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Grammy-nominated lutenist McFarlane to present concert

Portland Classical Guitar will present Grammy-nominated lutenist Ronn McFarlane, performing a program of Renaissance and Baroque music, as well as a suite of his own compositions.

The concert will be held at 8 p.m. May 13 at Marylhurst University’s Wiegand Hall. It will be followed the next day by an engaging lecture on Early Music and the lute, starting at 11 a.m. — also at Wiegand Hall.

McFarlane — who has been hailed as “the Segovia of the lute”— is rightly celebrated for bringing this ancient, obscure instrument into the musical mainstream, and making it accessible to a modern audience.

Born in West Virginia, he spent his early years in Maryland. As a teenager he was inspired to a life in music when he heard a recording of “Wipeout,” by the Surfaris.

After teaching himself to play, he began performing blues and rock, as well as studying classical guitar formally.

Although an expert on the traditional repertory, McFarlane recently began composing new music for the lute, building on the tradition of the lutenist/composers of the past. 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 convened to perform his music.

He has more than 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.

McFarlane was a faculty member of the Peabody Conservatory from 1984-1995, teaching lute and lute-related subjects.

In 1996, he was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Music from Shenandoah Conservatory.

Wiegand Hall is located on the campus of Marylhurst University, 17600 Pacific Highway, Lake Oswego.

For tickets, call 503-654-0082, or visit portlandclassicguitar.com.

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