Folias Mediteraneas

Folias Mediteraneas

Early Music from Italy and Spain featuring the award-winning Hille Perl, viola da gamba (Germany) and Lee Santana, lute and baroque guitar (USA)

Tour Dates

It’s hard not to be bewitched by Hille Perl’s gorgeous, sensual playing or bowled over by her boundless enthusiasm for the seven-string viola da gamba, the stately and delicate great-aunt of the cello and star of the film Tous les Matins du Monde.  As part of its 2004 Spring Season, Music Network presents on tour from March 2 – 11, the early music duo, Hille Perl on viola da gamba, and her regular duo partner, Lee Santana on lute and baroque guitar. A winner of the German Echo ‘Instrumentalist of the Year’ award, Hille plays on a variety of gambas to suit different areas of her repertoire.  Their concert programme will feature early music from Italy and Spain and will include works by Ortiz, Bonnizzi, Notari, de Murcia and Rogniono.  This tour is made possible by kind assistance from the Goethe Institute. 

Hille Perl was born into a family of musicians in Bremen, Germany, and began playing the viola da gamba at the age of five—she is one of the few early musicians of her generation not to have ‘converted’ from a modern instrument.  She studied music in Hamburg first with Pere Ros and later with Ingrid Stampa at the Musikhochschule.  She pursued advanced studies at the Akademie für Alte Musik in Bremen with Jaap ter Linden and with Ireland’s Sarah Cunningham.  In 2002, she became a professor at the Hochschule der Künste.

Hille has travelled extensively performing all over Europe, the USA, Australia, Japan, Israel and Mexico.  As a solo performer her programmes of Bach, Sainte-Columbe, Ortiz and related German, Italian and French composers are increasingly in demand worldwide.  She remains a very active chamber musician playing with The Harp Consort and the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra as well as with Sirius Viols, and Gambas Y Otros.  She also works with conductors such as Jordi Savall, Thomas Hengelbrock and Claudio Abbado.  Her first solo CD Seven strings and more appeared in 1997 on Deutsche Harmonia Mundi/BMG with music by the reclusive 17th century teacher and virtuoso Monsieur de Sainte-Columbe, popularised in the film Tous les Matins du Monde.  In 1999, she released ‘…per la viola da gamba…’ featuring arrangements of works by J.S. Bach, her CD of Italian madrigal diminutions Doulce Memoire followed in 2000 and Why Not Here on Carpe Diem in 2003.  For high Baroque repertoire requiring the seventh string, she performs on a German reproduction of a Joachim Tielke viola da gamba and for Italian, Spanish and English music, she performs on an adapted copy of a gamba from around 1600.  For further information on Hille Perl, see

Lute-player Lee Santana has performed with Hille Perl since 1984 and together they have played concerts in many part of the globe.  Lee was born in Sarasota, Florida and moved to Germany in 1984.  Lee’s childhood and early youth were spent playing mainly rock and jazz guitar, but in college he switched to classical guitar and, concentrating on new music and early music, he developed a fascination with the lute family of instruments.  He later studied performance practise, and early music at Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts.  His main teacher for lute was Patrick O'Brien in New York and subsequently he studied privately with the lutenist Steve Stubbs in Europe.  Also a gifted composer, Lee is active as a soloist and as a member of The Harp Consort and the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra.

Programme includes: 

Diego Ortiz  Recercada sobre Canto Llano
Diego Ortiz  Recercada Primera
Vincenzo Bonnizzi  Jouissance vous donneray (after Willaert)
Angelo Notari  Ben qui si mostra il ciel (after Cipriano)
Girolamo Kapsberger  Ballo from Libro IV
Santiago de Murcia   'Cumbees & La Jota', from the Salvidar Codex
Richardo Rogniono  Anchor che co’l partire (after Cipriano)
Antonio Martín Y Coll  Differencias sobre Las Follias
Diego Ortiz  Recercada sobre La Gamba

On Tour: Tues 2 Mar Ballina (St. Michael’s Church of Ireland, 8pm), Wed 3 Mar Belfast (Linen Hall Library, 8pm), Thurs 4 Mar Bangor (North Down Heritage Centre, 8pm), Sat Mar 6 Portstewart (Flowerfield Arts Centre, 8pm), Sun 7 Mar Mullingar (Mullingar Arts Centre, 8pm), Mon 8 Mar Clifden (Church of Ireland, 8pm), Wed 10 Mar Tinahely (Courthouse Arts Centre, 8:30 pm), Thurs 11 Mar Dublin (Bank of Ireland Arts Centre, 8pm)

"If Jordi Savali brought the viola da gamba to the 20th century public and Wieland Kuijken’s research made playing the unwieldy instrument today technically possible, Hille Perl is quite possibly the person doing the most to pave the way for the gamba’s future. "

- The Strad, 2001