Jacob Heringman

Jacob Heringman

Jacob Heringman

Based in England since 1987, Jacob Heringman has established himself as one of the world's most respected and most innovative solo lute players, and as a much sought-after ensemble player.


    The American-born lutenist Jacob Heringman studied with Jakob Lindberg at the Royal College of Music in London, and later with Pat O'Brien in New York.

    Based in England since 1987, he has established himself as one of the world's most respected and most innovative solo lute players, and as a much sought-after ensemble player performing regularly throughout Europe and North and South America, and making many CD and radio recordings of medieval and renaissance music with leading English ensembles, including The Rose Consort of Viols, Fretwork, Musicians of the Globe, The Kings Singers, The New London Consort, Virelai and The Dufay Collective.

    As a continuo player, Jacob Heringman performed and recorded with The King's Consort, The English Baroque Soloists, The Parley of Instruments and The Taverner Consort, among others. In 1993, he left the continuo circuit to focus on renaissance solo and ensemble projects.

    Jacob's playing is also to be heard on the soundtracks of many Hollywood films (including Harry Potter III , Kingdom of Heaven, Ridley Scott's Robin Hood, and, most recently, The Hobbit: an unexpected journey), and occasionally on pop albums (most recently, Joni Mitchell's Travelogue).

    Jacob has given solo recitals throughout Europe and in North America. In recent years, he made numerous tours of the USA and Canada performing both the Josquin and Pickeringe programmes.

    As an accompanist, Jacob Heringman has performed and recorded lute songs with Emma Kirkby, Michael Chance and Barbara Bonney, among others. He is also half of a duo with the mezzo-soprano Catherine King, with whom he has toured extensively and recorded four lute song discs for ASV and Linn, all of which have been greeted with high praise from reviewers. One of these, entitled Airs de Cour, for which the duo was joined by the tenor Charles Daniels, was voted one of the top CDs of 1999 by both Gramophone and the BBC Music Magazine. Recently, Jacob has been performing duo recitals with the soprano Faye Newton.

    In 1990, Jacob founded the group Virelai with viol player Susanna Pell, singer Catherine King, and flute-player William Lyons. Virelai specialises in music of the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries, with occasional forays into modern music. Virelai has made three CDs for Virgin, and a BBC Music Magazine cover CD. A CD of specially commissioned modern settings of renaissance love poetry, entitled Sad Steps, was released by Riverrun Records in 2002.

    Recent and currently ongoing projects, all of which reflect Jacob's increasing interest in improvised and semi-improvised music, include co-writing music and performing in an extensively touring production with the French dance company Systeme Castafiore, which has travelled around France and gone as far afield as Lithuania, Cyprus and China; performing in the Cheltenham Festival with the Iraqi 'ud player Khyam Allami; a duo with the Palestinian 'ud player Adel Salameh, exploring the shared heritage of the lute and the 'ud; regular exploratory sessions exploring common ground with gifted young folk musicians Will Pound and Emily Askew; regular concerts with John Potter's Dowland Project; a duo with the vihuela player Ariel Abramovich; touring and recording programmes of "circular music" as Pellingmans' Saraband with his wife, Susanna Pell.

    Jacob teaches at Newcastle and York Universities. He is in demand as a teacher at various Lute Society and other early music summer schools, including the HISS Summer School, the American Lute Society's courses in Vancouver, Cleveland and Amherst, the UK Lute Society's course at Benslow Music, and Musica Antiqua's course at the Cambridge Early Music Summer Schools.

    The Alexander Technique is another important strand of Jacob's life and work. In 2001, he completed the three-year full-time Alexander Technique teacher training course at The Alexander Technique Studio in London, run by Karen Wentworth, and is now a qualified teacher of the Alexander Technique certified by the Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique (STAT). Jacob has found principles of the Technique to be indispensible in his music-making and teaching.

    Jacob is married to Susanna Pell, formerly of Fretwork and the Dufay Collective, and they live on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales with their young daughter, Edie.