Soprano Amanda Sidebottom is
    known for her “luminous,” clear
    tone and versatile musicianship.
    An active soloist, choral singer,
    and chamber musician, she
    performs music ranging from
    Renaissance polyphony to newly
    commissioned works. Recent solo
    credits include Handel’s Messiah,
    Bach’s St. John Passion,
    Scarlatti’s Stabat Mater,
    Charpentier’s Te Deum, and
    Boismortier’s Printemps. This
    season she has joined the Trinity
    Wall Street Choir for performances
    of Bach’s Mass in B Minor and
    Easter Oratorio. Last season she
    sang in Holy Trinity Lutheran’s long-running Bach Vespers series and
    joined the New Haven–based ensemble Yale Choral Artists for concerts
    led by William Christie and Mark Morris. Amanda can be heard with
    Etherea Vocal Ensemble on the group’s albums Hymn to the Dawn and
    Ceremony of Carols (both on Delos). The debut concert season of
    Well-Tuned Words included concerts in four states, with a fringe concert
    at the Berkeley Festival. The 2012–13 season opened with a collaboration
    between WTW and Brooklyn Baroque. The duo made its first European
    tour in the fall of 2012, giving recitals in Milan (Sforza Castle), Paris, and
    Amsterdam; harpsichordist Rebecca Pechefsky joined them in Milan
    and Amsterdam. WTW’s 2013–14 season opened with a second European
    Tour, featuring concerts in Basel and Berlin.

    An avid proponent of historical performance, she has worked with such
    luminaries as Ellen Hargis, Stephen Stubbs, and Grant Herreid and has
    been invited to participate in workshops in Vancouver, Seattle, and Boston.
    She has performed in fringe concerts at early-music festivals in Boston and
    Berkeley with the New York Continuo Collective and the award-winning
    Ensemble Lipzodes. She has also worked with the early-music chamber
    ensemble The Soul’s Delight. In addition, as a member of the New Haven–
    based Etherea Vocal Ensemble, she performs works of the 19th and 20th
    centuries for upper voices. A founding member and now artistic director
    of the chamber choir Conflitti di voci, she has sung in acclaimed
    performances of major oratorio works with New York’s Grand Tour
    Orchestra. Amanda holds a master’s degree in early music from Indiana
    University. For more information, visit
    Born in New York City, Erik Ryding
    began music studies at age nine, when
    his father gave him his first lessons on
    the harpsichord. In high school he
    performed in an electric-guitar duo and
    also studied classical guitar with William
    Hellermann; he later studied with jazz
    guitarist Lou Mecca. In his late teens,
    he settled on the lute, studying with
    Frank Eyler in New York and participating
    in master classes with Eugen Dombois
    in the Netherlands. As an undergraduate
    he majored in music and English, giving
    early-music performances in the New York
    area and accompanying many singers.
    He later studied lute in Basel, Switzerland,
    with Anthony Bailes, taking a particular
    interest in historical techniques and ornamentation. In 1979 and 1981 he
    toured Germany, performing with the soprano and lutenist Cornelia
    Praetorius in programs of lute songs, solos, and duets.

    Though he continued to play the lute while finishing his dissertation at
    Columbia—a thesis on Renaissance music and poetry, later published
    as In Harmony Framed—in the mid-1980s he began to suffer severe
    back pain, which eventually forced him to stop playing altogether.
    In 2008, however, after hearing a performance by the 93-year-old
    Les Paul, he determined to return to the lute, teaching himself how to
    play while standing up, which put less stress on his back. He began
    performing with soprano Amanda Sidebottom in 2010, and they
    formed Well-Tuned Words in 2011. Since its formation, the duo has
    performed frequently, with concerts on both coasts of the US as well
    as in Milan, Paris, Amsterdam, Basel, and Berlin. Erin Heisel, reviewing
    the Well-Tuned Words debut CD, Great Wonder, in American Record
    Guide, wrote of “Ryding’s beautifully played solos,” adding: “His
    playing ... is unexpectedly warm and I wanted to hear more.” In June
    2016 he played in an ensemble of twenty lutes led by Paul ODette
    that included Nigel North, Ronn McFarlane, Robert Barto, Xavier Diaz-
    Latorre, Christopher Morrongiello, and other lute masters.

    Erik taught literature for a decade and a half, specializing in the
    Renaissance, before beginning a new life in the frenetic music
    businessa period culminating in seven years at Carnegie Hall. With
    his wife, the harpsichordist Rebecca Pechefsky, he co-authored the
    award-winning biography Bruno Walter: A World Elsewhere (Yale
    University Press). For years he gave annual pre-concert lectures
    on different lute-song collections performed by My Lord Chamberlain’s
    Consort. His other lectures include the pre-concert talks on Mahler’s
    Eighth for Lorin Maazel’s final appearances as music director of the
    New York Philharmonic.
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Amanda Sidebottom • Erik Ryding