CZECH LUTE SOCIETY NEWS
First, a warning! There is another Website about a Lute Society which makes some wonderful claims that are sadly pure fantasy! The owner of the site tells us he is unable to change it as he no longer has access to it!!! It also has some accurate and interesting information about the lute.
Although in the past, the Society organised courses, at present the activity of the Society is fairly dormant due to the apathy of the membership. On the positive side, there is a good lute maker. He has been very supportive of the work of the Society in helping with repairs. However we do continue to lend out many instruments both gambas and lutes. The Society also lends out music and CDs.
We have ceased organising courses because of the very poor support - at present one can expect two or maybe three students at a course - not enough to justify the organisation problems of funding. HOWEVER, there are TWO Summer Schools in the Czech Republic offering Lute teaching this year, Prachatice (Evangelina Mascardi) and Valtice (Brian Wright together with Oswald Hebermehl-Theorbo, archlute and vihuela:), so there are plenty of opportunities for players.
There is a Lute Course at Masaryk University taught by Miloslav Student.
I would like again to mention the wonderful support that the English Lute Society has given to the Czech Society. Without their practical support, the growth that has taken place over the last thirteen years would probably not have been so great. Poppy Holden also brought several instruments here in her Prague Van Project in the early 90s. A further lute was made at the making Course given by David van Edwards.
Although in the past, the Society has organised courses in making as well as many in playing, there is insufficient interest at present to make these fiancially viable. On the positive side, there is an excellent maker, Jiri Cepelak, whose instruments are very popular abroad. However we do continue to lend out many instruments - at present through a school in Prague.
It is good to report that there are several new professional players who have benefited from the help given by so many friends abroad and are now making their careers - mainly as continuo players.
David Freeman (founder of the Czech Lute Society)