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While most of her peers were dancing to the music of the Beatles, Catherine Liddell as a high school student was enthralled with the performances and recordings of lutenist Julian Bream. It was this excitement which caused her, in tenth grade, to give up the viola da gamba which she’d been playing since eighth grade and take up the lute. Throughout high school and college, Ms. Liddell’s teachers included America’s best-known players: Martha Blackman, James Tyler, Joseph Iadone and Suzanne Bloch. During this period several professional opportunities came her way including recordings for Nonesuch, Experiences Anonymes and Lyrichord, the latter two with the ensemble Cappella Cordina directed by Alejandro Planchart.

After earning a Batchelor of Arts degree from Sarah Lawrence College with a concentration in music, Ms. Liddell continued her studies at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis in Basel, Switzerland where she studied with Eugen Dombois. While there, she took advantage of the opportunity to study medieval music with Thomas Binkley. This work culminated in a recording of 14th century estampie for EMI Reflex. While at the Schola, she was invited to perform in Marco da Gagliano’s “La Dafne” with the New York Pro Music (conducted by George Houle) which included performances in Spoleto, Italy and in Corfu. In 1976, she earned the Soloist Diploma. She has maintained an active performing career ever since.
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