The premiere professional lute song duo in the US, Mignarda has been sharing their engaging approach to historical music since 2003, setting a new standard for repertoire, interpretation and musicianship. Based in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, they have produced sixteen critically-acclaimed albums and published a series of editions of historical music for voice and lute.
Lutenist Ron Andrico was a seasoned professional performer of historical music and in theatre before discovering the lute while completing a degree in composition. He promptly set about researching the historical context of early music, and his research has led to publication of a growing series of important music editions and articles of scholarly excellence that have to do with identifying, elucidating and performing the sources of 16th century lute music. In addition to historical music for voice and lute, Andrico edited and published the original lute solos of virtuoso lutenist Ronn McFarlane. He was honored to collaborate on a project with noted Harvard musicologist, John Ward and Edward Doughtie, author of Lyrics for English Airs 1596 – 1622. He is the author of the internationally-popular blog, Unquiet Thoughts.
Mezzo soprano Donna Stewart, known for her warm tone and crystalline delivery of text, has received critical acclaim for awakening modern audiences to an appreciation for historical music. Her firm grounding in the practical application of Gregorian chant and medieval and renaissance polyphony stems from two decades with a five-voice schola cantorum dedicated to providing liturgical music for a weekly Latin Tridentine Mass. Drawing on the unique experience of singing this music in its liturgical context, she has developed an understanding of the use and form of historical sacred music, which lies at the very heart of all early music. In addition to her solo work with Mignarda, she has performed and recorded on the Koch and Onda labels with internationally-renowned Baroque orchestra Apollo’s Fire, and has applied her gift for communicating the deeper meanings of texts to both renaissance lute song and old-time harmony, hymnody, and heartsongs. She has released, with great success, two albums of solo Gregorian chant.