A „dragma“ is a note sign that was commonly used in late medieval manuscripts and which could have manifold rythmic meanings.
The ensemble Dragma takes its name from this versatile note sign. The ensemble performs late medieveal repertoire, exploring the connections between between monody and polyphony and the common ground between instruments and voices.
Marc Lewon studied lute with a minor in singing and fiddle at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis graduating with honours. He had previously received his Master’s degree in musicology and ancient German studies at the University of Heidelberg. He obtained a PhD in Music at the University of Oxford under Reinhard Strohm and received the professorship for medieval and Renaissance lute at the Schola Cantorum in 2017, succeeding Crawford Young. He combines musical talent with enthusiasm for research which helps him to develop new perspectives for performance practice.
As an internationally performing musician, Marc Lewon works with leading early music ensembles and soloists; these include Le miroir de musique (Baptiste Romain), per-sonat (Sabine Lutzenberger) and Peregrina (Agnieszka Budzińska-Bennett). With his own ensemble Leones, he is on the trail of discoveries of previously unknown works from the Middle Ages and Renaissance. With his own ensemble, Leones, he is dedicated to discovering previously unknown works from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. His pioneering work and new interpretations in concerts and critically acclaimed CD recordings have set new aesthetic standards. He publishes musicological articles and is involved in the research projects “Musical Life of the Late Middle Ages in the Austrian Region (ca. 1340–ca. 1520)” (with Reinhard Strohm and Birgit Lodes in Vienna) and “E-LAUTE” (Edition of all German lute tablatures between 1450-1550).
Voice, vielle and lute
Marc Lewon is a specialist in music of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, and has developed an excellent reputation in the field of “Early Music”. He specialises in medieval instruments of the lute family and medieval Germanic languages and literature. After gaining a masters degree in musicology and medieval German from Heidelberg University, he moved to Basel to further his practical music studies in the medieval department of the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, the famous Swiss academy for Early Music where he completed his diploma in medieval lute (with Crawford Young), vielle (with Randall Cook) and singing, graduating with honours. The combination of musicological scholarship with countless years of concert experience have provided him with the ideal basis for his interdisciplinary approach to research and practical perfomance of music of the Middle Ages and Renaissance.
Marc performs internationally with his own ensemble Leones as well as with other leading ensembles and soloists, such as Andreas Scholl, Crawford Young and Benjamin Bagby. He has participated in numerous CD-recordings, radio-recordings and TV-broadcasts. Besides being a busy performer, he gives lectures on medieval music and publishes articles and editions on the subject. In addition to lecturing at the Musikhochschule Leipzig, the Universities of Vienna and Heidelberg and the Schola Cantorum in Basel, he teaches master classes and ensemble courses. He is head of a comprehensive practical and theoretical course on medieval music at Burg Fürsteneck (D) and is artistic advisor to the festivals Tage Alter Musik & Literatur in Worms (D) and Klangraum Dobra (A). He is working on his PhD thesis with Prof. Reinhard Strohm at Oxford University and is part of the research project “Musical Life of the Late Middle Ages in the Austrian Region”.
Voice, harp and sinfonia
Agnieszka Budzińska-Bennett’s musical journey is marked by diverse accomplishments. Initially trained in piano, she later earned a musicology doctorate from the University of Poznań. Her interest in medieval vocal arts led to postgraduate studies in Medieval/Renaissance voice and a MAS in Advanced Vocal Ensemble Studies (E. Tubb, A. Rooley) from the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis.
She taught Gregorian chant and music history at the Musikhochschule Trossingen and Schola Cantorum Basiliensis where she also belonged to the research faculty. 2020-2022 she was also a visiting professor and research assistant at the Department of Musicology at the University of Freiburg. Her pedagogical and academic work also includes guest lectures on medieval music and master classes in early voice at the universities and music academies worldwide.
Agnieszka Budzińska-Bennett’s impact extends beyond academia. With 40 CD recordings (Glossa, Divox, Raumklang, Tacet), she has performed in Europe, China and the USA. She is the founder and artistic director of the international ensemble Peregrina. The group has so far released thirteen albums that have gained international critical acclaim (i. e. ECHO-KLASSIK 2009, ICMA in 2019). She also worked as a guest conductor by the Polish Radio Choir and directed a monumental 10-CD edition of the complete psalms by Mikołaj Gomółka (2018-2022). In 2019, she received two state medals for contributions to Polish culture. She was REMA-EEMN nominee for “Ambassador of the Year” 2022.
She is the author of a number of articles on early music (i. e. Early Music, Brepols) and the book on medieval motets.
Jane Achtman studied viola da gamba at the Akademie für Alte Musik in Bremen with Sarah Cunningham and viola da gamba and vielle at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis with Paolo Pandolfo and Randall Cook. She completed her studies in 2002 with a diploma in early music in the field of medieval and renaissance music.
In 1997, Jane Achtman and Irene Klein founded the ensemble Musicke & Mirth, which specializes in viol music from 1540 to 1760. Since its foundation, the ensemble has won several prizes at competitions and has given concerts throughout Europe. Six CDs have been released to date and have won several awards. In 2012, she founded the ensemble Dragma together with Agnieszka Budzinska-Bennett and Marc Lewon. With this ensemble, she specializes in the music of the late Middle Ages. The ensemble’s trademarks are its interdisciplinary programme concepts, including programmes on medieval food culture and mythical creatures in image and sound.
Jane Achtman is a member of the ensembles The Harp Consort, Accentus and Unicorn and works with renowned artists such as Kees Boeke, Pedro Memelsdorff and René Jacobs. She has recorded more than 30 CDs for various labels. Her busy concert schedule has taken her all over Europe, to Israel, China, Japan, Iran and the USA. She has been teaching viola da gamba at the Köniz Music School since 2013.