Lutenists past and present

The Dresden court employed theorbo players as early as 1590, and Antonio Lotti would have certainly have been aware of the player, Leopold Weiss, while in Dresden from 1717-1719. Weiss was described by his pupil Princess Sophie Wilhelmine, sister of Crown Prince Frederick, as the “famous Weiss, who excels so greatly on the lute, that he has never had an equal and that those who come after him will have only the glory of imitating him.” Weiss’s formal induction to the Dresden Hofkapelle occurred in August 1718; prior to that he had given weekly concerts in London and played for the King of England.

Considered and treasured more as a soloist in Dresden, Weiss did occasionally play continuo and it is possible that he would have played in the Missa Sapientiae we are performing in our Fringe 2022 concert.

Kristiina Watt

We are therefore delighted to welcome Kristiina Watt to play theorbo in Cadenza’s concert in Greyfriars. Kristiina is currently studying at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with William Carter/David Miller. She has performed with orchestras and ensembles such as The Academy of Ancient Music, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Singers, The English Concert and the Scottish Ensemble.

She is featured on the Live Music Now scheme with soprano Héloïse Bernard in ensemble Cordes en Ciel, focusing particularly on the performance of French baroque song repertoire.

Kristiina is featured on ‘Northern Light’, an upcoming release by ensemble Spiritato for  Delphian records.

Kristiina’s studies are supported by Help Musicians UK and The Guildhall School Trust.

Kristiina’s theorbo has 14 strings of which 7 are fretted and 7 pre-tuned and only played open with the right hand. It was made by Bruce Brook in 2020 and is a copy of a 17th century Italian instrument by Matteo Sellas.

Article written by Jenny Sumerling, Musical Director