Linn Barnes and Allison Hampton have been concertizing together for the last twenty-five years. They began their performance and recording careers as duo-luternists playing the court music of 16th century Renaissance Europe. They became interested in Celtic music largely through the works of 18th century Irish composer Turlough O'Carolan. As their interest in Celtic music grew, the need for a broader range of instrumentation became apparent. Ms. Hampton has focused exclusively on a variety of nylon and wire strung Celtic harps, while Mr. Barnes, in addition to the lute, now plays an assortment of steel stringed instruments, including the guitar, harp-guitar and cittern. In addition, Mr. Barnes plays the Irish (Uillean) pipes. This rare combination of styles and instrumentation serves to create concerts and recordings which are multidimensional and accessible to a wide variety of audiences. Coupled with a repertoire that includes music from Medieval and Renaissance Europe, the living and persistently growing body of Celtic music, traditional European and American folk music, their own compositions and informative introductions and explanations, the result is rare and uniquely beautiful.
Their resume speaks for itself. Twenty-five years on the acclaimed Dumbarton Concert series in Washington D.C., where their annual Christmas program, "A Celtic Christmas" was described by The Washington Post as "a Washington institution..." They have appeared at Folger Shakespearean Library, The Smithsonian Institution, many of the Washington Embassy series, Georgetown University , George Washington University , The American University, The University of Maryland, The University of Virginia, extensive performances at colleges and Universities on the East Coast, including the Yale University Musical Collection in New Haven , Connecticut . 1991 marked their first tour of Colorado , where they performed for arts councils, Colleges and churches. They have made five successful European concert tours, which included 1988, 1990, and 1996 appearances at the prestigious Inter-Celtic Festival in Lorient , Brittany , France , where French press proclaimed they "they proved it is possible to be both American and Celt by way of historical understanding and the heart..." They have given highly acclaimed lectures, seminars and classes to all levels of education from grade school to post graduate courses. They have made frequent appearances on both Washington and national radio and television.