Ronn McFarlane & Paul O’Dette

About Ronn McFarlane

Grammy-nominated lutenist, Ronn McFarlane strives to bring the lute into the musical mainstream and make it accessible to a wider audience.

Born in West Virginia, Ronn spent his early years in Maryland. At thirteen, upon hearing “Wipeout” by the Surfaris, he fell wildly in love with music and taught himself to play on a “cranky sixteen-dollar steel-string guitar.” Ronn kept at it, playing blues and rock music on the electric guitar while studying classical guitar. He graduated with honors from Shenandoah Conservatory and continued guitar studies at Peabody Conservatory before turning his full attention and energy to the lute in 1978. The following year, Mr. McFarlane began to perform solo recitals on the lute and became a member of the Baltimore Consort. Since then, he has toured throughout the United States, Canada and Europe with the Baltimore Consort and as a soloist.

McFarlane was a faculty member of the Peabody Conservatory from 1984 to 1995, teaching lute and lute-related subjects. In 1996, Mr. McFarlane was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Music from Shenandoah Conservatory for his achievements in bringing the lute and its music to the world. He has over 25 recordings on the Dorian label, including solo albums, lute songs, recordings with the Baltimore Consort, and Blame Not My Lute, a collection of Elizabethan lute music and poetry, with spoken word by Robert Aubry Davis.

Recently, Ronn has been engaged in composing new music for the lute, building on the tradition of the lutenist/composers of past centuries. His original compositions are the focus of his solo CD, Indigo Road, which received a Grammy Award Nomination for Best Classical Crossover Album in 2009. His newest CD release, One Morning, features “Ayreheart,” a new ensemble brought together to perform Ronn’s new music.

About Paul O’Dette

One of the most influential figures in his field, O’Dette has helped define the technical and stylistic standards to which 21st-century performers aspire. With more than 100 recordings to his name, O’Dette has been nominated for Gramophone magazine’s Record of the Year Award and has been recognized with multiple Grammy nominations including one for “The Bacheler’s Delight.” Each volume of his acclaimed series of John Dowland’s Complete Lute Works received the prestigious French Diapason d’Or, and the 5-CD boxed set received the Diapason d’Or Of The Year Award. His discography includes “Le Secret des Muses” (music of Nicolas Vallet) and ”The Royal Lewters” (music of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I’s favorite lutenists), which garnered a CHOC du Monde de la Musique, a Diapason d’Or and the Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik.

In addition to his recordings, Paul O’Dette maintains an active international career as a continuo player, performing with today’s most respected conductors and ensembles. He is an avid researcher and has published numerous articles on issues of historical performance practice and co-authored the Dowland entry in the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. Together with Stephen Stubbs, O’Dette is writing a book on Baroque vocal practice. He is currently Director of Early Music, Professor of Lute at the Eastman School of Music and is Artistic Director of the Boston Early Music Festival.

Upcoming Performances

For Two Lutes: Virtuoso Duets from Italy and England – November 2016