The Art of the Lute with Thomas Dunford

  • November 25, 2022
  • Times: From: 07:30 PM to 09:30 PM
  • Location: Christ Church Cathedral
  • Address:
  • 690 Burrard St
  • Vancouver, BC V6C 2L1
  • Admission: $36-$75, ages 35 and under get 35% discount, $10 student rush tickets at the door based on availability
  • Phone: 604.732.1610

Described as the "Eric Clapton of the lute" in a review by BBC Music Magazine, Thomas Dunford performs works by Dowland and Kapsberger as well as his own arrangement of Bach’s Cello Suite in G Major

The lute arrived in Europe from Moorish Spain, spreading rapidly in the 15th century and becoming the most popular instrument among courtiers and commoners in the 16th century. Henry VIII played the lute, and made sure that his three children – the future monarchs Edward VI, “Bloody” Mary, and Elizabeth I – learned it, as well. The lute was also a popular feature in late Elizabethan and early Jacobean theatre, which was enjoying its own golden age in the works of William Shakespeare and Ben Jonson.

John Dowland, an indisputable master of the lute and lute song repertoire, is quite ‘Shakespearian’ in the range of emotion and expression found in his music, and in his ability to absorb and synthesize the cultural influences of his day.

Bach arranged his Fifth Cello Suite for the lute which gives us unsuspected harmonies and a better understanding of how and where Bach would add ornaments. Thomas Dunford, following in Bach’s footsteps, arranged Bach’s First Cello Suite for archlute, a lute with an extended neck and unstoppable bass strings like the theorbo.

Giovanni Girolamo Kapsperger was an Austrian-Italian virtuoso performer and highly original composer whose compositions for the lute and theorbo were fundamental in the development of these as solo instruments.

Featured Artist: Thomas Dunford, lute

Christ Church Cathedral, 690 Burrard Street, Vancouver

November 25, 2022

The Art of the Lute with Thomas Dunford
690 Burrard St