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Viol Consort

432 Parthenia 2011 54 cropped 6in Rosamund Morley, treble viol
Lawrence Lipnik, tenor viol
Beverly Au, bass viol
Lisa Terry, bass viol

"...a glowing group of viol players that is

one of the brightest lights in New York's early-music scene..."

— The New Yorker

"...one of the finest concerts of the 1994 Alter Musik Festival..."
— The Mittelbayerische Zeitung, Regensburg, Germany

" ...the sound produced...was exquisite...carried out with deft grace and
impeccable taste...exquisite pools of color and emotion..."
— Nantucket Inquirer and Mirror

Touring Programs

Early Music Programs

Semper Dowland

With guest artists
Paul O’Dette, renaissance lute
Christel Thielmann, tenor viol
The complete Lachrimae collection of 1604 for five viols and lute by John Dowland



Music for Strings in the Age of Shakespeare
Music by Purcell, Jenkings, Byrd, Gibbons, Humes, Bull, Dowland & others

Parthenia with guest artist (optional)

Robert Mealy, renaissance violin

AS IT FELL ON A HOLIE EVE - Music for an Elizabethan Christmas
Following a long-treasured tradition of music for Christmas, the viols of Parthenia join famed soprano Julianne Baird to present a sparkling array of songs, dances and carols from Elizabethan England. Along with music by Thomas Morley, Anthony Holborne, Thomas Ravenscroft, Dr. John Bull and Tobias Hume, this disc features a wide variety of music by the celebrated master composer of England's Golden Age, William Byrd.

Parthenia with Julianne Baird, soprano

LES AMOURS DE MAI - Love Songs in the Age of Ronsard
French Renaissance songs and dances marked by grace, balance and a wonderful sense of lightness, featuring song settings of the poetry of Pierre de Ronsard by such composers as Claude le Jeune, Guillaume Costeley, Claude Goudimel, Eustache du Caurroy and others.

Parthenia with Julianne Baird, soprano and Robert Mealy, violin

Early and Contemporary Music Programs

THE FLAMING FIRE – Mary Queen of Scots and Her World
Hauntingly beautiful music of Scotland and England from the 1500s for viol consort and voice, music that Mary Queen of Scots and her cousin, Queen Elizabeth I, and their friends, enemies and subjects might have heard. The performance includes excerpts from a new song-cycle, SONGS OF LOVE AND BETRAYAL, by composer Richard Einhorn - stunning arrangements of four songs by Scottish poet and lyricist,Robert Burns.

Parthenia with Ryland Angel, tenor and countertenor, and Dongsok Shin, virginal



The viol quartet PARTHENIA brings early music into the present with its repertoire that animates ancient and fresh-commissioned contemporary works with a ravishing sound and a remarkable sense of ensemble. These "local early-music stars," hailed by The New Yorker and music critics throughout the world, are "one of the brightest lights in New York's early-music scene."

Parthenia is presented in concerts across America, and produces its own series in New York City, collaborating regularly with the world's foremost early music specialists. The quartet has been featured in prestigious festivals and series as wide-ranging as Music Before 1800, the Harriman-Jewell Series, Maverick Concerts, the Regensburg Tage Alter Musik, the Shalin Lui Performing Arts Center, the Pierpont Morgan Library, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Yale Center for British Art and Columbia University's Miller Theatre.

Parthenia's performances range from its popular touring program, "When Music & Sweet Poetry Agree," a celebration of Elizabethan poetry and music with actor Paul Hecht, to the complete viol fantasies of Henry Purcell, as well as the complete instrumental works of Robert Parsons, and commissions and premieres of new works annually.

Parthenia has recorded As it Fell on a Holie Eve - Music for an Elizabethan Christmas, with soprano Julianne Baird, Les Amours de Mai, with Ms. Baird and violinist Robert Mealy, A Reliquary for William Blake, and Within the Labyrinth. The ensemble's most recent release is The Flaming Fire - Mary Queen of Scots and Her World with Ryland Angel, countertenor, and Dongsok Shin, virginal.

Parthenia's musicians are Artists-in-residence at The Church of Saint Luke in the Fields in Manhattan's Greenwich Village. Parthenia is represented by GEMS Live! Artist Management and records for MSR Classics.

More information on their website - parthenia.org

About the Viol

The viol, or viola da gamba, is a family of stringed instruments celebrated in European music from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment. Today on both sides of the Atlantic, soloists as well as viol groups-known as "consorts"-have rediscovered the lost repertoire and ethereal beauty of this early instrument. The viol was first known as the "bowed guitar" (vihuela da arco), a joint descendent of the medieval fiddle and the 15th-century Spanish guitar. Unlike its cousin, the arm-supported violin (viola da braccio), the viol is held upright on the leg (gamba) or between the legs; its bow is gripped underhand; and its body is made of bent or molded wood. These characteristics lend a distinctive lightness and resonance to viol sound that have inspired a wave of new works by 21st-century composers and a growing enthusiasm on the part of international audiences.

Fees & Availability Upon Request

GEMS Live! is a unique not-for-profit booking agency representing a roster of New York's world-class early music ensembles: Asteria, East of the River, House of Time, Parthenia, and Pomerium.