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Peter Holman

Peter Holman is a conductor known particularly for his interpretations of post-Renaissance English music, but he has also received acclaim for his performances of the works of European masters of the Baroque period, including Handel, Telemann, Vivaldi, and Monteverdi. He has recorded extensively for the English label Hyperion and has established parallel careers as a harpsichordist, organist, teacher (Royal Academy of Music and Colchester Institute), and music journalist.

Holman was born in London on October 19, 1946. His first advanced music studies were at King's College, London, where his teachers included Robert Thurston Dart. During his student years he led Ars Nova, an early music ensemble.

Holman became an acquaintance of conductor Roy Goodman around this time and with him founded the Parley of Instruments in 1979. This ensemble has focused on the performance of Renaissance and Baroque consort music for strings and has made over 50 recordings for Hyperion. Holman has led the group for many of these recordings, dubbed the English Orpheus series by the label. Some of the releases have featured the music of little-known composers, like John Jenkins (Vol. 11), but also famous figures, like Haydn, as heard in Haydn and His English Friends (Vol. 48).

Goodman and Holman collaborated on their first recordings with the Parley of Instruments in 1981, turning out two discs on Hyperion: Matthew Locke: The Broken Consort, a collection of instrumental suites, and Monteverdi: Sacred Vocal Music. In 1985 Holman was appointed music director of Opera Restor'd, a newly established company devoted to historic performance practices in eighteenth century English masques and operas. That first year Holman led highly praised performances of Purcell's King Arthur at Boston's Early Music Festival.

By the 1990s, Holman was a well-respected artist, both as a conductor and keyboard player. In the latter realm he had scored critical successes in his appearances with the Hanover Band, the Orchestra of St. John's Smith Square, and other prominent English ensembles. He produced two books that have received much acclaim: Four and Twenty Fiddlers: The Violin at the English Court (1993) and Henry Purcell (1994).

In the new century, Holman has remained active in his several musical careers. Among his later recordings on Hyperion have been 2002's The fam'd Italian Masters, a compilation of largely 17th century lesser-known Italian composers' works, and Georg Muffat: Armonico Tributo (2005), a disc containing five sonatas.
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: Michael Praetorius: Dances from Terpsichore (1612)

Composer: Pierre Francisque Caroubel
Title: Passameze, For 5 Part Instrumental Ensemble (283)

1. Passameze, For 5 Part Instrumental Ensemble (283): Passameze, For 5 Part Instrumental Ensemble

Title: Gaillarde, For 5 Part Instrumental Ensemble (284)

2. Gaillarde, For 5 Part Instrumental Ensemble (284): Gaillarde, For 5 Part Instrumental Ensemble

Title: Gaillarde, For 5 Part Instrumental Ensemble (285)

3. Gaillarde, For 5 Part Instrumental Ensemble (285): Gaillarde, For 5 Part Instrumental Ensemble

Title: Bransles, For 5 Part Instrumental Ensemble (1)

4. Bransles, For 5 Part Instrumental Ensemble (1): Bransles, For 5 Part Instrumental Ensemble

Composer: Nicolas Vallet
Title: Est Ce Mars, For 4 Lutes

5. Est Ce Mars, For 4 Lutes: Est Ce Mars

Title: Courante De Mars, For 4 Lutes

6. Courante De Mars, For 4 Lutes: Courante De Mars

Title: Ballet, For Four Lutes

7. Ballet, For Four Lutes: Ballet (Part I)

8. Ballet, For Four Lutes: Ballet (Part II)

Title: Un Jour De La Semaine, For 4 Lutes

9. Un Jour De La Semaine, For 4 Lutes: Un Jour De La Semaine

Title: Allons Aux Noces, For 4 Lutes

10. Allons Aux Noces, For 4 Lutes: Allons Aux Noces

Title: Gaillarde, For 4 Lutes

11. Gaillarde, For 4 Lutes: Gaillarde

Composer: Michael Praetorius
Title: Pavane De Spaigne, For 4 Part Instrumental Ensemble (Terpsichore, 30)

12. Pavane De Spaigne, For 4 Part Instrumental Ensemble (Terpsichore, 30): Pavane De Spaigne

Title: Spagnoletta (Terpischore, 27)

13. Spagnoletta (Terpischore, 27): Spagnoletta

Title: La Bourrée (Terpischore, 32)

14. La Bourrée (Terpischore, 32): La Bouree

Title: La Sarabande, For Ensemble (Terpischore, 34)

15. La Sarabande, For Ensemble (Terpischore, 34): La Sarabande

Title: La Canarie (Terpischore, 31)

16. La Canarie (Terpischore, 31): La Canarie

Composer: Pierre Francisque Caroubel
Title: Branse Simple, For 5 Part Instrumental Ensemble (4)

17. Branse Simple, For 5 Part Instrumental Ensemble (4): Bransle Simple

Composer: Anonymous, Terpsichore
Title: Ballet, For 4 Part Instrumental Ensemble (268)

18. Ballet, For 4 Part Instrumental Ensemble (268): Ballet, For 4 Part Instrumental Ensemble

Composer: Michael Praetorius
Title: Ballet Du Roy Pour Sonner Apres (Terpischore, 269)

19. Ballet Du Roy Pour Sonner Apres (Terpischore, 269): Ballet Du Roy

Composer: Jean-Baptiste Besard
Title: Ballo Del Gran Duca (from Novus Partus)

20. Ballo Del Gran Duca (from Novus Partus): Ballo Del Gran Duca

Title: Une Jeune Fillette (from Novus Partus)

21. Une Jeune Fillette (from Novus Partus): Une Jeune Fillette

Title: Bransles De Villages

22. Bransles De Villages: Bransles De Villages

Composer: Michael Praetorius
Title: Bransles De Villages, For 5 Part Instrumental Ensemble (Terpsichore, 14)

23. Bransles De Villages, For 5 Part Instrumental Ensemble (Terpsichore, 14): Bransles De Villages

Composer: Anonymous, Terpsichore
Title: Courante (Wilson's Wild), For Violin, 2 Violas, Bass Violin & 4 Lutes (Terpsichore, 151)

24. Courante (Wilson's Wild), For Violin, 2 Violas, Bass Violin & 4 Lutes (Terpsichore, 151): Courante 'Wilson's Wild'

Composer: Michael Praetorius
Title: Courante (Light Of Love), For Violin, 2 Violas, Bass Violin & Lutes (Terpsichore, 152)

25. Courante (Light Of Love), For Violin, 2 Violas, Bass Violin & Lutes (Terpsichore, 152): Courante 'Light Of Love'

Title: Courante (Grimstock), For Violin, 2 Violas, Bass Violin & 4 Lutes (Terpsichore, 154)

26. Courante (Grimstock), For Violin, 2 Violas, Bass Violin & 4 Lutes (Terpsichore, 154): Courante 'Grimstock'

Composer: John Dowland
Title: Mrs Winters Jump, Fo Lute, P 55

27. Mrs Winters Jump, Fo Lute, P 55: Mrs. Winter's Jump

Composer: Michael Praetorius
Title: Packington's Pound, Courante

28. Packington's Pound, Courante: Packington's Pound

Composer: Thomas Campion
Title: I Care Not For These Ladies For Voice, Lute & Bass Viol

29. I Care Not For These Ladies For Voice, Lute & Bass Viol: I Care Not For These Ladies

Composer: Anonymous, Terpsichore
Title: Ballet Des Baccanales (278)

30. Ballet Des Baccanales (278): Ballet Des Baccanales

Composer: Michael Praetorius
Title: Terpsichore Dances

31. Terpsichore Dances: Ballet Des Cocqs

Composer: Anonymous, Terpsichore
Title: Courante (Battaglia), For 4 And 5-part Violin Band, 4 Lutes, 4 Guitars & Drum (283)

32. Courante (Battaglia), For 4 And 5-part Violin Band, 4 Lutes, 4 Guitars & Drum (283): Courante 'Battaglia'

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