Edin Karamazov was born in 1965 in Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina. A protégé of Sergiu Celibidache, he began his musical career as a classical guitarist before taking up the Baroque lute, which he studied with Hopkinson Smith at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis in Basel, Switzerland.
Karamazov made his solo debut as a lutenist in 1998, stepping in at the last minute for the legendary Julian Bream. Since then he has established himself as today’s most exciting and charismatic player of the lute. His thrilling virtuoso performances on the lute and guitar, with a repertoire that ranges from 16th-century classics to the music of today, have garnered rave reviews and unprecedented critical acclaim in Europe and America. As a soloist he has performed and recorded with leading international early music ensembles and artists including the Hilliard Ensemble, Hespèrion XX, Andreas Scholl as well as Sting. A consummate interpreter and master technician on numerous early and contemporary stringed instruments, outstanding recital artist Edin Karamazov has appeared at numerous major venues, including the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, London’s Wigmore Hall, Berlin’s Philharmonie, and Vienna’s Konzerthaus, among many others. Looking back to his early days, he continues to enjoy giving impromptu performances on the street.
His discography for Decca includes the CDs A Musicall Banquet – a collection of lute songs with Andreas Scholl and Wayfaring Stranger – folksongs with Andreas Scholl. The highly successful album Songs from the Labyrinth with Sting, released on Deutsche Grammophon, has not only made him a household name far beyond the confines of the early-music world but also launched a new “lute renaissance” for the 21st century. His latest recording for Decca has been released to great acclaim: The Lute is a Song comprises solo works by J. S. Bach, Leo Brouwer, Zamboni and Domeniconi as well as arias by Handel with Andreas Scholl, Purcell with Renée Fleming, a traditional Macedonian song with Macedonian singer and songwriter Kaliopi, and a work by and with Sting.
Edin Karamazov plays several plucked instruments of various cultures and epochs and remains committed to exploring the use of lutes in modern music and contemporary improvisational contexts. In addition to his solo career he enjoys accompanying singers in different styles and backgrounds.
“…a release that’s as unusual and distinctive as Edin Karamazov’s own playing. What other lutenist would open his disc with Leo Brouwer’s Paisaje cubano con rumba, originally for four guitars but here played on a single, multi-tracked electric guitar, and follow it by accompanying Sting on archlute as the latter sings his own Alone with my thoughts this evening?”
Gramophone (London), CD review on The Lute is a Song, June 2009