David Douglass

Although the bowed string instruments most overwhelmingly associated with the Renaissance period are the various viols (particularly the viola da gamba), David Douglass became interested in the use of his instrument during that period. Written accounts of the period and pictures make it clear that violins (in this case meaning the whole family, including violins of varying sizes, viola, and violoncello, but excluding the string bass, which, being a viol, is not a member of the violin family) were present and popular, especially for dance music.

Douglass believed that unlike the other strings, the violin instruments were regarded as the province of professionals and were taught by direct individual instruction from master to apprentice, with the secrets of technique rarely written down. Viols, on the other hand, were often played by amateurs, so there were plenty of instruction books and books of tunes and consort music for them to play.

Douglass has researched the set-up and performing style of the violin, and tours as a Renaissance violin soloist. He is a member of Musicians of Swanne Alley in addition to the Newberry Consort, in which he plays other medieval stringed instruments including the viola da gamba. He has been a guest artist with the Harp Consort, the Parley of Instruments, the Toronto Consort, and the Folger Consort.

Douglass’ researches into 16th and 17th century dance and consort music led to his founding the King’s Noyse. Douglass has provided much of the group’s repertory by his arranging of tunes found in dancing manuals of the time and other sources, drawing on a rich stock of British ballad and country dance tunes, as well as improvising on bass lines and playing tunes from memory. In addition, the group plays compositions more often played today on consorts of viols, which is appropriate since much of the string consort music of the period was written so it could be played by either type of instrumental formation.

Douglass frequently lectures on early violin technique, style, and repertory, and teaches at many summer festivals and workshops. He records exclusively with Harmonia Mundi USA.

POSTPONED: April Fundraiser

Dear Valued Patrons,
We regret to share that due to concerns relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have decided to postpone our April 19th fundraising event, Ecco la Primavera. We expect to reschedule this event for a weekend between July and September – stay posted! Please know this decision does not reduce the Newberry Consort’s need for your support. Indeed, now more than ever, we hope you will consider making a tax-deductible donation to help us not only minimize the losses from this postponement but also contribute to our future events.

If you currently hold a ticket for this event, refunds are available upon request. Otherwise, the cost of your ticket will be applied to the rescheduled event. If you are a current ticket-holder for this event, Consort General Manager Hannah De Priest will be in touch with you directly very soon.
You can always donate to the Newberry Consort online  or via check. Our mailing address is The Newberry Consort, P.O. Box 60212, Chicago, IL, 60660-0212. Please reach out to manager@newberryconsort.org if you have any questions or leave a message at 773-669-7335 and one of our staff will be in touch with you.
We appreciate your understanding and very much look forward to welcoming you to Newberry Consort concerts in the future. Till then, wishing you all good health and safety in these uncertain times.