Cleveland Lute Fest 2024 – Faculty Biographies

Robert Barto

Robert Barto taught himself the lute while studying at the University of California in San Diego. After continuing his studies with Michael Schaeffer in Cologne and Eugen Dombois at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis in Basel, Switzerland, he was awarded first prize in the International Lute Competition in Toronto (1984) and top prize of all instrumental soloists in the Musica Antiqua Competition in Bruges, Belgium.

One of today’s leading lutenists, his baroque lute recordings on Naxos of the music of Sylvius Weiss have met with critical acclaim and sold hundreds of thousands of copies. His recording of Weiss’s lute duets with the late Karl-Ernst Schroeder was called “lute CD of the decade” by Early Music magazine. Mr. Barto has performed in London’s Purcell Room, the Utrecht Festival, and in New York City’s Music Before 1800 series. Robert Barto has been invited to share the stage by musicians as varied as Leo Kottke and John Williams.

To view Robert Barto’s class descriptions click here.

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Travis Carey

A professional lute maker in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, Travis first became obsessed with the sound and shape of lutes, and began building them in the late 1990s. In 2008–2009 he spent a year apprenticed to master lute maker Grant Tomlinson in Vancouver, courtesy of a generous grant from the Canada Council for the Arts. After the apprentice year was done he opened his own lute workshop, and has been building historically informed instruments, from the medieval, renaissance, and baroque periods, ever since.

Travis assisted Grant Tomlinson for many years in his Lute Building classes at the LSA Lute Workshop West in Vancouver, and I taught the Lute Building class at the final Workshop West in Victoria in 2017. He provided maintenance and repairs as Lute Doctor at the “Westies” for over a decade.

To view Travis Carey’s class descriptions click here.

Xavier playing theorbo

Xavier Díaz Latorre

Xavier Díaz Latorre studied guitar with Oscar Ghiglia at the Musikhochschule, Basel, graduating in 1993. His subsequent interest in early music led him to study the lute with Hopkinson Smith at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis. From 1996 to 2005 he was actively involved in baroque opera, participating in major productions with conductors such as René Jacobs, Jordi Savall, Thomas Hengelbrock, Attilio Cremonesi and Wieland Kuijken.

Diaz-Latorre is a member of well-known orchestras and chamber groups including those conducted by Jordi Savall: Hesperion XXI, La Capella Reial de Catalunya and Le Concert de Nations. He has been invited to perform with other orchestras and ensembles such as the Orquesta Nacional de España, the Ricercar Consort, the Rare Fruit Council, the Harp Consort and Al Ayre Español.

He directs his own ensemble, Laberintos Ingeniosos, which specializes in performance of music from the Spanish Golden Age. The group’s first disc was Danzas de Rasgueado y Sones de Palacio, with music by the Aragonese composer Gaspar Sanz. Laberintos Ingeniosos has made additional CDs of music from the Iberian Peninsula performed on period instruments, such as Goyesca, seguidillas boleras, with music by Fernando Sorn 2008 and in 2009 …entre el cielo y el infierno…, with works by Francisco de Guerau and José Marín. In 2019 Laberintos Ingeniosos released a CD of works by Santiago de Murcia.

Xavier has recorded several solo CD’s: Cantus-Records released La Guitarra dels Lleons with him playing on four guitars from the Museu de la Música de Barcelona, especially restored for this project. The Belgian label Passacaille released the Complete Works for Guitar by Francisco Guerau, a 3 CD’s boxed set, as well as Stolen Roses with German music for the 13 course lute, and Robert de Visée with music for the theorbo and baroque guitar. His CD Los Libros del Delphín contains Narváez’s complete works for solo vihuela. His most recent recording is Il libro della Fortuna, with music by Francesco da Milano for the 6 course lute. Xavier has taken part in over fourty CDs with other groups on labels such as Alia Vox, Deutsche Harmonia Mundi and Alpha, Diaz-Latorre has also collaborated with the Fundación del Siglo de Oro, composing and producing music for the theater: Mujeres y Criados by Lope de Vega, Trabajos de Amor Perdidos by William Shakespeare and El Rufián Dichoso by Miguel de Cervantes.

He has been invited to give lectures and masterclasses at major colleges and universities such as the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis Basel), the Juilliard School (New York), the Sibelius Academy, and the University of Southern California. He has performed and taught at the LSA’s Lute Fest in Cleveland and at the Amherst Early Music Festival (Connecticut) and is resident professor of Lute, basso continuo and chamber music at the Escola Superior de Música de Catalunya (ESMUC) and teacher of lute at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels.

Artist’s Website:

Artist’s Facebook page: Xavier Díaz-Latorre on Facebook

To view Xavier Díaz Latorre’s class descriptions click here.

Lucas Harris

Lucas Harris

Lucas Harris is a specialist in historical plucked string instruments, and owns nearly twenty instruments ranging from early Renaissance lutes to an 1831 guitar by Gaetano Guadagnini. He discovered the lute during his undergraduate studies at Pomona College, where he graduated summa cum laude. He then studied the lute and early music at the Civica scuola di musica di Milano and at the Hochschule für Künste Bremen before beginning his freelancing career in New York City. For the past two decades he bases his activities in Toronto, where he serves as the regular lutenist for Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra. He is a founding member of the Toronto Continuo Collective, the Vesuvius Ensemble (dedicated to Southern Italian folk music), and the Lute Legends Collective (an association of specialists in ancient plucked-string traditions from diverse cultures). Lucas plays with many ensembles in Canada and the USA and has worked in recent years with the Helicon Foundation, the Smithsonian Chamber Players, The Newberry Consort, Les Délices, and Jordi Savall / Le Concert des Nations. He teaches at the Tafelmusik Summer and Winter Baroque Institutes, Oberlin Conservatory’s Baroque Performance Institute, and the Canadian Renaissance Music Summer School, and is a regular guest artist with Early Music Vancouver. Also a choral conductor, Lucas has been the Artistic Director of the Toronto Chamber Choir since 2014 and has developed and conducted nearly thirty themed concert programs for the TCC. He has also been a guest director for the Pacific Baroque Orchestra, the Ohio State University Opera Program, Les voix baroques, Atalante, and the Toronto Consort. Lucas’s longstanding interest in women composers has resulted in many projects including the reconstruction of 12 solo-voice motets by Chiara Margarita Cozzolani (the edition is now available for free download at the Web Library for Seventeenth-Century Music).

Artist’s Website:

To view Lucas Harris’s class descriptions click here.

Catherine Liddell

Catherine Liddell

Catherine Liddell’s playing has been described as captivating, exquisite and masterful. Her skill and sensitivity as accompanist have made her a sought-after collaborator with leading period-instrument ensembles in the US. Many of these collaborations have resulted in recordings. Her most recent recording, Marais at Midnight, with Laura Jeppesen, viola da gamba, has been highly acclaimed, and is available on many of the digital music services. As a soloist, she has recorded music of Jacques Gallot, Ennemond and Denis Gaultier, Charles Mouton and J.S. Bach. In addition to her work as performer, she teaches lute and coaches baroque music ensembles at Boston University, and co-directs the Collegium at Wellesley College. She serves as Chair of the Board for the Aston Magna Foundation for Music and the Humanities, and as Vice-President of the Lute Society of America.

Artist’s Website:

To view Catherine Liddell’s class descriptions click here.

Nigel North holding a Renaissance lute and looking thoughtfully at the camera

Nigel North

Born in London, England, Nigel North has been Professor of Lute at the Historical Performance Institute (formerly Early Music Institute), Indiana University, Bloomington (USA) since 1999.

Previous positions included The Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London (1976-1996), Hochschule der Künste, Berlin (1993-1999) and the Royal Conservatory, Den Haag, (2006-2009).

Initially inspired at the age of seven by the early 60s instrumental pop group The Shadows, Nigel studied classical music playing the violin and guitar, and eventually discovered his real path in life—the lute, when he was 15. Basically self-taught on the lute, he has been playing and teaching for nearly 50 years.

After hearing one of Nigel’s Bach recitals in London, Julian Bream recalled in 2002 “I remember going to a remarkable recital, one which I wish I had the ability to give: it was one of Nigel North’s Bach recitals, and I was bowled over by how masterful and how musical it was. A real musical experience, something you don’t always get from guitar and lute players and which, in general, is pretty rare.”

Nigel North wrote Continuo playing on the Lute, Archlute and Theorbo (Faber, 1986 and Indiana University Press). More recently in 2024, Le Luth Dore (Paris) published Bach on the Lute, volumes 1 and 2—Transcriptions for baroque lute of BWV 1001–1006, 1007–1012 and the complete works for lute, BWV 999– 1006a.

Recordings include a four CD boxed set “Bach on the Lute” (Linn Records), four CDs of the lute music of John Dowland (Naxos), four CDs of music by Sylvius Weiss (BGS) and 2 CDs of music by Francesco da Milano (BGS). Most recently for the Deux-Elles label, a double CD of Bach’s complete works for lute and other new transcriptions (April 2023).

Artist’s Website:

To view Nigel North’s class descriptions click here.

Paul O'Dette

Paul O’Dette

O’Dette began playing the electric guitar in a rock band in Columbus, Ohio, where he grew up. Eventually, this led him into playing guitar transcriptions of lute music, and not long after that he opted for the lute (as well as the related archlute, theorbo, and Baroque guitar) as his primary instruments, and now he specializes in the performance of renaissance and baroque music. He has made more than 130 recordings, earning five Grammy nominations and numerous other awards.

He was awarded the prestigious Diapason D’or de l’année, while “The Royal Lewters” has received the Diapason D’or, a Choc du Monde de la Musique, a 5-star rating in BBC Music Magazine, 5-star rating in Goldberg and a perfect score of 10 from “The Bachelar’s Delight: Lute Music of Daniel Bacheler” was nominated for a Grammy in 2006 as “Best Solo Instrumental Recording.”

Mr. O’Dette is also active conducting Baroque operas. In 1997 he led performances of Luigi Rossi’s L’Orfeo at Tanglewood, the Boston Early Music Festival (BEMF) and the Drottningholm Court Theatre in Sweden with Stephen Stubbs. Since 1999 they have co-directed performances of Cavalli’s Ercole Amante at the Boston Early Music Festival, Tanglewood, and the Utrecht Early Music Festival, Provenzale’s La Stellidaura Vendicata at the Vadstena Academy in Sweden, Monteverdi’s Orfeo and L’Incoronazione di Poppea for Festival Vancouver, Lully’s Thésée, Conradi’s Ariadne (Hamburg, 1691) Mattheson’s Boris Goudenow, Lully’s Psyché and Monteverdi’s Poppea for the Boston Early Music Festival. The recordings of several of these operas have been nominated for Grammys and Gramophone awards. Paul O’Dette has guest directed numerous Baroque orchestras on both sides of the Atlantic including the Portland Baroque Orchestra, Tafelmusik, Apollo’s Fire, Ensemble Arion, Chatham Baroque and Corona Artis.

In addition to his activities as a performer, Paul O’Dette is an avid researcher, having worked extensively on the performance and sources of seventeenth-century Italian and English solo song, continuo practices and lute music. He has published numerous articles on issues of historical performance practice and co-authored the Dowland entry in the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. He has been awarded the “Guerriero di Capestrano” for his work on the music of Marco dall’Aquila including a critical edition of Marco’s complete works.

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.

To view Paul O’Dette’s class descriptions click here.

Paul O'Dette

Mark Rimple

Lutenist, composer and countertenor Mark Rimple is musician equally at home in early and new music. For two decades he performed with the medieval trio Trefoil, and has appeared as guest artist with Piffaro, The Newberry Consort, Severall Friends, The Folger Consort, Les Delices, Seven Times Salt, and Tempesta di Mare, among others. He has recorded with Trefoil, The Newberry Consort, Seven Times Salt, Cygnus Ensemble and Network for New Music. His solo lute recording Tre Liuti (available online) earned praise for his “extraordinarily sensitive playing.” Mark Rimple’s original compositions often incorporate early instruments and techniques, and have presented by the 21st Century Consort, Parnassus, Network for New Music, Mélomanie, ChoralArts Philadelphia The League of Composers/ISCM Chamber Players, and counter(induction, among others. Mark just completed his 25th year at the Wells School of Music at West Chester University, where he holds the rank of Professor in the Department of Music Theory, History and Composition and teaches the Collegium Musicum.

Artist’s Website:

To view Mark Rimple’s class descriptions click here.

Bor Zuljan

Mara Winter

Mara Winter is a performer, composer and photographer who spends her time exploring the infinite braid of the past and present. Her musical journey blends a profound personal artistic ethos with a deep commitment to technical fluency in historical flutes, spanning from the middle ages and renaissance through the classical and early-romantic eras. Mara directs her renaissance traverso consort, Phaedrus, based in Basel, Switzerland and co-directs the experimental folk ensemble, The Fine Hand. On the baroque and classical traverso, Mara Winter has performed with orchestras across Switzerland, Germany and the United States: J.S. Bach-Stiftung, La Scintilla (Zurich Opera), Il Gusto Barocco, Les Passions de L’Ame, Orchester le Phénix, Capriccio Barockorchester, and Pacific Musicworks, among others. In earlier repertoires, she is regularly featured with internationally-recognized groups such as Sollazzo Ensemble, Cappella Pratensis, Ensemble Leones, Le Miroir de Musique, Ensemble Peregrina. Since 2020, she has been a frequent guest instructor of medieval transverse flute at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis in Basel, Switzerland. In May of 2024, Mara will serve as the guest director of the renowned Boston Camerata (USA) to premier the new concert program, Celestial Visions from Medieval Britain. In 2020, Mara co-founded the boutique record label Discreet Editions together with composer and performer Clara de Asís. It fuses the realm of ancient music to contemporary, experimental composition through collaborations, commissions, structured improvisation and other, yet-to-be-named performance practices.

Artist’s Website:

To view Mara Winter’s class descriptions click here.

Bor Zuljan

Bor Zuljan

Bor Zuljan is active in different musical genres playing many kinds of early, modern and traditional plucked-strings instruments. Called the “Revolutionary of the lute” (Le Soir), he’s been rediscovering forgotten improvisation and playing techniques, instruments and sounds, always expanding the palette of possibilities.

He is performing regularly as soloist and with ensembles, such as Doulce Mémoire, Tasto Solo, Graindelavoix, L’Achéron, Vox Luminis, Il Giardino Armonico, with the Teofilovići twins, in duo with Dušan Bogdanović, with Romain Bockler (Dulces Exuviae) as well as with his ensemble La Lyra.

From 2011, he is the artistic director of an early music festival Flores Musicae in Slovenia. His critical edition of Gorzanis’ Second lute book has been published by the Slovenian Musicological Society, resulting also in an awarded CD La barca del mio amore with music by the same composer, featuring La Lyra and the italian singer Pino De Vittorio (Arcana – Outhere Music). In 2019 he began a series of albums for the Ricercar label (Outhere Music): Josquin – Adieu mes amours, the first CD of the duo Dulces Exuviae is already very well received by specialized critics; the year after his first solo album Dowland – A Fancy wins the prestigious Diapason d’Or de l’année 2020, CHOC de Classica, the Editor’s Choice de Gramophone, and other accolades, followed in 2022 by Gesualdo – Il liuto del Principe (Diapason d’Or, CHOC de Classica,…). Toutes les nuits, the new album by the duo Dulces Exuviae has just been released under the same label, being chosen as the Recording of the month in the Gramophone magazine, receiving the Diapason d’Or and other accolades.

After graduating in jazz and classical programmes at the Ljubljana Conservatory of Music, he continued his studies with Aniello Desiderio in Koblenz, Germany. In 2007 he started studying at the Haute Ecole de Musique de Genève where he then obtained a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Guitar and Lute performance (Dusan Bogdanovic, Jonathan Rubin), continued with a specialization in Medieval music and finished a MA in lute pedagogy. Since 2011 he has been working as research assistant at the same school on a project on Fantasia improvisation on lute in the 16th Century, a topic he is developing for his doctoral thesis at the University in Tours.

He’s regularly invited to give conferences and master classes at institutions, such as the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, Fondazione Giorgio Cini in Venice, HEM de Genève and CNSMD Lyon. Since autumn 2023 he’s been the lute and basso continuo professor at the Civica Scuola di Musica Claudio Abbado in Milano.

Artist’s Website:

To view Bor Zuljan’s class descriptions click here.

Bor Zuljan

Jason Priset

Dr. Jason Priset is a professional guitarist and lutenist who performs around the world and has years of teaching experience in university classrooms and privately. He holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts from Stony Brook University in guitar performance and has studied, post-graduate, at one of Europe’s most prestigious conservatories: Escola Superior de Musica de Universitat de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain.

Priset performs on a variety of guitar, lutes and guitar-related instruments—including the theorbo, baroque guitar, six-course guitar and 19th century guitar. He has appeared in operas (including Florida Grand Opera, Loft Opera and the Riverside Symphony); early music ensembles (Early Music New York, Long Island Baroque Ensemble and Piffaro: The Renaissance Band); renowned musical venues (Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall and Museo de la Musica in Barcelona).

Priset teaches privately and is on the faculties of both Montclair State University and the Amherst Early Music Festival. He also directs the world’s premiere lute festival, the Lute Society of America’s annual festival.