Hille Perl

~ Person


Hille Perl (born Hildegard Perl on 9 March 1965, in Bremen) is a German virtuoso performer of the viola da gamba and lirone. She is considered to be one of the world's finest viola da gamba players, specializing in solo and ensemble music of the 17th and 18th centuries. She has a particular interest in French Baroque repertoire for seven-string bass viola da gamba. She also performs Spanish, Italian, German, and modern repertoire for the instrument and has released many CDs.

Her long-time performing partner is Lee Santana, who plays the lute, theorbo, chitarrone, and baroque guitar. In addition to an original 18th-century gamba made by Matthais Alban in Tyrol, 1687, she plays a seven-string Tielke replica made by Ingo Muthesius and a six-string Italian gamba made by Claus Derenbach.

Her main instrument, the Alban gamba, was discovered in 1952 in an Austrian convent, and was restored by Ingo Muthesius. Muthesius replaced the neck, while retaining the original lion's head scroll and peg box. Claus Derenbach has made a new bridge and fingerboard. The body remains original. Unusually, no sister instrument has been found to date, though the top-wood corresponds with violins surviving from Alban's workshop in Bozen, where he worked with his two sons until 1712. The instrument was bequeathed to Perl in the previous owner's will.

Her father Helmut Perl was an organist, musicologist and author who specialized in Mozart. She decided to play the viola da gamba after attending a Wieland Kuijken concert when she was five years old. She studied with Niklas Trüstedt (Berlin) and Pere Ros and Ingrid Stampa (Hamburg). Her daughter Marthe Perl (born 25 December 1983) and niece Sarah Perl also play viol.

Perl lives on a small farm in Niedersachsen, northern Germany and teaches at the University of the Arts Bremen. She has co-founded several ensembles, including the Sirius Viols and Los Otros. She appeared in Michael Haneke's 2017 movie Happy End, playing gamba.

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Pièces pour viole de gambeJean de Sainte-Colombe; Hille Perl1


1996Sonatas for Flute and Basso ContinuoJean‐Marie Leclair; Mitzi Meyerson, Hille Perl, Christoph Huntgeburth1
1997Seven Strings and More: Retrouvé & ChangéJean de Sainte-Colombe; Hille Perl2
1999...per la viola da gamba...Johann Sebastian Bach; Hille Perl1
2000Sonatas for Viola da Gamba & Harpsichord BWV 1027-1029Bach; Hille Perl, Michael Behringer2
2002The Star and the SeaLee Santana; Hille Perl, Lee Santana1
20046 Sonaten für Violoncello und Basso continuo, op. 4Jakob Klein; Kristin von der Goltz, Hille Perl, Lee Santana1
2004Pour la Violle et le ThéorbeMarin Marais; Hille Perl, Lee Santana1
2006Concertos for Viola da gambaTelemann; Hille Perl, Freiburger Barockorchester, Petra Müllejans3
2007Les voix humainesMarin Marais; Hille Perl, Lee Santana2
2008In Darkness Let Me DwellJohn Dowland; Hille Perl, Lee Santana, Dorothee Mields1
2009Sonatas for Viola da Gamba and HarpsichordJohann Sebastian Bach; Hille Perl, Christine Schornsheim1
2010Loves AlchymïeDorothee Mields, Hille Perl & Lee Santana1
2012The Music of Johann SchenkJohann Schenk; Hille Perl2
2012ConcertiTelemann, Pfeiffer, Graun; Hille Perl, Freiburger Barockorchester1
2012SixxesLee Santana, Hille Perl1
2015Born to Be MildHille Perl, Lee Santana, Marthe Perl1

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