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Dominique Vellard

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Dominique Vellard is among the most important figures in the performance and advocacy of early and Renaissance-era music. He is the founder and director of Ensemble Gilles Binchois, the early music vocal group named after the 15th century French composer. Vellard, who is also a singer, lutenist, composer, arranger, and Medieval music scholar, leads the group with adherence to historically informed performance practices. His repertory ranges up to through 17th century and includes works from India. That said, he has tended to favor French music from the Medieval and Renaissance eras, especially the works of Binchois, Dufay, Machaut, and lesser known figures like Jehannot de l’Escurel and Guillaume-Gabriel Nivers. When the Ensemble Gilles Binchois performs in concert, Vellard, a tenor, is usually among the singers and has frequently played the lute, as well. Often the EGB will sing a cappella, though when accompaniment is added, the instrumentation is modest, featuring such early instruments as lute, recorder, gittern, and shawm. Vellard has recorded for Auvidis, Cantus, Christophorus, Glossa, Harmonic, and Virgin Classics.

Vellard was born in France in 1953. From age seven he was a chorister at the Maîtrise de Notre-Dame in Versailles, under organist and music director Pierre Béguigné. Vellard went on to study music at the Versailles Conservatory, and eventually became immersed in early music.

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