One of today’s leading lutenists, his baroque lute recordings, on Naxos, of the music of Sylvius Leopold Weiss have met with critical acclaim and sold hundreds of thousands of copies. His recording of the lute duets of S. L. Weiss with the late Karl-Ernst Schroeder was called “lute CD of the decade” by Early Music magazine. Robert Barto has been invited to share the concert stage by such renowned guitarists as Leo Kottke and John Williams.
He 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 in Basel, he was awarded first prize in the International Lute Competition in Toronto and top prize of all instrumental soloists in the Musica Antiqua Competition in Bruges, Belgium.
Born in Buenos Aires, Eduardo Egüez has given solo concerts and masterclasses in major cities in South and North America, Europe, Australia and Japan. As a soloist he has recorded Tombeau (S.L. Weiss), the complete lute works by J.S. Bach, Le Maître du Roi (Robert de Visée) and L’Infidèle (S. L. Weiss), receiving numerous awards including the French Diapason d’Or.
Eduardo Egüez is a founding member and artistic director of the Ensemble La Chimera, a group that showcases the fusion of early and modern music. Their repertoire features a number of his arrangements and compositions. Eduardo Egüez has conducted La Púrpura de la Rosa (Torrejón y Velazco) at the Potsdamer Festspiele, L’Orfeo (Monteverdi) in Santiago and Rancagua, Chile and recently Gli Intermezzi della Pellegrina at the Innsbrucker Festwochen der Alten Musik.
He teaches lute and basso continuo at the Zurich University of the Arts (Switzerland).
Lucas Harris studied the lute and early music at the Civica scuola di musica di Milano and at the Hochschule für Künste Bremen. Since 2004 he has based his freelance career 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 other ensembles in Canada and the USA and has worked recently with the Helicon Foundation, the Smithsonian Chamber Players, Atalante, 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.
In 2014 Lucas completed graduate studies in choral conducting at the University of Toronto. After graduating, he was chosen as the Artistic Director of the Toronto Chamber Choir, for which he has created and conducted over twenty themed concert programs. He has also directed projects for the Pacific Baroque Orchestra, the Ohio State University Opera Program, Les voix baroques, and the Toronto Consort.
Ensemble Project Director
Grant has performed on lute, theorbo, cittern, early guitar, early reeds, brass, and voice with many early music ensembles. A noted teacher and educator, he is a past recipient of Early Music America’s Laurette Goldberg award for excellence in early music outreach and education. On the faculty at Yale University, he leads the Yale Collegium Musicum and the Yale Baroque Opera Project (YBOP). Grant also directs the New York Continuo Collective, and devotes much of his time to exploring the esoteric unwritten traditions of Renaissance music with the ensembles Ex Umbris and Ensemble Viscera.
Known and sought after for her skill, sensitivity and experience as a continuo player, Catherine Liddell has performed with many of America’s leading period instrument ensembles, including Boston Baroque, the Handel & Haydn Society, Apollo’s Fire (Cleveland), Tafelmusik (Toronto), Seattle Baroque Orchestra, and in the Aston Magna (Massachusetts) and the Boston Early Music Festivals. Performances with the BEMF include productions of Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo, Lully’s Thésée, and Psychée. She performed in the Boston Lyric Opera production of Handel’s Agrippina, and in the US Premier of Heiner Goebbel’s Songs of War I Have Seen with the London Sinfonietta and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. With soprano Sally Sanford, she founded Ensemble Chanterelle, winner of a Concert Artist Guild Award, and for 2 years Ensemble-in-Residence at UCLA.
Regarded for over four decades as one of the world’s finest countertenors, Drew Minter grew up as a boy treble in the Washington Cathedral Choir of Men and Boys. He continued his education at Indiana University and the Musik Hochschule of Vienna. Minter appeared in leading roles with the opera companies of Brussels, Toulouse, Boston, Washington, Santa Fe, Wolf Trap, Glimmerglass, and Nice, among others. A recognized specialist in the works of Handel, he performed frequently at the Handel festivals of Göttingen, Halle, Karlsruhe, and Maryland. He sang with many of the world’s leading baroque orchestras, including Les Arts Florissants, the Handel and Haydn Society, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, Freiburger Barockorchester, and as a guest at festivals such as Tanglewood, Ravinia, Regensburg, BAM’s Next Wave, Edinburgh, Spoleto, and Boston Early Music. Drew was a founding member of the Newberry Consort, as well as TREFOIL and My Lord Chamberlain’s Consort, and made over 70 recordings. He appears in two films: as Tolomeo in Peter Sellars’s Giulio Cesare, and as the Devil in In the Symphony of the World; a Portrait of Hildegard of Bingen. He writes regularly for Opera News.
Drew Minter is also a lauded stage director. He began as director of the period pruction operas at the Göttingen Händel Festival for five years. Since then he has directed productions in many styles for the Opéra de Marseilles, Caramoor, the Boston Early Music Festival, Lake George Opera, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Handel and Haydn Society, Indianapolis Opera, Boston’s Opera Aperta, the Manhattan School of Music, Mannes School of Music, Boston University’s Opera Institute, Amherst Early Music, the Folger Shakespeare Theatre, the Five Colleges in Northampton, Tempesta di Mare and Cleveland’s Apollo’s Fire. Drew was founding artistic director of Boston Midsummer Opera, which he headed for its first five seasons from 2006-2011.
In addition to numerous workshops in the vocal and dramatic performance of baroque music, Drew teaches voice at Vassar College, where he also directs the Vassar Opera Workshop and conducts the Vassar Chamber Singers. He has taught and directed opera since 1989 at the Amherst Early Music Institute.
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.”
Recordings include a four CD boxed set “Bach on the Lute” (Linn Records), four CDs of the lute music of John Dowland (Naxos), and a new ongoing series of music by Sylvius Weiss (4 CDs) and Francesco da Milano (3 CDs, both on BGS).
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 ClassicsToday.com. “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.
Andy Rutherford began studying the lute in connection with his interest in 17th-century art, especially the paintings of Caravaggio and Vermeer, which often feature the instrument. Andy was a regular member of My Lord Chamberlain’s Consort and has also appeared at Tanglewood and Lincoln Center with the Mark Morris Dance Group, and on the Temple of Dendur series at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He has performed with ensembles such as Empire Baroque, Parthenia, the New York Consort of Viols, Musica Antiqua New York, Chacona, New York’s Ensemble for Early Music, and the Big Apple Baroque Band.
He is internationally recognized as a builder of lute-family instruments, and has taught and lectured on the history of lute design at the Lute Society of America Festivals and Seminars. His instruments are played by many notable lutenists including Robert Barto, Patrick O’Brien and Paul O’Dette.
Pat O’Brien Lecturer
Born in New York in 1946, Swiss-American lutenist Hopkinson Smith graduated from Harvard with Honors in Music in 1972. His studies took him to Europe where he worked with Emilio Pujol, and the Swiss lutenist, Eugen Dombois, whose sense of organic unity between performer, instrument, and historical period has had lasting effects on him. He has been involved in numerous chamber music projects and was one of the founding members of Hespèrion XX. Since the mid-80’s, he has focused almost exclusively on the solo repertoires for early plucked instruments, producing a series of prize-winning recordings for Astrée and Naïve, which feature Spanish music for vihuela and baroque guitar, French lute music of the renaissance and baroque, English and Italian music of the 16th early 17th century and music from the German high baroque.
The recording of his lute arrangements of the Bach solo violin Sonatas and Partitas, released in the year 2000, has been universally acclaimed by the press. Gramophone magazine called it “the best recording of these works on any instrument.” A Dowland recording, released in early 2005, won a Diapason d’Or and a recording with music from the world of Francesco da Milano, was awarded a Diapason d’Or de l’Année in November 2009 A CD with the first three Bach Cello Suites played on the German Theorbo was released in early 2013, has also won a Diapason d’Or.
Hopkinson Smith has performed and given master classes throughout Eastern and Western Europe, North and South America, Australia, New Zealand, Korea and Japan. He has taught at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis since the 1970s.
Bor has specializing in music of the renaissance, rediscovering forgotten improvisation and playing techniques, instruments, and sounds. He performs regularly as soloist and with ensembles, such as Tasto Solo, Graindelavoix, L’Achéron, Vox Luminis, Il Giardino Armonico, Le Concert Brisé, in duos with Dusan Bogdanovic and Romain Bockler (Dulces Exuviae) as well as with his ensemble La Lyra. He has been the artistic director
of the Flores Musicaein Slovenia early music festival since 2011. His critical edition of Gorzanis’s second lute book was published by the Slovenian Musicological Society, and the companion CD La barca del mio amore features that music. Other recordings include Josquin: Adieu mes amours with the duo Dulces Exuviae, and his first solo album Dowland: A Fancy, which was awarded the Diapason d’Orde l’année 2020, CHOC de Classica and Gramophone’s Editor’s Choice.
After graduating with a degree in jazz and classical music from the Ljubljana Conservatory of Music, Bor continued his studies with Aniello Desiderio in Germany. Next he studyed at the Haute Ecole de Musique de Genève where he earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Guitar and Lute performance, studying under Dusan Bogdanovic He continued with a specialization in Medieval music, and finished a MA in lute pedagogy. Since 2011 he has been working at HEM de Gevève as a research assistant on a project on lute fantasia improvisation in the 16th century, a topic he is developing for his doctoral thesis at the CESR in Tours. He teaches lute at the CPMDT de Geneva, and has given numerous papers at conferences and master classes, and at institutions such as the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, Fondazione Giorgio Cini in Venice, HEM de Genève and CNSMD Lyon.