Lutefest 2023 – Friday Schedule


Jan Čižmár

Codex Jacobides — Prague circa 1600

This class will focus on the Codex Jacobides, a renaissance manuscript from Prague c.1600, and will be airing from the Harrach family chateau in Kunín, where the family also has left some evidence about the lute’s history! In the interview I did for a recent Quarterly we spoke about the creation of the edition and about the personality of my colleague, Jiri Tichota. In the class however, I will focus on the music written in the book. There is so much to be mentioned about each page of the manuscript, but I want to focus on several issues: 1) the French music (written there in German tablature for 10 course lute in renaissance tuning, including music by Gaultier!), 2) the villanellas of Jacob Regnart, 3) some discoveries about local history going beyond the musical content, 3) the detective journey I did: tracking down the arrangement process of the scribe shown in several fascinating mistakes. The lute tablature fragment with the signature CZ-Pnm XIII B 237, also known as the Codex Jacobides, is one of the most seminal Czech relics of lute music, and instrumental music in general, of the early 17th century. It hails from Prague during and after the reign of Emperor Rudolf II. In all likelihood, it was written and  used by someone connected with the Prague University, presumably a student. Unlike all the other lute tablatures from the Czech milieu dating from this era, Codex Jacobides also contains art music for solo lute, including the earliest surviving instrumental piece where we know the name of the Czech author. Codex Jacobides also includes intabulations of Regnart’s German villanelle, of French chansons and Italian madrigals, and period dances from various countries—a testimony to the international culture of Prague during the reign of Rudolf II.


Lucas Harris

England, c.1600: Making Our Own Ornamented Repeats

Most solo lute pavans, galliards, almains, etc. from England include a written-out repetition of each section with embellishments. But what should we do when these decorated repeats are  missing? In this class, we’ll work from the premise that a skilled player of the time would have composed or improvised his/her own decorations, and that we can do the same. We’ll build our stylistic vocabulary by studying original lute solos whose written-out repeats make use of broken chords, simple divisions, and other accessible variation techniques. Then we’ll look at some similar pieces which are missing their repeats and begin to have fun inventing our own embellishments in the style of Dowland, Cutting, etc. This class hopes to be of interest to players at all different levels.


Elizabeth Kenny


Masterclasses are open to performers and auditors. If you wish to apply to perform in this masterclass, please be sure to check the box on the first page of this form. You will need to send an audition video to the Festival Director. More information will provided after registration.


Elizabeth Kenny

Exclusive Conversations: Lute music in 17th-Century France and its Relation to Court and Salon Culture

Taking its title from Elizabeth Goldsmith’s book on “the art of interaction in seventeenth-century France,” in this class we will look at French lute style from the perspective of codes of communication among the aristocracy, as well as the would-be aristocracy who were buying the books by Gaultier, Mouton and Gallot. Did these books reveal or conceal the masters’ secrets? We’ll also look at the next generation, especially the “updating” undertaken by Robert de Visee and his transfer of the style to guitar and theorbo.


Xavier Diaz-Latorre

Elegant Rhythms and Harmonies: Exploring French Baroque Dances on the Baroque Guitar

Step into the captivating world of French Baroque dances as you delve into the enchanting melodies and intricate techniques of the Baroque guitar. This subject offers a fascinating exploration of the rhythmic elegance and harmonious beauty found within the fusion of two artistic forms: the refined movements of Baroque dances and the rich tones of the Baroque guitar. Learn to improvise your own suite on the baroque guitar, and other plucked instruments.


Elizabeth Kenny

Concert: A conversation among Equals: Gallot, Mouton and Gaultier

Music for 11 course lute with a guest appearance by Sergio Bucheli for duets.