• Niels Pfeffer
music Canet-en-Roussilon

Niels Pfeffer/


He is a German musician

Maya Webne-Behrman and Niels Pfeffer met at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis in 2019, where they both completed masters degrees in the study of music performance from Renaissance through the Romantic periods under the direction of Leila Schayegh, Jörg-Andreas Bötticher, Amandine Beyer, and Julian Behr. Maya is a baroque violinist from the United States and Niels is a lutenist from Germany. Both scholars in 17th- and 18th-century historical performance practice, Maya and Niels have explored their instruments in-depth and aim to bring a new focus, colour, and texture to early chamber music through the exploration of musical intimacy and sound. Their duo features the interaction between the lute and baroque violin, emphasising the relationship between the two instruments and the musicians: how they move in the music both independently and collectively. With both Maya and Niels being multi-instrumentalists, they also enjoy experimenting with various instrumentations. One can find Niels playing harpsichord and almost any plucked instrument, including the Renaissance and Baroque lute, theorbo, and the Romantic guitar; while in addition to Maya’s main instrument, the baroque violin, she can be found playing the viola, Mediaeval fidel, viola da gamba, and singing. In their experimentations in instrumentation, they not only expand and extrapolate in musical language and repertoire, they also provide themselves a fresh perspective with each combination, which is something that will change how Maya and Niels approach each piece musically, aesthetically, and mentally. Their duo has been seen in several masterclasses with renowned musicians such as Rachel Podger, Enrico Gatti, Constance Frei, and Chiara Banchini. Individually, Maya and Niels are sought-after freelance musicians all over Europe and abroad. Maya is proud to play regularly with Holland Baroque and looks forward to being a soloist with the ensemble ARTEK in New York City this April 2023. Niels is no less proud to have played with Rudolf Lutz and the Bachstiftung, as well as stay busy writing his dissertation on the fascinating topic of Welte piano rolls from the early 20th-century.

Residency project:

During this residency, Niels and Maya want to explore the relationship between their instruments through French repertoire in the 17th- and 18th-century and discover how to apply the music to their combination of baroque lute and violin. They want to make recordings of four pieces from four different composers: Élisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre, Jean-Féry Rebel, François Francœur, and Robert de Visée. With this research and focused work, Maya and Niels will be able to explore the specific sound-world needed to successfully play this repertoire in their particular instrumentation.