“According to Monteverdi’s letters, he was a great admirer of the theorbo, and you can feel his affinity for the instrument through his music. It lies perfectly on the theorbo, giving the player great freedom to follow the flow of the text.”
The Dutch lutenist Arjen Verhage studied guitar at the Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam with Lydia Kennedy. Partway through his studies, he was swayed by the charms of Early Music and continued his degree as a lutenist in the studio of Fred Jacobs. He focused on the Renaissance lute and theorbo as accompanying instrument, specialising later in the French baroque lute. Arjen studied at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis with Hopkinson Smith in 2011 as a visiting Erasmus scholar. After studying basso continuo with Thomas Boysen and Thérèse de Goede, he received his Master of Music degree in 2012.
Arjen is known as an experienced continuo and chamber musician. He has performed with Jos van Veldhoven, Peter Dijkstra and Manoi Kamps and with the famed Dutch ensembles Nederlands Kamerkoor, Nederlandse Bachvereniging, and Holland Baroque. His specialty is vocal accompaniment, both in solo lute song and continuo on the theorbo. He has accompanied countless singers such as Claron McFadden, Nico van der Meel and Johannette Zomer. Arjen’s passion lies in the music of the seventeenth century, the Dutch “Golden Era”. Since 2016, he has been a core member of the specialized ensemble Camerata Trajectina. He has also performed as soloist in renowned festivals such as the Utrecht Early Music Festival, the International Chamber Music Festival Utrecht and the Bach Festival in Dordrecht.