Francesca Torelli



Francesca Torelli


Reggio Emilia, Emilia-Romagna, Italia

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Professional Title

Lute teacher

Professional Services

Lute Teacher – Baroque, Lute Teacher – Renaissance, Lute Teacher – Continuo, Professional Performer – Baroque, Professional Performer – Renaissance, Professional Performer – Continuo, Musicologist

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Affiliated Institution

Conservatorio "G. Verdi" Milan, Italy


After earning a degree in lute with the highest marks at the Conservatory of Verona under the guidance of Orlando Cristoforetti, Francesca Torelli completed her studies with Nigel North at the Guildhall School of Music in London. At the same time, she studied renaissance and baroque singing with Auriol Kimber.

From the beginning, her concert activities have featured the repertoires for voice and lute (singing while accompanying herself on the instrument), as well as the solo repertoire for lute and theorbo and basso continuo. Since 2000 she also has performed as a director of early music ensembles.

As a soloist, she has participated in numerous festivals  in Europe, South America and Australia. 

She has provided and played the music for various theatrical productions  and has appeared as a lutenist on television programs for RAI 2, Channel 4, and others.

She has collaborated with the orchestra of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, the Vivaldi ensemble of the Solisti Veneti, and with various choirs and chamber orchestras.

Francesca has recorded for the labels Dynamic, Stradivarius, Mondo Musica and Nuova Era, with the ensembles Sans souci, Cappella Palatina, Accademia Farnese and the chamber orchestra Offerta Musicale of Venice. She has also recorded for the national Italian radio RAI Radiotre, WDR and other European radio and television networks.

For over a decade she has performed in concert and on disc (for the label Tactus) as theorbist with the ensemble Cappella Artemisia, participating in numerous European festivals.

Francesca has made two solo recordings (on Tactus) with music by two 17th-century Italian lute  composers: Pietro Paolo Melli and Alessandro Piccinini (reprint Brilliant 2011) and the albums John Dowland: Lute songs, lute music (2010) , Musique pour le Roy-Soleil: Robert de Visée works for theorbo (2013) and Italian Baroque Music for Archlute (2017) for  Magnatune. All this recordings received great appreciation from the press.

In 2006 A tutor for the Theorbo, an handbook written by Francesca Torelli went out for Ut Orpheus editions. This is the first and only method published in the world dedicate to this instrument. 

She is the founder and director of the ensemble Scintille di musica with whom she has recorded a CD for the Futuro antico series on EMI : Mantova, la musica alla corte dei Gonzaga, featuring the voice of Angelo Branduardi.  Since 2007 five more cd went out of the same series, with Francesca Torelli  director-lutenist: these recordings are about Sixteenth and Seventeenth century Italian music.

Francesca has directed the Milano Conservatorio’s early music ensemble Andromeda in performances of Baroque oratorios (Kapsberger, de Rossi) theatrical works (Purcell) and concerts productions.

She has taught lute at the conservatories of Bari and Vicenza and has held seminars and master classes at numerous Universities and musical institutions. 

Since 2001 she is lute professor at the “GiuseppeVerdi” Conservatory in Milan

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