(c) Andreas Lander


With the Artemandoline ensemble, Juan Carlos Muñoz and Mari Fe Pavón chose to go back to the original sources to establish the true pedigree of this incomparable family of instruments. They have made a major contribution to launching a movement that encourages rigour whilst breathing musical freshness. A better understanding of the compositions, closer study of the early treatises, playing styles and the musical context of the glorious era of the mandolin leads to better appreciation of Baroque music, which, over time, became a mode of thought and action.

For more than 10 years, Artemandoline has sought out early mandolins, worked on manuscripts, hunted down early treatises and explored iconography in order to do fuller justice to the works of Scarlatti, Vivaldi, Weiss and their contemporaries. This successful return to the sources—the most important development in the history of interpretation of ‘serious’ music during the 20th century—was supported in many ways by not only musicians, but also concert organisers, recording producers, publishers, musicologists and instrument makers.

To ensure that music composed in the past does not merely sound like ‘early music’ in the present, performers need to be sufficiently free and spontaneous. They need to anticipate and be astonished during the intimate act of musical creation and the newness it engenders. Juan Carlos Muñoz and Mari Fe Pavón constantly seek out and revive forgotten masterpieces in the mandolin repertoire. They are not content with simply presenting their finds like ‘musical archaeologists’, but endeavour to share them with the wider public through the essential act of communication between performers, composers, and listeners.

Very quickly awarded prizes by the critics and enthusiastically acclaimed by the public, Artemandoline’s performances always create new momentum and further develop both the perception and the interpretation of the works of the 17th and 18th centuries. Its musicians dedicate their time and their talents to the revival of the mandolin on the musical scene. They contribute to the growing interest across the world by teaching at conservatories, offering masterclasses, performing concerts and releasing publications. Artemandoline is one of the pioneers in this field in which it has forged an international reputation.

In a few short years, Artemandoline has found its style, demonstrated its instrumental skill and firmly established its identity. Not long after it was formed, Artemandoline joined other leading ensembles specialising in historical performances on plucked strings. Audiences and critics alike were immediately filled with enthusiasm for its lively musical style.

The musicians who make up the ensemble play period instruments: Baroque mandolins, Renaissance and Baroque guitar, Baroque mandola and mandolone, Renaissance lute, treble lutes, mandolins from Brescia and Cremona.

They are regularly invited to appear at early music festivals in France and abroad, including : Festival de Musique Ancienne de St. Guilhem-le-Désert, Festival des Musiques Anciennes de l’abbaye de Sylvanès, Konzerthaus Berlin, Stockholm Early Music Festival, Bach Chamber Days in Riga, Tage Alter Musik Regensburg, Festival de Musique Ancienne du Marais, Monza e Brianza, Gaudete Early Festival, Early Music Day Alden-Biesen, Musique en Catalogne romane, Castello Reale di Sarre, Festival Musique d’Ensemble in Pommiers, Oissery, Château de Sedan, Narol and Wrocław in Poland, Festival de l’Epine, Luxembourg Baroque Days, Philharmonie Luxembourg, Festival du Périgord Vert, Palacio Foz in Lisbon, Porto, Festival Midi-Minimes, Conservatoire royal de Bruxelles, Festival Renaissance du Château du Clos Lucé, Festival 1001 Notes and other venues and festivals in Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Algeria and Japan.

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Programmes examples

  • Italian baroque mandolin sonatas

The 18th century was the golden age of the mandolin. The ensemble Artemandoline presents world premiere recordings of forgotten masterpieces written in Florence and Rome for mandolin and basso continuo. A music full of energy, beauty and virtuosity.

Works by: Susier, Romaldi, Trento, Piccone, Capponi

Performers: 6/7 musicians

  • Luz y Norte

The specifically instrumental music of the Spanish Baroque, which has survived, constitutes the continuation of the magnificent Renaissance triumvirate of keyboard, harp, and vihuela. With this concert we go through two centuries of an eclectic and complex tradition, two centuries of fruitful contrasts, two centuries of Spanish and Neapolitan music. An incredible way of the mandolin through the centuries in the Kingdom of Naples and at the Court of Spain. A rare, original and authentic music. An abundant source of manuscripts of the time testifies to this enthusiasm.

Works by: Ribayaz, Gaspar Sanz, Falconieri, Scarlatti, Santiago de Murcia, Boccherini…

Performers : 6/7 musicians.