Lutefest 2023 – Thursday Schedule


Paul Beier

The Capirola Manuscript and its Place in the Early History of the Renaissance Lute

The appearance of the Capirola manuscript in the second decade of the 16th century, and the fact that it has survived intact until now, is exceptional in many ways. In this class I will talk about how it compares to other contemporary lute sources, and speculate about how it may have been composed. Since this manuscript was not written by the composer himself, but by a student, I will look at the master-student relationship and how the lute was taught in this period. I will also examine the practice of lute playing in the early 16th century in general and how we may apply this knowledge to our own attempts to master the art of the lute.

10:00–11:40 (II)

Sylvain Bergeron

Playing the Lute with (Good) Attitude

Developing confidence through technique. Developing a good practice routine. An overview of approaches to the lute: general posture, right and left hand positions and techniques, sound production, etc.


Xavier Diaz-Latorre


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.


Eduardo Egüez

Basso Continuo Applied to Any Plucked Stringed Instrument

This class offers an approach to the compositional, performance and improvisatory practice of the 17th and 18th centuries through musical discursive formulas (opening, development and cadences). The accompaniment of early baroque works details will be the main focus.

3:20–5:00 (II)

Christopher Morrongiello

Invention, Association, Evocation: Italian and English Settings of the Ut, Re, Mi, Fa, Mi Figure

One measure of a composer’s skill during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries was his or her ability to set figures that conjured up familiar musical or extra-musical ideas. These musico-rhetorical figures (to evoke the language of Henry Peacham and Francis Bacon) drew upon associations shared by musicians and audiences alike, similar to the way in which jazz and blues players today use snatches of familiar tunes when improvising. One such figure beloved by leading composers of the renaissance and baroque periods was Ut, Re, Mi, Fa, Mi. This series of four ascending notes followed by a descending semitone was skillfully set in many of their best compositions. In his famous madrigal “Il bianco e dolce cigno,” Jacques Arcadelt expresses the words “cantando more” with this figure. John Dowland employs the figure in the final strain of his exquisite funeral pavan dedicated to Sir Henry Unton, as if to push the soul onward toward the Elysian Fields. Palestrina sets a variant of the figure at the beginning of his madrigal “Io son ferito, ahi lasso.” Chris will share his research on the significance and use of this figure, what creative and technical lengths composers and lutenists went through to set it in their vocal and instrumental compositions, and what potentially the figure could have meant to well informed listeners of the time.


Xavier Diaz-Latorre