AMN mentors Early Music and Period Instruments Strings: Violin, Viola, Cello, Bass Talking about Music Workshops

Cello mentor William Skeen uses his inside voice

For William Skeen, it’s all about the tone quality.

As a period instrument specialist, Bill is used to having to coax the sound out of his cello. “It’s just more difficult on gut strings,” he explains. “You work on resonance, and you don’t have vibrato as an extra tool to warm up the sound, so you have to do it all yourself while working with these strings which are very temperamental.” With period-accurate equipment it’s also much harder to stay in tune. So why would someone want to make a career in period instrument performance at all?

Bill was drawn to the intimacy of the sound and performance style. “Yo-Yo Ma goes to the Hollywood Bowl and plays (the Bach suites) for 20,000 people! You have to have a certain (kind of) tone to do that. But these Baroque instruments are naturally suited to a very small room. When I play these pieces I prefer to keep them intimate and use my inside voice.”

Learn more in this preview video!

To learn more about period instruments, check out our blog post “A New Way to Perform Old Music.”


Online participants will be part of the conversation, adding questions and comments in real time. And all registered participants will receive a video link to the workshop recording.

Tickets are $20.


Tuesday, March 8, 2022 | 5:30 p.m. Pacific

     Suite no. 1 – Oliver Herbert

Tuesday, March 15, 2022 | 5:30 p.m. Pacific

     Suite no. 5 – Robert Howard

Tuesday, March 22, 2022 | 5:30 p.m. Pacific

     Suite no. 2 – Jean-Michel Fonteneau

Tuesday, March 29, 2022 | 5:30 p.m. Pacific

     Suite no. 6 – William Skeen

Tuesday, April 5, 2022 | 5:30 p.m. Pacific

     Suite no. 4 – Bonnie Hampton

Tuesday, April 12, 2022 | 5:30 p.m. Pacific

     Suite no. 3 – Stephen Harrison

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