Allison Mondel – Luminous Matter: Exploring the Music of Hildegard von Bingen

Image: Allison Mondel

Image: Allison Mondel

This exploratory workshop is devoted to the singular music of Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179). The main focus of the workshop is to learn to sing Hildegard’s chant from the original 12th-century notation and to explore the essential marriage of her text and music. Participants will receive an introduction to Hildegard’s life and musical ouevre through a brief introductory lecture. We will then shift our focus to singing, interpretation, and discovering the neume vocabulary. All ability levels are welcome. This workshop relies on basic music-reading skills. Those who wish to attend but not participate are welcome. All materials provided.

Recently lauded by The Washington Post for her “ethereal soprano” and “spare, otherworldy radiance … a performance from across the centuries, full of distant and irresistible beauties,” Allison Mondel is a highly versatile performing artist and teacher. She received her M.M. in Early Music Vocal Performance from the Longy School of Music (Cambridge, MA). While at Longy, Mondel studied voice with Laurie Monahan (Tapestry, Ensemble P.A.N., Sequentia) and was introduced to a revolutionary approach of music-making.

A specialist in medieval repertoires, she has engaged in extensive studies of the Montpellier and Las Huelgas manuscripts, and is a notation and performance specialist of the chants of Hildegard von Bingen. Allison has recently founded the Sardonyx Series, an editorial project offering publications and group coaching/teaching sessions related to the interpretation of Hildegard’s unique music. Most recently she enjoyed the honor of performing Hildegard at President Obama’s second Inaugural Prayer Service at the National Cathedral. She has led teaching and coaching sessions of early music at the Peabody Conservatory, Williams College, Georgetown University, and the Washington Early Music Festival, among others. Allison is also the co-founder and music director of Eya, a vocal ensemble based in Washington, D.C., specializing in the interpretation of medieval music for women’s voices.

Beyond the medieval world, Allison’s performing experience runs the gamut. She has appeared as a soloist or ensemble singer with the Boston Early Music Festival (Lully’s Thesée), the Maryland Choral Society (soloist, Mozart Mass in C Minor), the Bach Sinfonia, the Ars Nova Singers (Boulder, Colorado), the National Shrine, the Folger Consort with Magnificat and Piffaro, Dumbarton Oaks, and the National Cathedral’s resident chamber ensemble, Cathedra (soloist, Stravinsky Mass). She frequently appears in recital throughout the region, offering programs that highlight her versatility, and is a regular member of many ensembles in the D.C. area.

This is just one of many activities at this year’s RG – return to the program page to read more about other confirmed speakers and events!

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