vihuela de arco


The lithe and distinctive voice of American/Jordanian soprano Nadine Balbeisi blends perfectly with the sound of the viols. She began her international solo career when she moved to Germany, singing oratorio, chamber music, opera and recitals. The University of Michigan, where she received her Bachelor's degree, gave her an Emerging Artist Award. She specializes in early music, her repertoire extending from the XIV through the XVIII centuries. She has performed as a soloist with various ensembles and orchestras and featured as a soloist in the first three CDs of the Atalante series Reliquie di Roma, focusing on repertoire from 17th century Rome.


Originally from Alicante, the gambist, cellist and musicologist, Fernando Marín specialized in early bowed instruments, historical interpretation and chamber music. He has researched the origins, methods of playing and repertoire of these instruments, developing a unique technique for accompanying the voice in the duo Cantar alla Viola.

In addition to five Duo CDs, he has released four solo CDs; eVIOLution, on the origins of the viola da gamba, sCORDAtura, The Art of the Vihuela de arco and Magia Consoni et Dissoni. He has a PhD. in Musicology on the bowed vihuela, and has also published articles on musical rhetoric, historical use and production of gut strings, ornamentation and improvisation. In 2017 he won a Leonardo Grant for Researchers and Cultural Creators of the BBVA Foundation.


Nadine Balbeisi and Fernando Marín make up Cantar alla Viola. The duo has devoted more than fifteen years of research and interpretation to rediscovering the exquisite musical practice of singing with a viol (which is what their name means). Using different kinds of viols to accompany the voice, such as the Spanish Vihuela de arco (the bowed vihuela) and the English lyra-viol, has opened up a wide variety of repertoire ranging from trecento to early baroque.

Cantar alla viola carefully undertakes research on historical reproductions of Renaissance models and materials for all their instruments, including building techniques and gut strings. The harmonies of the instruments are sustained by using a special and refined bow technique, creating a sound that blends well with the human voice. An intensive search for the specialized repertoire has led this group to the recording of unique unpublished works.

Cantar alla Viola has performed in festivals and concert series in the US, Belgium, Germany, Spain, and the Czech Republic making guest appearances at the Viola da Gamba Society of America and on radios such as the BBC. The duo is particularly dedicated to performing lesser-known composers, and bringing them to a wider public.

Nadine and Fernando also perform Brazilian music in the Trio Viola da samba.