Thomas Dunford - luth and artistic direction
"Thomas Dunford’s supple technique, combined with his passion for jazz, allows him to decorate and elaborate the written texts with improvisatory abandon, shedding new light on old favourites. He really plumbs the depths, too, of Dowland’s melancholy ‘blues’ style, proving himself to be an Eric Clapton of the lute.
Kate Bolton (BBC Magazine)
Born in Paris in 1988, Thomas Dunford discovered the lute at the age of nine, thanks to his first teacher Claire Antonini. He completed his studies in 2006 at the Conservatoire de Paris (CRR), when he obtained a unanimous 1st Prize with honors in the class of Charles-Edouard Fantin. He continued his studies at the Schola Cantorum in Basel with Hopkinson Smith, and participated in several master classes with artists the caliber of Rolf Lislevand Paul O’Dette and Julian Bream.
From September 2003 through to January 2005, Thomas gave his first performances playing the role of the lutenist in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night on stage at the Comédie française. Since then, Thomas has played recitals in particular in New York’s Carnegie Hall and Frick Collection, London’s Wigmore Hall. He made numerous solo or ensemble appearances in the most prestigious European festivals including Ambronay,nBozar, La Chaise-Dieu, Nantes, Saintes, Utrecht and many others.
Thomas Dunford’ first solo CD Lachrimae recorded for the French label Alpha in 2012, was unanimously acclaimed by critics and was awarded the Caecilia prize of 2013. His second CD « Labirinto d’Amore » was awarded the « Choc » from Classica magazine. His extensive discography is also the result of various collaborations with other musicians, singers and ensembles.
Thomas Dunford is regularly in demand, playing a variety of early plucked string instruments with the ensembles Les Arts Florissants, Akadêmia, Amarillis, Les Ambassadeurs, Arcangelo, La Cappella Mediterranea, Capriccio Stravagante, Le Centre de Musique Baroque de Versailles, La Chapelle Rhénane, Clematis, Collegium Vocale Gent, Le Concert Spirituel, Le Concert d’Astrée, A 2 Violes Esgales, The English Concert, l’Ensemble Baroque de Limoges, La Fenice, Les Folies Francaises, the Irish Baroque Orchestra, Marsyas, Les Musiciens du Louvre, Les Musiciens du Paradis, Les Musiciens de Saint Julien, Les Ombres, Pierre Robert, Pygmalion, La Sainte Folie Fantastique, Scherzi Musicali, La Serenissima, Les Siècles, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, La Symphonie du Marais…
Thomas Dunford is attracted to a wide variety of music including jazz, and collaborates in chamber music projects with conductors and soloists Paul Agnew, Leonardo Garcia Alarcon, Nicola Benedetti, Keyvan Chemirani, William Christie, Jonathan Cohen, Christophe Coin, Iestyn Davies, Lea Desandre, Isabelle Faust, Bobby McFerrin, Philippe Herreweghe, Monica Huggett, Alexis Kosenko, Francois Lazarévitch, Anne-Sophie von Otter, Trevor Pinnock, Patricia Petibon, Sandrine Piau, Anna Prohaska, Hugo Reyne, Anna Reinhold, Jean Rondeau, Skip Sempé, Jean Tubéry…
In 2018, at the age of thirty, Thomas Dunford created his own ensemble: Jupiter, to which he invited all the musicians who had marked his career and with whom he wanted to lead a musical adventure as much as a friendly one.