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Renowned countertenor and lutenist bring "Flow My Tears" to Washington

Countertenor Iestyn Davies will be presented in recital with lutenist Thomas Dunford by Vocal Arts DC.
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Internationally acclaimed English countertenor Iestyn Davies, "one of the most memorable presences on the scene today" (The New York Times) collaborates with lutenist Thomas Dunford, "the Eric Clapton of the lute" (BBC Music Magazine) in a program titled "Flow My Tears," presented by Vocal Arts DC at the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater on Tuesday, April 8 at 7:30 pm. The program draws in part from a new Hyperion CD by these two artists, "The Art of Melancholy," dedicated to English ballads and lute solos composed by John Dowland (1563-1626), supplemented by additional late 16th and early 17th century works by Robert Johnson, Thomas Campion, and John Danyel.

The recital also features the Washington premiere of "Old Bones," a new work by American composer Nico Muhly commissioned for these artists by Wigmore Hall in London, which presented its premiere in 2013. Inspired by the discovery of the skeleton of England's King Richard III beneath a parking lot in Leicester in 2012, the text for Muhly's score draws upon contemporary reactions to the archaeological coup, as well as on a Welsh poem in honor of Sir Rhys ap Tomas (1449-1525), believed by many to have delivered-or ordered-the death blow to Richard in 1485.

Vocal Arts DC General Director Peter Russell noted, "This program of love songs and bucolic ballads and dances of the Tudor and Stuart eras, performed by two of today's most exciting and innovative young musicians, is perfectly timed for the arrival of spring. Together with the DC premiere of Nico Muhly's 'Old Bones,' it should make for an inviting evening of romantic, evocative music-making."

Recent highlights of Iestyn Davies' career have included a return to the Metropolitan Opera as Oberon in Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream, the world premiere of George Benjamin's Written on Skin at the Aix-en-Provence schedule, with subsequent performances at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, artistic stewardship of a residency at London's Wigmore Hall, and winning Gramophone magazine's award for "Best Solo Vocal Album of the Year" in 2012 for Arias for Guadagni (Hyperion).

Thomas Dunford has an extensive discography ranging from early music to contemporary jazz, and has collaborated with a vast array of artists and ensembles including Paul Agnew, Leonardo Garcia Alarcon, Nicola Benedetti, William Christie and Les Arts Florissants, Jonathan Cohen, Christophe Coin, Bobby McFerrin, Monica Hugget, Alexis Kosenko, Francois Lazarévitch, Anne-Sophie von Otter, Hugo Reyne, Skip Sempé, and Jean Tubéry.

Tickets to the recital are $50, and are on sale at the Kennedy Center Box Office, charge by phone by calling 202-467-4600, or online by visiting For further program information, contact Vocal Arts DC at 202-669-1463, or at


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