Laurence Dreyfus Viola da Gamba

Helicon Performances

Symposium 11 - Musique du Roi

Laurence Dreyfus, musicologist and performer, was born in Boston, Massachusetts (USA). After cello studies with Leonard Rose at the Juilliard School in New York, he turned to the viola da gamba, studying with Wieland Kuijken at the Royal Conservatoire at Brussels, which awarded him its Diplome supérieur avec la plus haute distinction. As a bass viol player, he has recorded CDs of Bach's viola da gamba sonatas, Marais's Pièces de violes and Rameau's Pièces de clavecin en concert (all on Simax), and collaborated with Silvia McNair and Christopher Hogwood in a Grammy-winning album of Purcell songs (on Philips). As a musicologist, he holds a PhD from Columbia University (New York) and has published Bach's Continuo Group and Bach and the Patterns of Invention (Harvard, 1987 and 1996); the latter won the Kinkeldey Award from the American Musicological Society for the best book of the year. Dreyfus taught at Yale, the University of Chicago, Stanford, and the Royal Academy of Music before becoming Thurston Dart Professor in 1995 at King's College London. In England he founded the viol consort Phantasm, which has become recognised as the most exciting viol consort active on the world scene today. In 2002 Dreyfus was elected a Fellow of the British Academy, and in 2005 he moved to Oxford University which named him Professor of Music and a Fellow of Magdalen College, where Phantasm is Consort-in-Residence. His latest book, Wagner and the Erotic Impulse, was published by Harvard University Press in October, 2010.