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Luteists, composers, associates
Luteists XX century
EnlargeEugene Arnold Dolmetsch

(24 February 1858 - 28 February 1940), was a French-born musician and instrument maker who spent much of his working life in England and established an instrument-making workshop in Haslemere, Surrey. He was a leading figure in the 20th century revival of interest in Early Music. The Dolmetsch family was originally of Bohemian origin, but (Eugène) Arnold Dolmetsch, the son of Rudolph Arnold Dolmetsch and his wife Marie Zélie (née Guillouard) was born at Le Mans, France, where the family had established a piano-making business. It was in the family's workshops that Dolmetsch acquired the skills of instrument-making that would later be put to use in his early music workshops. He studied music at The Brussels Conservatoire and learnt the violin with Henri Vieuxtemps. In 1883 he travelled to London to attend the Royal College of Music, where he studied under Henry Holmes and Frederick Bridge, being awarded a Bachelor of Music degree in 1889.
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EnlargeDiana Poulton

The voice on the phone was saying, "Donna, dear, I can't come. The U.S. Consulate refused to give me a visa." Not only had they refused her a visa, but the clerks rejecting Diana Poulton's visa request had also been genuinely rude. Diana related the entire experience she had just had at the U.S. Consulate in London. In shock, I replied that one way or another we would see that she was granted the visa to travel to California for her special reunion with Suzanne Bloch. The event was The 1974 American Lute Seminar and Master Class presented by American Lute Seminars, Inc. Diana and Suzanne would be together for the first time in 35 or more years. People were due to start arriving in four days time from all over the USA and several other countries to meet and study with these two great women and share in their reunion.
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EnlargeSuzanne Bloch

(born in Geneva in 1907 - died in New York in 2002) was a Swiss-American musician and an influential pioneer of Early Music Revival during the 20th century.
    Suzanne Bloch was born in Geneva in 1907 into the family of composer Ernest Bloch. The family moved to New York in 1906 when Ernst Bloch took on teaching and conducting responsibilities there. She went to Paris to study music with Nadia Boulanger in 1925, and decided to become a luteplayer after hearing an early-music concert. She went on to study music in Paris and Berlin, and she met Arnold Dolmetsch in England in 1933. Dolmetsch sold her a lute from 1600 that he had restored himself. In 1935 she performed at the Dolmetsch Early Music Festival in Haslemere, and soon afterward returned to New York, where she began her concert career.
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EnlargeWalter Gerwig

(6 November 1899 – 9 July 1966) was an influential German lutenist, choral conductor and composer. He was one of the pioneers in the revival of early music revival and historical performance practice. He was also a choral conductor. Through his concerts and recordings Gerwig made a significant contribution to the revival of the lute and its repertoire in Europe and America.
    Together with Fritz Jöde he was one of the co-founders of the first folk music school in Berlin, the Berliner Volksmusikschule. From 1928 he was the lute teacher at the Berlin's Akademie für Kirchen- und Schulmusik. During the Nazi era he did not join the NSDAP and avoided appearing at Nazi-sponsored events. From 1952 he headed the lute course at the State Academy of Music in Köln.
    Gerwig made numerous LP recordings of Baroque and Renaissance lute repertoire. He received the prize of the Deutschen Schallplattenkritik in 1965, for the recording of J.S. Bach's Suite in G minor (BWV 995) a year before his death. In addition, Gerwig also composed several works for lute, guitar and other stringed instruments.
EnlargeGusta Goldschmidt (1913 - 2005)

Taught at the Sweelinck Conservatory of Amsterdam and brought many lutenists. She made all arrangements for lute by Bach sonatas and partitas for violin, and at least his two Suites for Cello.
EnlargeMichael Schäffer (1937 - 1978)

Lute players the world over owe much to Michael Schäffer. He was one of the first modern day lutenists to use traditional lute techniques. This distinguished artist was born in 1937 and died September 7, 1978.
     Michael Schäffer’s last lute was made by Michael Lowe in 1977 and it was on this instrument that he recorded his French Baroque Lute Suites in November 1977. For several years I was privileged to play this lute and  each time I picked it up, I was reminded of Michael Schäffer, so I decided to pay tribute to him by gathering information and sharing his story with others.

EnlargeEugene Dombua (15/11/1931-9/05/2014)

- born November 15, 1931 in Bethel near Bielefeld. His father, George Muller was known teacher. From 1955 to 1958 he studied guitar and Dombua lute from Walter Herwig in Cologne. Then he began to teach at the Academy of Music in Detmonde and recitals worldwide. Hand injury forced him to end his career early artist. From 1962 to 1996 he taught at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis.
Under the leadership of Dombua studied lute Hopkinson Smith, Paul O'Dett Rolf Lislevand, Robert Barto, Joachim Held, Christina Plyuar and many others.
EnlargeMichelle Podolski (1928 - )

Belgian lutenist. Since 1948, he played in the ensemble Pro Musica Antiqua.

 

Modern
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Luteists
XX century

Early
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 Review of the lute CD here >>

 Russian-speaking players on the early instruments here >>