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John is an internationally renowned viol player with groups such as the Rose Consort and Musica Antiqua of London. He has a long-standing interest in the nature of the viols used for particular parts of the repertory, and was instrumental in commissioning a set of viols based on a painting by Lorenzo Costa (1497). This artist worked for Isabella d’Este, one of the most important patrons in the earliest days of the viol, and the ‘Costa’ viols have brought new understanding and appreciation of that repertory. John’s musical expertise will help to discover whatever the music that was played on viols in Tudor England can tell us about the instruments themselves.
After several decades of musical instrument making, Michael's main focus is now on viol research. As editor of the grandest international journal of organological research, his musical instrument interests are very broad, but when making, playing or researching, his main passion is early English viols. He relishes opportunities to study the material resources and workshop techniques of their makers, and to illuminate their lives. Michael is also deeply interested in images, both in their own right and for the help they can provide in understanding viols. His experiences as both maker and researcher bring to the project a particular understanding of all aspects of the creation of these revered and crucially important instruments.