The Origin Story

The sound of many Beginnings


A modern bard


Engaging Performance, Technical Excellence, and Thorough Knowledge.

Forged with these lofty ideals and tempered by the needs of the new millennium,

My name is Theodore Cheek and I am the Avant Bard.



Abstract Waves.png

The Origin Story

by Theodore Cheek; Julie Bosworth, Corbin Phillips, Noelle McMurtry

Samples from the beginnings of my career, of performances that echoed in the halls of the Peabody Institute of Music.

Performances & News


Performing with the Peabody Renaissance Ensemble. Photo Credit: Carol Luna

Performing with the Peabody Renaissance Ensemble. Photo Credit: Carol Luna


Presently I live and work in Philadelphia and hold two Master's degrees from the Peabody Institute for Music, one in Lute Performance and the other in Musicology, as well as a Bachelor's degree from the University of Pennsylvania.

Music has been the foundation of my life since before I can remember. As a child my parents raised me singing music from the Renaissance, Baroque, and even Barbershop styles around the piano every weekend. In keeping with the theme of childhood, musical indoctrination, they signed me up for violin lessons at the ripe, old age of 4 years old.

During my years at elementary and high school at Germantown Friends School, I began lessons with Robert DePasquale, whose expert instruction virtually insured my regular appearance as a soloist at school assemblies and concerts. At this same time, I discovered a primitive, half-plastic lute in my parents' collection of instruments. While I continued my practice on the violin, I'd found a new love in the delicate strains of the Renaissance lute. 

Photoshoot at Isham Park in New York City, NY. Photo credit: Carol Luna.

Photoshoot at Isham Park in New York City, NY. Photo credit: Carol Luna.

While I studied the liberal arts at the University of Pennsylvania, I pursued lessons with Philadelphia Orchestra guest artist Ghislaine Fleischmann and I performed in a variety of ensembles including the Penn Symphony. I also regularly lead the Penn Singers Pit Orchestra as well as the Chinese Music Society as concert master, the latter of which I eventually became the musical director in my senior year. At the same time I began conducting lessons with Jonathan Coopersmith, the Dean of Musical Studies at the Curtis Institute of Music. My lute practice was not far behind, as I began practicing continuo in the Penn Baroque Ensemble under the auspices of Gwyn Roberts

While I began refining my musical abilities as a number of Early Music festivals, including Amherst and the Lute Society of America, I also advanced my studies in conducting at the Bard Summer Conductor's Institute under the directorship of Maestro Harold Farberman, as well as at the Temple Sings Summer Seminar in Choral Conducting under Maestro Paul Rardin

At the Peabody Institute for Music, I pursued a Master's degree in Lute Performance under Richard Stone and Mark Cudek as well as a Master's in Musicology with the help of Dr. Richard Giarusso. Simultaneously I pursued lessons in the Baroque Violin with Risa Browder and conducting lessons with Maestro Harlan Parker. In both academic and performative veins of study, I have focused my efforts on understanding the lute's disappearance as well as the nuances of historically informed performance practices of the past.

During my stay at Peabody, I performed regularly with the Baltimore Baroque Band and the Peabody Renaissance Ensemble, as well as in the Early Music Department's productions of Charpentier's La descente d'Orphée aux enfers and Cavalli's La Calisto. I have also toured as a guest artist with the Peabody Renaissance Ensemble to perform internationally at the Festival Conciertos de la Villa de Santo Domingo.

Tant que vivray

February, 2016 | Live at the 2016 Festival Conciertos de la Villa de Santo Domingo

Pierre Attaignant Prélude, Sermisy Tant que vivray, Arbeau Basse Danse

Festival 2016 Conciertos de la Villa de Santo Domingo

Performers: Mark Cudek, Theodore Cheek, Alan Choo, Jeffrey Grabelle, Grace Srinivasan, Sarah Lynn, Aik Shin Tan


 Watch more videos


Instagram Feed


Contact Me

Name *