Hideki's new 2-CD set 'Adam Darr: German Romantic Guitar Duets' is finally out! This is a world premier recording of guitar duets by Adam Darr, an unknown composer for the guitar from the first half of the 19th-century; it was recorded with John Schneiderman and released by the German label Profil. Go to BUY CD'S page to order a copy!

In another CD news, Hideki is about to release yet another CD, "The Archlute in 18th-Century Italy", which is the second volume of the Dalla Casa Manuscript CD project. The CD is done, and he is doing a GoFundMe fundraising campaign to raise money for the pressing of the CDs. If you would like to donate to the campaign (and essentially pre-order a copy of the CD), please follow this link:


Hideki Yamaya, based in Portland, Oregon, is a lutenist and guitarist who is actively teaching and performing all over the West Coast. He has a B.A. in Music and an M.A. in Ethnomusicology from University of California, Santa Cruz, where he studied with Robert Strizich, and an M.F.A. in Guitar and Lute Performance from University of California, Irvine, where he studied with John Schneiderman. He also studied with James Tyler at University of Southern California and with Paul Beier at Accademia Internazionale della Musica in Milan, Italy. He has had master classes with the foremost guitarists and lutenists of today, including Robert Barto, Victor Coelho, David Dolata, Ronn McFarlane, Richard Savino, Stephen Stubbs, David Tanenbaum, Scott Tennant, and Benjamin Verdery. In demand both as a soloist and as a continuo/chamber player, Hideki has performed with and for Portland Baroque Orchestra, Portland Opera, Santa Cruz Baroque Festival, Baroque Northwest, Musica Angelica Baroque Orchestra, L.A. Master Chorale, California Bach Society, and Astoria Music Festival, and is the artistic director for Musica Maestrale, an early music collective based in Portland. He is an internationally acclaimed musician and has performed in Canada, Japan, Germany, Great Britain, and Italy.



CD Review in Early Music America Magazine, Fall, 2011

The Mandolino in 18th-Century Italy: The Dalla Casa Manuscript, Vol. 1
Hideki Yamaya, Mandolin; John Schneiderman, lute
Mediolanum M004

Though it descended from instruments going as far back as the Middle Ages and developed its own unique features sometime in the 16th-century, the mandolin never developed quite the cachet accorded to the lute as a solo instrument, partly due to its enthusiastic embrace by the world of popular, non-art music. It also enjoyed a vogue as an ensemble soloist and obbligato instrument in the 18th century, from the opera house to the parlors of the aristocracy a repertoire rarely revived today.

Enter Hideki Yamaya, a Portland-based lutenist and guitarist, who has devoted the first volume of his exploration of the Dalla Casa manuscript from 1759, a compilation of music for plucked strings from the mid-18th century, to works featuring the mandolino with archlute accompaniment. Since these number only five—the majority of the pieces were intended for the solo archlute—he has also transcribed two solo works for the mandolino with basso continuo, with convincing results. For the continuo part, he is joined by his former teacher John Schneiderman, whose recordings in the last few years of 18th-century lute chamber music by the likes of Karl Kohaut and Johann Kropfgans have been so revelatory.

The mandolin used here is the smaller and earlier of the two main types prevalent in the 18th-century: not the more familiar wire-strung, plectrum-plucked Neapolitan mandolin tuned in fifths (like a violin), but the finger-plucked, gut-stringed mandolino tuned, like the lute, in fourths. The program starts with a short sonata by Tinazzoli (c.1650-1725), a jaunty little work with a melancholy edge. Of the pieces (called, seemingly interchangeably, concertos and sonatas in the manuscript) that can be attributed, four are the younger contemporaries Giuseppe Vaccari (fl. 18th-century) and Ludovico Fontanelli (c.1682-1748). The latter was a fellow member, with Tinazzoli, of the prestigious Bolognese Accademia Filarmonica, and both were well known in their time, though their lives remain sketchy, and about Vaccari apparently next to nothing is known.

Light and airy, the music emits a warm glow, like the Italian sunshine translated into sound; the full-bodied and varied texture of the closely affiliated instruments yields much pleasure. Yamaya produces a warm tone on his mandolin, a copy after a 17th-century instrument, and though there are brief moments of strain in some particularly fast passages, which can feel a tad rushed, his performance is on the whole very appealing. Listeners may be more familiar with Schneiderman as a soloist, but his continuo playing here is relaxed and low-key, perfectly in tune with the spirit of the music.

—Berna Can

You are visitior number

Hideki Yamaya