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the Theorbo Today project

The theorbo is an amazing instrument. Dating from the very end of the 16th century, it is a cousin of the lute, with a large body and long neck carrying unfretted bass strings as well as fretted strings. It is capable of depth and richness, but also delicacy and agility. It is commonly used in early music ensembles, and to accompany baroque song, but unlike the harpsichord and recorder, it does not have an extensive modern repertoire.

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The Theorbo Today project aims to revitalise interest in the theorbo and create, perform and record new repertoire. Through discussion, workshops, recordings, live performance and publishing, we are creating new repertoire for soloists and early music ensembles, working with established theorbo players, singers, composers and post-graduate students.  The project aims to leave a legacy of new works for the instrument, recorded and published, and inspire others to contribute further works and performances.

Here's a short video introducing the project:

Theorbo Today is delighted and grateful to be supported by Arts Council England.

Extremely informative and inspiring!
I knew nothing about the theorbo before these workshops and now am fascinated and keenly writing music for it. The sessions were musically serious and very friendly (the perfect combination!).
I really enjoyed the concert last night - what a wealth of young talent! ...The standard of performance was excellent...  

participant composer

Peter Openshaw, composer

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