Early music ensemble
for voices &
Lente Louw & Uwe Grosser
Lutesong performs English and European vocal music from predominantly the 16th and 17th centuries. Their expressive, text-driven concerts feature a combination of historical plucked string instruments, namely Renaissance lutes, chitarrone and Baroque guitar, and anynumber of voices. The ensemble maintains a regular performance schedule in and around Cape Town, favouring the intimacy of smaller venues. Founded in 2017 as a husband-and-wife duo, the Lutesong brand was officially expanded in 2021 with the creation of the Lutesong Consort.
‘We aim to satisfy the Renaissance ideal of “moving the passions” by communicating our own emotional experience of song texts and moods in an honest and convincing way. We approach the technical intricacies and historical performance practice of the repertoire with integrity, but ensure broad appeal with innovative programming. Our ideal audiences appreciate the kind of art that is made with a fine brush and a steady hand, showcasing a creative flair without appearing to try too hard.’
Lente is an established classical soloist and ensemble singer. She holds an LLM from North-West University (South Africa), where she trained under Lieder specialist Werner Nel. Other teachers include Nellie du Toit, Hanna van Schalkwyk and Minette Pearce, who supervised her MMus recitals in 2015. From 2007 she sang regularly in various oratorio performances under conductor Barry Smith until his retirement in 2015, as well as in solo and chamber music recitals of romantic and modern repertoire with pianist Albie van Schalkwyk. Over the past ten years she has developed a keen interest in early music and has been involved in a great many varied productions not only as a singer, but also as arranger and director. Out of over 100 concert performances, her personal highlights include projects with the Cape Consort in collaboration with the Fugard Theatre, specifically the ‘Monteverdi Project’ (a series of madrigal concerts), ‘Cupid’ in John Blow’s Venus and Adonis and ‘Dido’ in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas; her performances in Handel’s Messiah and Dixit Dominus with Camerata Tinta Barocca; her tour of Germany and Switzerland as ‘Second Woman’ with ensemble così facciamo in their Dido and Aenneas; and, of course, every Lutesong concert with husband Uwe Grosser. Lente teaches singing at Bishops Diocesan College and Herschel Girls School in Cape Town.
Uwe studied classical guitar and Bavarian folk music at the Richard Strauss Conservatory (Munich), historical plucked string performance at Musikhochschule Würzburg and lute building with Robert Lundberg. He himself built the set of instruments on which he performs. He has played basso continuo in period performances at the Bayerische Staatsoper, Staatstheater Stuttgart and Nuremburg Opera, and has appeared as guest in many German period ensembles, most notably Seven Tears and così facciamo, both of which he co-founded. Over the last 15 years Uwe has forged strong musical ties with local South African ensembles, including Ensemble Refugium, Cape Consort, Cape Town Opera, Camerata Tinta Barocca and Dizu Kuduhorn Band. He recorded his solo album, Fantasia, in Stellenbosch in 2003. Uwe has five black belts in Jiu-Jitsu – a sport he has practiced actively for over 40 years. He also plays guitars, brass, zither and clarinet, and currently teaches guitar at Rondebosch Boys High in Cape Town.
The Lutesong Consort specializes in early vocal ensemble music and usually performs with plucked string basso continuo. The size of the ensemble varies depending on the repertoire. We currently have 15 members:
Nick de Jager
Uwe Grosser (lutes, baroque guitar)
Colleen Oxtoby (viola da gamba)
Vera Vukovic (lutes)
members of the lutesong consort
PREVIOUS CONCERT POSTERS
The Night Watch
Wednesday, 21 February at 19:00 – St Andrew's Presbyterian Church, De Waterkant, Cape Town
The Lutesong Consort is very proud and excited to collaborate with world-renowned recorder virtuoso Carin van Heerden and her recorder consort Element of Prime from Linz, Austria. In ‘Night Watch’ two complete consorts of five singers and five recorders each accompany a night-watchman on his rounds through the city. We pass a church as the service is underway, overhear lovers and families expressing their joys and woes, join a rowdy student party and, as day finally breaks, hear the cries of sellers in the marketplace. This narrative ties together a fantastically varied programme featuring glorious ensemble music by, amongst others, Holborne, Attaignant, Wilbye, Monteverdi, Morales, Scheidt, Victoria and Gibbons.
With Carin van Heerden, Magdalena Rath, Domenika Thanner, Veronika Traxler and Michaela Vaught (recorders), Lynelle Kenned, Elsabé Richter, Lente Louw, Nick de Jager, Willem Bester, Keaton Manwaring (singers), Erik Dippenaar (organ) and Uwe Grosser (lute).
Read more about Carin van Heerden and Element of Prime at the links below:
Photographs: Suzette Vorster
Design: Elisha Zeeman
Recordings: Jürgen von Wechmar at Sunset Recording Studios
Graphic Design: Birds.i Elsabe Richter
We tailor-make concert programmes for any event. Send us a note and we will get back to you soon, or become a Lutesong Patron. Click here for benefits.
Please note that Lutesong is entirely dependent on donor funding for our operations. If you wish to make a donation towards future endeavours, here are our banking details:
Standard Bank Claremont
Branch Code 051001
SWIFT code SBZAZAJJ
PBO REF NO : 930077245
INCOME TAX REF NO: 9114788269