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Born in London in 1954 Nigel North was initially inspired into music, at age 7, by the early 60's instrumental pop group The Shadows. Nigel studied classical music through the violin and guitar, eventually discovering his real path in life, the lute, when he was 15. Basically self taught on the lute, for more than 35 years he has developed a unique musical life which embraces teaching, accompanying, ensemble and solo concerts, writing and occasionally directing.
Some mile stones on the way have included the publication of a continuo tutor (Indiana University Press, 1987), representing many years of experience and practice in this subject. The music of J.S. Bach has been a great passion, and the 4 Volume Cd collection Bach on the Lute was recorded on the Linn Records label (1994-1997), now available as a 4 disc box set (2007). More recently Nigel has returned to the English repertoire of John Dowland and his contemporaries and has released 4 Cds of Dowland’s lute music on Naxos (2006-2009).
The ensemble Romanesca was formed by Nigel, together with Andrew Manze (violin) and John Toll (harpsichord & organ). For ten years (1988-1998) they explored, performed and recorded 17th century chamber music winning several international awards for their recordings.
Nigel North enjoys accompanying singers and is also an enthusiastic teacher. For over 20 years he was Professor of Lute at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London; from 1993-1999 he was Professor at the Hochschule der Künste, Berlin; 2005-2207 he was Lute Professor at the Royal Conservatory in Den Haag, Netherlands, and since January 1999 Nigel North has been Professor of Lute at the Early Music Institute, Indiana University, Bloomington in the Usa.
Recent recording projects have included
, Robert Dowland’s A Musical Banquet with soprano, Monika Mauch, for Ecm (2008), Lute Songs with tenor Charles Daniels for Atma (2007) and the Lute Music of Robert Johnson for Naxos (2010).