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Michael Fields, lute, archlute, chitarrone/theorbo, baroque guitar, harp & director, was born in Hawaii, with the song of the surf and the rhythm of ukeleles making a lasting impression on him. He began his musical journey playing folk, rock and jazz in California and Australia, until a romantic interest in older music took him to England in 1974 to study classical guitar and lute. His career as a performer, opera director and teacher has since taken him back around the world several times, and has led to many rewarding and interesting collaborations along the way, including directing a performance of Dido & Aeneas in Belgrade in 1996 with Predrag Gosta as the Sorceress and Evelyn Tubb as Dido. Recent highlights have been characteristically diverse, and included being the guitar soloist in Rodrigo’s "Concerto de Aranjuez" with the Camden Chamber Orchestra in London, giving a guitar recital in a Benedictine Monastery in Big Sur, California, playing guitar and harmonica on a CD promoting organic breakfast cereals and playing the lute on Van Morrison’s latest CD! He directs the medieval vocal ensemble, Vox Animae, whose CD and video recording of Ordo Virtutum by Hildegard of Bingen has received international acclaim. Michael is also a popular teacher, teaching courses in many parts of the world, including Finland, Latvia, Poland and Italy, as well as England. His extra-musical interests include painting, carpentry, Tai chi, psychology and philosophy. Since meeting as students, Evelyn and Michael have enjoyed a fruitful partnership exploring music from folk-song to their own compositions, but have specialised in Renaissance, Baroque and early Romantic songs to the lute or guitar. They have achieved an empathy and communication with each other, the music and the audience which has found followers from Japan and Australia to Europe. Critics have praised “the absolute affinity between voice and instrument” achieved by the duo. To date they have recorded five CDs together - three of English Ayres, one of Italian baroque arias by Sigismondo D’India, and a collection of Lieder with 19th century guitar. Their most recent recording is a critically acclaimed CD with their ensemble, Sprezzatura, of music by Daniel Purcell (Henry’s younger brother).

Photo credit: Richard Calmes


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