Dowland. Willoughby. Heringman.

Last weekend I had the pleasure to meet “the best lutenist of all times” – (I know he’s blushing now for real) the way he is called by many, including myself. People are careless with such superlatives (or maybe just brave?) so that is why I try not to use them but the truth is, I really think that…well…! I do! What to do about that? Jacob Heringman’s musicianship is such a sensitive, honest, wise and technically brilliant one, that I simply feel helpless trying to describe it.

The first time I got to know his playing must be about two years ago when I was visiting friends, together with Jonas, having dinner in their kitchen. Our friends – lute maker Marcus Wesche together with his life partner, poet and playwright Schirin Nowrousian – were feeding us not only delicious Indian food but also different musical bites (predominantly lute recordings) from their huge collection, played on the little stereo on the shelf. After a while I lost track among all these recordings: good, bad, funny, boring… but at some point I noticed that the music was “extracting” me from the actual time and space with its long but tender arms. I could “escape” briefly now and then, only to find myself back in its warm and chrystal-clear waters again before I knew it. Then I remember saying: “This is the most beautiful lute playing I have heard in my life” and everyone at the table was nodding. And then I heard the name Jacob Heringman for the first time.

To make a long story short, last weekend Jacob and I finally met and started playing together. What should I say, well, I think that is actually what music is about. Meeting Jacob has definitely closed some doors for good.

We had two days to work on our “Mr. Dowland’s Midnight” project together. This project is now ready. During our rehearsals we shot some videos, here they are: Sir Henry Umptons Funerall, Mr. Dowland’s Midnight and My Lord Willoughby’s Welcome Home.


  1. to Alina — what a moving, beautiful tribute. I would love to meet you and hear you play one day. On those beautiful videos you sound so compatible!
    My very best,
    Christiane Marks, Jacob’s mother, who sang to him and taught him his first few chords on the guitar when he was very little.
    July 1, 2013, Copake Falls, NY, USA

  2. Dear Alina,

    Please consider a tour of Asia and Singapore especially. There is a small but growing interest in renaissance and baroque keyboard work. There are some good venues to play. I have just bought your CD, Fortune My Foe. My friends think you are as good as the greatest (Moroney, Rousset, Leonhardt ) but better in some respects due to your depth of expression. I am not a player but just a fan of good music. I would love to hear you play Louis Couperin – his work would suit your temperament I think….all the best, John Davies (Singapore).

    1. Dear John, thank you for your compliments! I’d love to come to Singapore of course. And Louis Couperin, yes, I love him, it will be done at some point! I found the perfect instrument for that too (but more about that in due time…) All the best!

  3. What a rare treat to hear the best lute player in the world perform with the best harpsichordist…thanks Alina for your never ending inspiration, passion and dedication! Han (the Hague)

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