The 450th Birthday Bash: Dowland in the 21st century



John Dowland, the poet of the lute and recognised as the greatest English composer of lute music and lute songs was born in 1563 (d,.1626), which makes 2013 the 450th anniversary of his birth – a milestone that is slipping quietly by with barely a lute being tuned – except for a group of Sydney musicians who have gathered to present a Dowland celebration The 450th Birthday Bash: Dowland in the 21st century, and the only one in Sydney to feature a professional viol consort, Seaven Teares.

Seaven Teares will be joined for the occasion by Australia’s best known lutenist, Tommie Andersson, and viol virtuoso, Daniel Yeadon who will play the treble viol in the cocnert. They will accompany soprano Belinda Montgomery, a specialist in Baroque and early music performance.

More than four centuries after his birth, the world has not tired of Dowland’s music. His music has a simplcity and directness which cut to the soul. His musical devices were innovative and added to the richness of his narrative. Centuries after his death, Dowland remains without equal as the musical patron saint of unrequited love and melancholy, his personal motto being “Ever Dowland, ever doleful (sorrowful).”

The relevance of Dowland’s music is as fresh now as it was then. Sting released a CD and DVD of Dowland covers several years ago and toured the world performing his timeless songs to enormous public acclaim.

Jennifer Eriksson, Tommie Andersson and Daniel Yeadon are joint musical directors for the event.  “For lutenists, Dowland remains without peer”, commented Tommie Andersson.  “The music is superbly written and a revelation to play.”  Eriksson is similarly enthusiastic: “We have been planning this concert for 18 months.  It is very rare to be able to assemble a viol consort AND a lutenist of Tommie’s standing in one place in Sydney.”  The final word goes to British-born Daniel Yeadon: “Dowland is one of the profound poets of English music.  Playing his consort music is one of my greatest musical pleasures.”  The birthday concert will take place in the ornate “Refectory” at the University of Sydney, one of Seaven Teares’ favourite venues.

Tickets: $30/20; online at  or call (02) 9809 5185

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