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas given by The Royal Swedish Opera at Drottningholm Court Theatre in 1995, and also directed from the chitarrone the much acclaimed performances of Jacopo Peri’s Euridice given there in 1997.
It is particularly through his live solo performances that he has become known as one of the finest lutenists in the world today, with concerts all over the globe from Tokyo and Beijing in the East to San Francisco and Mexico City in the West.
In addition to his busy life as a performer, Jakob Lindberg teaches at the Royal College of Music in London where he succeeded Diana Poulton as professor of lute in 1979
Initially inspired into music, at age 7, by the early 60’s instrumental pop group “The Shadows”, Nigel North studied classical music through the violin and guitar. After discovering the lute when he was 15, he was basically self-taught and has devoted himself to the lute since 1976. He has been Professor of Lute at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London (1974 –1995), Hochschüle der Kunste, Berlin (1991 – 1998) and the Royal Conservatory in Den Haag, Holland (2005 -2008) and the Early Music Institute, Bloomington, Indian, USA, (1999 to present day). His principal passions are teaching, accompanying singers, and the solo lute repertoires of Elizabethan England, 16th century Italy, and the late German Baroque. Recordings include a 4 CD box set “Bach on the Lute” (Linn Records) and 4 CDs of the Lute Music of John Dowland (Naxos).
“…should I come to meet Saint Peter at the pearly gates, I hope he will say, ‘Welcome, good and faithful servant! By the way, be sure to hear Paul O’Dette—he’s leading the angel band.’” Early Music America, Spring 2011
Paul O’Dette has been described as “the clearest case of genius ever to touch his instrument.” (Toronto Globe and Mail) His performances at the major international music festivals around the world have often been singled out as the highlight of those events. Though best known for his recitals and recordings of virtuoso solo lute music, Paul O’Dette maintains an active international career as an ensemble musician as well, performing with many of the leading early music soloists and ensembles.
In addition to his solo work, Mr. O’Dette is active conducting Baroque operas. Since 1997 he has directed performances of more than two dozen operas in Boston, Seattle, Vancouver, New York, Kansas City, Rochester, Stockholm, Utrecht, Tanglewood, etc. His recordings for the Boston Early Music Festival of Conradi’s Ariadne, Lully’s Thésée and Lully’s Psyché were each nominated for Grammys in 2005, 2007 and 2008. Paul O’Dette has guest conducted numerous Baroque orchestras on both sides of the Atlantic including the Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra, Portland Baroque Orchestra, Tafelmusik, Apollo’s Fire, Ensemble Arion, Chatham Baroque and Corona Artis.
Paul O’Dette is Professor of Lute and Director of Early Music at the Eastman School of Music and Artistic Director of the Boston Early Music Festival.
The Rose Consort of Viols
The Rose Consort of Viols takes its name from the celebrated family of viol makers whose work spanned the flowering of the English consort repertoire. With its blend of intimacy, intricacy, passion and flamboyance, this music (ranging from Taverner and Byrd, to Lawes, Locke and Purcell) forms the basis of the Rose Consort’s programmes. The Consort has received awards for its research and performance of new programmes, and has investigated the earliest viol consort repertory using instruments modelled on those painted by Lorenzo Costa in 1497. It also performs on consorts of instruments modelled on those from mid-sixteenth century Venice, as well as using Jacobean English viols, all of which are strung in gut throughout.
The Consort performs throughout Europe, appears regularly on the BBC, and has made many highly acclaimed recordings. The Consort’s CDs for Naxos include an anthology of Elizabethan Consort Music in addition to those of Byrd, Dowland, Gibbons, Jenkins, Lawes, Tomkins and Purcell (selected by The Sunday Times as the best available version). The Rose Consort has also issued CDs of music by the Ferraboscos (father and son) and John Ward for cpo. Its most recent recordings are of music by Four Gentlemen of the Chapel Royal: Tallis, Tye, Byrd and Tomkins, a CD of music from the part-books of Robert Dow (An Emerald in a Work of Gold, on Delphian) and it also contributed to the award winning 2011 recording of Striggio’s 40-part mass Ecce si beato giorno with I Fagiolini.
Rose Consort concerts often include guest soloists such as sopranos Emma Kirkby and Evelyn Tubb, mezzo Clare Wilkinson, the lutenist Jacob Heringman, or collaborations with vocal ensembles including Red Byrd, Stile Antiquo and the BBC Singers. The Consort regularly performs at the York Early Music Festival and has also appeared at Festivals in Canada (Festival Vancouver) and the USA (Boston; Boulder, Colorado; Portland, Oregon and Seattle) and featured as the guest ensemble at the Pan-Pacific Gamba Gathering in Hawaii. Recent engagements include performances and lecture-recitals at the BBC Proms 2012 at London’s Cadogan Hall with vocal ensemble Tenebrae, at the National Gallery and for Semana de Musica Religiosa in Cuenca, Spain. Plans for later in 2013 include performances at the York Early Music Festival and Huddersfield Music Society, as well as the issue of a CD with Clare Wilkinson of music by William Byrd and Peter Philips.