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Duo Sylvio

Duo Silvio formed in 2019 with the purpose of exploring repertoire for two baroque lutes, starting with Richard Stone’s new reconstructions of lute duets by Sylvius Leopold Weiss (1687–1750).

 

Sylvius Leopold Weiss was the most significant lutenist of the 18th century. While he is known today for his solo compositions, he also composed four known lute duets, each of which has only one surviving part. Richard Stone has composed (or "reconstructed") second parts for each of these incomplete duets.

Photo by Blair Cheng

He and Cameron Welke perform these and other duets for baroque lute as Duo Silvio. The duo premiered on Tempesta di Mare’s 2019 Artist Recital Series, and is excited now to bring the lute duet repertoire to audiences everywhere.

Lutenist Richard Stone, co-founder and co-director of Tempesta di Mare, has performed in solo recitals, music series and festivals worldwide. The New York Times has called his playing “beautiful” and “lustrously melancholy,” while the Washington Post described it as having “the energy of a rock solo and the craft of a classical cadenza.” Soloist engagements have included nationwide tours of Bach’s solo lute music, and concerto performances with Montreal’s Les Idées Heureuses, the Handel & Haydn Society of Boston and Cleveland baroque orchestra Apollo’s Fire. Solo recordings include Johann Friedrich Fasch’s lute concerto and the complete lute concerti of Silvius Leopold Weiss on Chandos, lute suites by Weiss on Titanic, and new theorbo music by David Loeb on Vienna Modern Masters. Other recordings and broadcasts include Deutsche Grammophon, ATMA, Bis, NPR, BBC, CBC and Czech Radio. Stone studied lute with Patrick O’Brien and guitar with David Starobin at SUNY Purchase, and with Nigel North as a Fulbright Lusk Fellow at London’s Guildhall School. He has been Professor of Baroque Lute and Theorbo at the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University since 2007.

Cameron Welke spends most of his time explaining to well-meaning strangers that the lute is, in fact, quite a different instrument from the flute. He brings a passionate curiosity and a deep creative drive to all manner of historical plucked instruments, which he plays with “expert technical dexterity, consummate phrasing and endearing expressivity” (Chestnut Hill Local). Past and current engagements include performances with the Washington Bach Consort, Tempesta di Mare, the Aston Magna Festival, Baltimore Choral Arts, Early Music City, the Handel Choir of Baltimore, Consortium Carissimi, and the Madison Bach Musicians. He explores repertoire for two baroque lutes in Duo Silvio with duo partner Richard Stone; the two gave the modern premiere of Stone’s reconstructions of lute duets by Sylvius Leopold Weiss in the fall of 2019. Cameron began his musical life as a classical violinist and a rock and jazz guitarist. He holds a B.M. in classical guitar performance from Belmont University, where he studied with Francis Perry and John Pell, and a M.M. in historical performance on lute and theorbo from the Peabody Conservatory, where he studied with Richard Stone. He currently teaches lute at Grinnell College and lives in Richmond, VA.