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Anton Birula (Lute, Conductor)

Born: Poland

The polish lutenist and conductor, Anton Birula, has studied the lute with Professor Toyohiko Satoh at the Koninklijk Conservatorium in The Hague and with Professor Konrad Junghänel at the Hochschule fur Musik in Cologne.

With his concentration on the extant solo literature for the Baroque lute Anton Birula has performed numerous lute recitals featuring music of J.S. Bach, Silvius Leopold Weiss and French lutenists. His special interests were transcriptions of J.S. Bach's suites for solo cello and violin sonatas and partitas for the Baroque lute. As a theorbo player He has performed a vast amount of musical literature with numerous ensembles, specializing in vocal music by 17th century Italian and English composers and the viola da gamba music of Marin Marais and Antoine Forqueray.

Anton Birula has worked with such important soloists as Emma Kirkby (soprano), Władysław Kłosiewicz (harpsichord), Nigel Kennedy (violin), Marek Toporowski (harpsichord), Olga Pasiecznik (soprano). During his long engagement at the Warsaw Chamber Opera he has participated in the performances of all works of Claudio Monteverdi as well as operas by Pieri, Caccini, Landi, Alessandro Scarlatti.

Anton Birula teaches lute at the Frederich Chopin Music Collage (Warsaw) and at the Felix Nowowiejski Music Academy (Bydgoszcz).


Together with lutenist Anna Kowalska Anton Birula formed a unique duet of historical plucked instruments which covers a vast repertoire: renaissance lute music, Works for baroque lutes, especially works of J.S. Bach and Silvius Leopold Weiss and recent programs are also dedicated to classical and romantic music on historical 19th century guitars.

As an ensemble Anna and Anton have come together to attract attention to the long neglected duo repertoire for the Baroque lute duo. United by a mutual fascination they wanted to help shed light upon music which was written during the final twilight hours of the lute's bright history. They were the first to perform and record the recently discovered duet compositions of Francois du Fault and transcriptions of the Marin Marais' duet viola da gamba compositions for two baroque lutes. This resulted in a program «Baroque Lute Duets" which was released on CD in 2002. Later they started to work on duo repertoire for other combinations of historical plucked instruments, especially baroque guitar and theorbo. Showcasing the contrasting styles of different cultures, the program "Musical voyage across 17th century Europe" moves us from solemn music of great Italian lute and theorbo players (Allessandro Piccinini and Girolamo Kapsberger) to the temperamental style of the first Spanish guitar virtuosi (Gaspar Sanz and Santiago de Murcia) and melancholic mood of French baroque masters (Robert de Visee and François Couperin).

Vast project dedicated to works of J.S. Bach covers solo works for lute including lute versions of solo violin and cello compositions as well as transcriptions of other instrumental works of the master for two 24 string Baroque lutes.

Recent activity of the duo concerns also 19th century music for romantic guitar. Using copies of 6 string guitars of the 19th century maker Rene Lete, strung with gut strings, the musicians perform works of J.K.Mertz, F. Sor, Frédéric Chopin, Napoleon Coste. The high point of this program is the transcription of the famous organ work by César Franck, Prelude Fugue & Variation, Op.18 Anna and Anton successfully presented these programs across Europe performing at different festivals in Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Holland, Poland, Russian Federation and Switzerland.

Source: Nova Casa Website
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (April 2014)

Anton Birula: Short Biography | Recordings of Vocal Works | Recordings of Instrumental Works

Links to other Sites

Nova Casa: Anton Birula
Luteduo Anton Birula Anna Kowalska Lute duet
LUTE DUO Anna Kowalska & Anton Birula on Facebook

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Explanation | Acronyms | Missing Biographies | The Sad Corner


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Last update: Friday, November 10, 2017 02:30