FRANCESCA BENETTI & PETER CROTON have joined forces to form a multi-generational guitar duo, focused on 19th century repertoire played on original instruments. Francesca plays on an original Charotte guitar (Paris) from ca. 1830, Peter performs on an instrument built by Francois Roudhloff (Mirecourt) from around 1825, as well as an anonymous Bohemian Terz Guitar from the same time period.
The program includes works by J.K. Mertz for the beloved but seldom performed combination of Terz Guitar and full-size guitar, as well as works by Fernando Sor and Mauro Giuliani.
Francesca Benetti & Peter Croton bring warmth, virtuosity and individuality to the music, as well as a strong sense of historically-inspired expression.
Francesca Benetti & Peter Croton - Original 19th century guitars
FRANCESCA BENETTI is a guitarist and theorbist originally from Trento, Italy. During her youth she attended masterclasses with notable names of the classical guitar world. She then studied classical guitar at the Music Conservatory of Venice with Florindo Baldissera and at the Bern University of the Arts (Switzerland) with the guitarist Elena Cásoli, where she graduated in 2012 with a second Master Performance‘s Degree focused on contemporary music. She pursued soon after her strong interest in plucked strings instruments for early music as lute, theorbo and romantic guitar. During a new music journey at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis In Basel (Switzerland), she deepened historical early music practise and graduated with a Master Performance in 2014 under the tutelage of the lutenist Peter Croton.
She has performed as a soloist and as a basso continuo-player throughout Europe in various Festivals and venues such Kultur Casino Bern, Theater Chur (Switzerland), Kassel State Theater (Germany), Harvard Institute for Renaissance Italian Studies Florence, Festival Monteverdi (Italy), Festival Trigonale (Austria) and many others. She played under notable conductors such as René Jacobs, Rinaldo Alessandrini and Andrea Marcon, collaborating with various ensembles as La Cetra Barockorchester, Ensemble ö!, Capricornus Consort Basel, Cappella Mediterranea and many others. Crossover projects and collaborations with composers in which historical instruments and new music are in dialoge are always welcomed (Marcel Zaes/ «Wüsten», Livio Bartolo «Corale « for theorbo).
She is involved with chamber music ensembles of various kinds such a romantic guitar duo with her former professor and friend Peter Croton and with the violist da Gamba Teodoro Bau’.
Furthermore she combines her varied instrumentalist’s music life with the practice of singing. Fascinated by reviving the historic practice of self-accompanied singing with lute, theorbo and romantic guitar she performs specifically Italian vocal music repertory from the turn of the 17th-century till the 19th century.
She is co-founder and Director of the ensemble Concerto di Margherita www.concertodimargherita.com, with the focus of reviving ensemble self-accompanied singing: five voices fuse with five instruments. The group now performs regularly in the most important early music Festivals in Europe; the group's debut album “Il Gioco della cieca” published by Outhere Music label was awarded 5 stars by the French magazines Classica and Diapason and promoted by important radio stations such as the English BBC Radio3, Radio France, Swiss Radio SRF and the italian Radio3.
She is playing an original Charotte guitar from 1830 (Paris) and a theorbo made by the lute-maker Andreas Holz from 1988. Her solo project «Verde Barocco», which enhances the poetic metaphors linked to nature in the repertoire of the early seventeenth century Italian, sees her as the protagonist as a singer – theorbo player.
She lives between Puglia and Trentino Alto-Adige. Contacts: firstname.lastname@example.org
Award-winning lutenist and romantic-guitarist PETER CROTON is an active performer & recording artist as soloist & accompanist. In the press he has been called a “lyric poet of the lute” and has been praised for his “breathtaking virtuosity” and “astonishing range of tone colors and dynamics”. His compositions for voice & lute have been described as “challenging and refined... highly suited for inclusion in today's concert repertoire”. Born in the USA, Peter Croton lives in Switzerland, where he teaches at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensisand Conservatories of Music in Basel and Bern (lute, romantic guitar, and thoroughbass and historical performance practice). He studied lute from 1977-1983 with Dr. Loris Chobanian (Oberlin Conservatory of Music), Eugen Dombois and Hopkinson Smith (Schola Cantorum Basiliensis).Peter won first prize at the Erwin Bodky Competition for Early Music in Cambridge MA (1984), has recorded numerous CDs, appeared on television and radio as soloist and chamber musician. and has appeared at many international festivals.
His newest books, A Method for the Renaissance Lute, with a supplement for the archlute (2019) and A Method for the Baroque Lute based on historical sources (2022) have been published by Le Luth Doré. Earlier books include his instruction manual Figured Bass on the Classical Guitar: a practical approach based on historical principles (Amadeus Verlag, 2005), Performing Baroque Music on the Classical Guitar (Amazon/Createspace, 2015), and Performing Baroque Music on the Lute & Theorbo (Amazon/Createspace, 2016). Six of his compositions for lute and voice were published by the German Lute Society (1999), and his four new settings of texts by William Shakespeare for lute and voice were published by Tree Edition (2009). https://www.youtube.com/user/pcroton www.peter-croton.com