Francesca Torelli was born in Reggio Emilia, Italy. After earning a degree in
lute with highest marks under the guidance of Orlando Cristoforetti at the
Conservatory of Verona, she completed her studies with Nigel North at the
Guildhall School of Music in London. At the same time, she studied renaissance
and baroque singing with Auriol Kimber.
From the very beginning, her concert activities featured repertoires for voice
and lute (singing while accompanying herself on the instrument), as well as the
solo repertoire for lute, theorbo and basso continuo. As a soloist, she took
part in many festivals in Europe and Australia. She provided and played the
music for various theatrical productions and appeared as a lutenist on
television programs for RAI 2, Channel 4, and others.
She recorded for the labels Dynamic, Stradivarius, Mondo Musica and Nuova Era,
with the ensembles Sans souci, Cappella Palatina, Accademia Farnese and the
chamber orchestra Offerta Musicale (Music offer) of Venice. She also recorded
for the national Italian radio (RAI Radiotre) and for other radio and television
networks throughout Europe.
For over a decade she performed in concerts and on discs (for the label Tactus)
as theorbist with the ensemble Cappella Artemisia, taking part in many European
She also released two solo recordings (on Tactus) with music composed by two
17th-century Italian lute composers: Alessandro Piccinini and Pietro Paolo
In 2007 she published A tutor for the Theorbo for Ut Orpheus editions: this is
the first handbook on practical method devoted to this instrument. She is
founder and director of the ensemble Scintille di musica (Music sparks), with
whom she recorded a CD for the EMI Futuro antico (Ancient future) series:
Mantova, la musica alla corte dei Gonzaga (Mantua, music at the Gonzaga court),
featuring Angelo Branduardi as the voice. In her role of director-lutenist, she
worked on three more CDs of the same series, that were released after 2007:
these recordings, focussed on 16th and 17th-century Italian music, were warmly
received by the public.
Francesca Torelli has held lute seminars and master classes at many Universities
and music institutions. Since 2001 she has been lute professor at the "Giuseppe
Verdi" Conservatory in Milan.
Find out more at Francesca's personal website at:
John Dowland - Lute songs, Lute music
Italian Baroque Music for Archlute
Musique pour le Roy Soleil, Robert de Visee, Works for Theorbo