Born in New York City, Erik Ryding began music studies at age nine, when his father gave him his first lessons on the harpsichord. In high school he performed in an electric-guitar duo and also studied classical guitar with William Hellermann; he later studied with jazz guitarist Lou Mecca. In his late teens, he settled on the lute, studying with Frank Eyler in New York and participating in master classes with Eugen Dombois in the Netherlands. As an undergraduate, he majored in music and English, giving early-music performances in the New York area and accompanying many singers. He later studied lute in Basel, Switzerland, with Anthony Bailes, taking a particular interest in historical techniques and ornamentation. In 1979 and 1981 he toured Germany, performing with the soprano and lutenist Cornelia Praetorius. Though he continued to play the lute while finishing his dissertation at Columbia University— a thesis on Renaissance music and poetry, later published as In Harmony Framed: Musical Humanism, Thomas Campion, and the Two Daniels—in the mid- 1980s he began to suffer severe back pain, which eventually forced him to stop playing altogether. In 2008, however, after hearing a performance by the 93- year-old Les Paul, he determined to return to the lute, teaching himself how to play standing up, which put less stress on his back. He began collaborating with Amanda Sidebottom in 2010, and they formed Well-Tuned Words in 2011. Since its formation, the duo has performed frequently, with concerts on both coasts of the United States as well as in Milan, Paris, Amsterdam, Basel, and Berlin. Reviewing Great Wonder, Fanfare wrote: “Lutenist Erik Ryding is the perfect partner, providing a solid and sensitive accompaniment. His rhythmic acumen is excellent, especially in the various inner voices, all of which are clear and distinct.” In June 2016 he played in an ensemble of twenty lutes led by Paul O'Dette that included Nigel North, Ronn McFarlane, Robert Barto, Xavier Diaz- Latorre, Christopher Morrongiello, and other lute masters. Erik taught literature for a decade and a half, specializing in the Renaissance, before beginning a new life in the frenetic music business—a period culminating in seven years at Carnegie Hall. With his wife, the harpsichordist Rebecca Pechefsky, he co- authored the award-winning biography Bruno Walter: A World Elsewhere (Yale University Press), now issued also in Japanese translation by Ongaku No Tomo Sha. For years he gave annual pre-concert lectures on different lute-song collections performed by My Lord Chamberlain’s Consort. His other lectures include the pre-concert talks on Mahler’s Eighth Symphony for Lorin Maazel’s final appearances as music director of the New York Philharmonic. Erik is the founder of Quill Classics and its chief engineer-producer, as well as co-artistic director (with Rebecca Pechefsky) of Music at Morris-Jumel, an early-music series now in its sixteenth season and held in Manhattan’s oldest surviving house.