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“Elegance and characteristic precision…followed by an enthusiastic response on the part of the listeners…simultaneously ancient and relevant, primal and refined, gutsy and gallant.”

David Hursh, Classical Voice of North Carolina

“…didn't so much take one's breath away as hyper-oxygenate the Colburn School's Zipper Concert Hall”

           Mark Swed, LA Times

“Niccolo Seligmann…added just the right touches…Seligmann’s dancy and trancy vielle…made for another kind of early magic.”

The Boston Musical Intelligencer

“Enchanting…indicating the future health of the early music movement”

Jay Harvey, JayHarveyUpstage, Indianapolis, IN

LONG BIO

Niccolo Seligmann brings together old instruments and new practices, uniting gut strings with lines of code. He performs on over twenty historical and traditional instruments from around the world, and designs his own software instruments. Niccolo’s debut solo album, will be released in February 2020.uses viola da gamba improvisations to express a multispecies resistance to the forces that harm our planet and its inhabitants. His improvisational style brings together his experience with early music; experimental & noise music; and traditions from Kazakhstan, Turkey, Bulgaria, Ireland, and more.

You can hear him perform on viola da gamba, medieval fiddle, and more on the soundtrack of the 2017 feature film Papillon. The string sounds throughout the PC game Civilization VI’s “Medieval” section are overdubbed consorts of these instruments, all played by Niccolo. Recordings of Niccolo’s improvisations on the Icelandic langspil are featured in Marianna Filippi’s The Magic of Christmas, a work for the Portland Symphony Orchestra with electronics.

Niccolo juggles many professional ensembles, performing early, contemporary, improvised, and traditional musics with Alkemie, The Broken Consort, Eya, Hesperus, Jefferson Baroque, Sacred Monsters, Vivi Cantando, and more. In 2017 Niccolo married into the family band Wherligig, performing traditional music of Ireland, Wales, Sweden, and more. He has toured across North America and Europe, including performances at the Kennedy Center, in a bustling plaza in Nogales, Mexico, and inside a 2000-year-old Northern Californian redwood tree, and recently in Reykjavik with renowned Icelandic folk duo Funí.

Minerva: Times Change, a community opera Niccolo co-wrote with George Frideric Handel, premiered in 2019. According to a spellbound patron, “the world needs this opera.” Minerva unites Handel arias with Niccolo’s new recitatives to tell a story spanning centuries, from ancient Etruria, to Handel’s 18th-century social circle, to a café in present-day Richmond.

Niccolo’s commitment to build a future for early music is evident in his teaching and outreach. Niccolo coached the UCLA Early Music Ensemble from 2016-2018, and continues a bicoastal private teaching studio. He has been a guest lecturer and workshop leader at UCLA, Grinnell College, and Thomas Dale High School for the Arts, and participated in Alkemie’s medieval music workshops at Fordham University, Fairmont State University, and Capitol Early Music.

He holds a degree in viola da gamba performance from the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University. He is currently apprentice to master luthier Ken Koons and a Strathmore Artist-in-Residence.

SHORT BIO

Niccolo Seligmann brings together old instruments and new practices, uniting gut strings with lines of code. He performs on over twenty historical and traditional instruments from around the world, and designs his own software instruments. His upcoming album, Kinship, uses viola da gamba improvisation to express multispecies resistance to extractive capitalism. You can also hear him perform on viola da gamba, medieval fiddle, and more on the soundtracks of the PC game Civilization VI and the 2017 feature film Papillon. Niccolo is an Artist-in-Residence at Strathmore Music Center, as well as a member of ensembles Alkemie, The Broken Consort, Hesperus, Wherligig, and others. He has toured across North America and Europe, including performances at the Kennedy Center, in a bustling plaza in Nogales, Mexico, and inside a 2000-year-old Northern Californian redwood tree. Minerva: Times Change, a community opera Niccolo co-wrote with George Frideric Handel, premiered in 2019 in Richmond, VA. Niccolo coached the UCLA Early Music Ensemble from 2016-2018, and continues a bicoastal private teaching studio. He holds a degree in viola da gamba performance from the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University. He is currently apprentice to master luthier Ken Koons, and is learning how to grow food without chemical pesticides using strategic companion planting.

PROGRAM OFFERINGS

ECHOES OF THE MEDIEVAL WORLD

Experience the breadth of possibilities of medieval stringed instruments, from the rebec’s lightning to the sighing vielle. Virtuosic dance music and soulful chant conjure a world of drunken priests, swooning lovers, and ecstatic devotion. This program features the viola a chiavi, a recently-rediscovered medieval keyed fiddle, of which there are fewer than a dozen in the world. Trio version of this program also available with vocalist and vielle player, or percussion and vielle player.

IMPROVISATION

New sounds and old instruments come together to tell a unique story with each performance, inspired by the connection with that night’s audience. All options are on the table, from modal harmonies and overtones to heavy distortion—accomplished totally unplugged. This program features the viola da gamba and the lirone, the ultimate contemporary improviser’s instrument. With 13 strings and a nearly flat bridge, one lirone sounds like a full string ensemble. Trio version of this program also available with electronics and percussion

WORKSHOPS

Niccolo enjoys working with presenters to match workshops with the communities in which they work, either as a bonus add-on to a performance, or as a standalone workshop. Suggested topics include: Early Music Performance Practice, Storytelling Through Musical Improvisation, Composing For Early Instruments, Viola da Gamba Technique, Viol Consort Skills, and more. All are welcome, regardless of age or experience with early music.

SELECTED DISCOGRAPHY

Kinship – Niccolo Seligmann (to be released 2020)

bbbaby – Hutchins & Seligmann (to be released 2020)

Opus I & II: Radical Softness & The Glorious Cuntata – Emily Lau, The Broken Consort (to be released 2020)

Live 2019 – Alkemie (2019)

Medieval Section: Civilization VI Expansion Pack OST – Geoff Knorr, Roland Rizzo (2018)

Papillon OST – David Buckley (2017)

Medieval Section: Civilization VI Expansion Pack OST – Geoff Knorr, Roland Rizzo (2017)

wiimote live set – Ladyprodukt (2017)

The Three Marys – Eya (2017)

Alkemie Live – Alkemie (2017)

triggers – Ladyprodukt (2016)

Medieval Section: Civilization VI OST – Geoff Knorr, Roland Rizzo (2016)

Music of Three Faiths – Peabody Consort (2015)

C L O U D S – Niccolo Seligmann

Ocean – Brian Kay (2013)

SELECTED RECENT APPEARANCES

Amherst Early Music Festival Series

Music Before 1800

Indianapolis Early Music Festival

Avaloch Farm Music Institute

Pinewoods Early Music Week

Viola da Gamba Society of America Conclave

Texas Renaissance Festival

Tucson Desert Song Festival

Gotham Early Music Scene

Holocene (Portland, OR)

Kimball Theatre (Williamsburg, VA)

Odyssey Theatre (LA)

Zipper Hall, Colburn School (LA)

John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

Common Ground on the Hill Festival (MD)

Mengi (Reykjavik, Iceland)

The Blackfriars (Staunton, VA)

Grinnell College (Grinnell, IA)

Eastern Mennonite University (VA)

Fordham University

Peabody Institute

UCLA

Photos © 2019 Margot Schulman, 2018 Ken Koons, 2019 Niccolo Seligmann, 2014 Ryan Koons

AWARDS, MEDIA APPEARANCES, SPECIAL NOTICES

Reviews:

LA Times

Classical Voice of North Carolina

Boston Musical Intelligencer

JayHarveyUpstage

Radio Appearances:

WRIR Richmond Independent Radio

Thursdays @ Three, AllClassical Portland

Drive Time Live, WYPR Baltimore

Received support from:

UCLA

Country Dance & Song Society

Viola da Gamba Society of America

Early Music America

Endorsed by Luthiers:

John Pringle

Ken Koons

Website © 2020 Niccolo Seligmann