Ronn McFarlane and William Sims have collaborated on several projects. They are lute duet partners for “On the Heath”, a 3-movement work composed by Mr. McFarlane for his CD One Morning. William has teamed up with Ronn and The Baltimore Consort on their recordings, The Ladyes Delight and Gut, Wind and Wire. He also plays continuo, with Ronn as soloist, on a CD of the complete lute works of Antonio Vivaldi, The Art of Vivaldi’s Lute, recorded with the ensemble The Bach Sinfonia. On this recording, William and Ronn strive to make the solo lute and the theorbo interweave into one rich texture.
GRAMMY®-nominated lutenist Ronn McFarlane strives to bring the lute – the most popular instrument of the Renaissance – into today’s musical mainstream and make it accessible to a wider audience.
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 30 recordings on the Dorian/Sono Luminus label, including solo albums, lute songs, recordings with The Baltimore Consort, the complete lute music of Vivaldi, and Blame Not My Lute (DSL-92105), 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 (DSL-90701), which received a GRAMMY® Award Nomination for Best Classical Crossover Album in 2009. His CD release, One Morning (DSL-92111), features “Ayreheart,” a new ensemble brought together to perform Ronn’s new music.
William Simms is a multifaceted performer of early music. Equally adept on lute, theorbo and baroque guitar, he appears regularly with Apollo’s Fire, The Bach Sinfonia, Harmonious Blacksmith, The Vivaldi Project and The Baroque Chamber Orchestra of Colorado. He has performed numerous operas, cantatas and oratorios with such ensembles as The Washington National Opera, The Cleveland Opera, Opera Lafayette and American Opera Theatre. Venues include The National Cathedral, The Museum of Fine Arts Boston, The Library of Congress, The Corcoran Gallery, The Kennedy Center and The Barns at Wolftrap. He has toured and recorded with The Baltimore Consort as well as with Apollo’s Fire.
Ronn McFarlane & William Simms
Two Lutes: Lute Duets from England's Golden Age