While most of her peers were dancing to the music of the Beatles, Catherine Liddell as a high school student was enthralled with the performances and recordings of lutenist Julian Bream. It was this excitement which caused her, in tenth grade, to give up the viola da gamba which she’d been playing since eighth grade and take up the lute. Throughout high school and college, Ms. Liddell’s teachers included America’s best-known players: Martha Blackman, James Tyler, Joseph Iadone and Suzanne Bloch. During this period several professional opportunities came her way including recordings for Nonesuch, Experiences Anonymes and Lyrichord, the latter two with the ensemble Cappella Cordina directed by Alejandro Planchart.
After earning a Batchelor of Arts degree from Sarah Lawrence College with a concentration in music, Ms. Liddell continued her studies at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis in Basel, Switzerland where she studied with Eugen Dombois. While there, she took advantage of the opportunity to study medieval music with Thomas Binkley. This work culminated in a recording of 14th century estampie for EMI Reflex. While at the Schola, she was invited to perform in Marco da Gagliano’s “La Dafne” with the New York Pro Music (conducted by George Houle) which included performances in Spoleto, Italy and in Corfu. In 1976, she earned the Soloist Diploma. She has maintained an active performing career ever since.
As a lute duo (with partner Robert Strizich) Ms. Liddell performed in concerts, lecture demonstrations and workshops across the US and in Europe. Together they recorded three LPs, two for Titanic Records: "Renaissance Duos" and "Baroque Duets" and one for Musical Heritage Society/MusicMasters: "Capriccii Harmonici - Duets for Baroque Guitars and Lute." She also recorded a solo album for Titanic Records: Music of Gautier, Mouton and J.S. Bach which includes her own transcription of the first cello suite of Bach (BWV 1007).
In 1981, Ms. Liddell, with soprano Sally Sanford, co-founded Ensemble Chanterelle which made it's New York Debut to critical acclaim in 1984 as winner of the Concert Artist Guild Award. Ensemble Chanterelle, has performed across the US, was Artist-in-Residence at UCLA (1986-1988) and recorded for Musical Heritage Society: "Venetian Monody in the Age of Monteverdi." The ensemble is about to release the first two-CD set of cantatas and motets by the 17th century composer Nicolas Bernier.
In addition to these performances, Ms. Liddell is much in demand for her skill and sensitivity in improvising continuo accompaniments. She has performed with many of the major period instrument ensembles in North America, including the Handel & Haydn Society (Boston), Boston Baroque, Tafelmusik (Toronto), Folger Consort (Washington, DC), Smithsonian Chamber Ensemble (Washington, DC), the Four Nations Ensemble (New York), Seattle Baroque Orchestra, New York Collegium, Orchestra of St. Luke’s and Les Idées Heureuses (Montréal) among others. Her performances in major music festivals include the Aston Magna Festival (Berkshires), Boston Early Music Festival, Connecticut Early Music Festival and Northwest Bach Festival (Spokane, WA). She has toured as accompanist to recitalists Sally Sanford (soprano), John Hsu (viola da gamba) and Brent Wissick (viola da gamba).
Ms. Liddell’s long teaching career has included numerous workshops throughout the country on such topics as performing lute music on the classical guitar; aspects of improvising accompaniments from a figured bass, in particular the interaction between singer and accompanist; performing French baroque lute music, and sacred music for the lute. She is currently a Teaching Associate in the School of Music at Boston University, and she has served on the faculties of the Longy School of Music (Cambridge, MA), the San Francisco Conservatory and the Five Colleges Early Music Program (western MA). She teaches regularly at the annual Lute Society of America summer seminar and been President and Editor of Music Editions for that organization.
Recent accomplishments include the release on Centaur Records of La belle voilée: 17th Century French Lute Music by Jacques Gallot and others; as well as the publication of the first of a two-volume edition entitled, Sacred Music for Lute, for Lyre Editions, Fort Worth, Texas. The second volume is in preparation.
Baking bread, gardening and singing with children are her favorite pastimes.

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The Guitar, Theorbo and Lute Works of Robert DeVisée: A Study of His Process of Arranging
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