News from the Historical Performance Institute

HPI Students

HPI ensemble, led by doctoral candidate Kathryn Summersett, following a performance of Hildegard’s “Ordo Virtutum” at the Midwest Medieval History Conference.

The HPI year began with two special student-organized performances under the leadership of doctoral candidate and soprano, Kathryn Summersett. First in September, at the JSoM Organ Department’s ecumenical conference on “Vocation and Worship in the Arts”, the group presented “Heaven versus Earth: A Soul’s Moral Predicament”, featuring music of Hildegard, selections from the Cantigas de Santa Maria 103, all thematically joined with readings from Petrarch. In October, the ensemble offered a staged production of Hildegard’s Ordo virtutum for the annual Midwest Medieval History Conference, hosted by Indiana State University Terre Haute.


Jacques Ogg and Elisabeth Wright

The IU Baroque Orchestra made a very strong start to the season with a duo harpsichord extravaganza, featuring Professor Elisabeth Wright, and Jacques Ogg, guest artist from the Royal Conservatory in The Hague. J.S. Bach’s concerto for two harpsichords in c minor (BWV1062) and C.P.E. Bach’s concerto in F major for two harpsichords (Wq.46) were performed to thrilling affect. Offering masterclasses for harpsichordists and fortepianists, Ogg was the HPI’s first featured guest on this year’s Five Friends Masterclass Series, honoring Georgina Joshi. During the same week, Jacques and Elisabeth played a wonderful duo harpsichord recital in Ford Hall (pictured above).


Professor Rob C. Wegman

Concentus presented its first program of the year with eight modern premier performances in a program emphasizing the music of early composer/performer/theorists. The occasion was enhanced by a visit from Prof. Rob C. Wegman (Princeton University), the first presenter on this year’s JSoM Lecture series. A giant in the field of historical musicology, Wegman is a passionate advocate for the music of Renaissance theorist, Franchinus Gaffurius (1451-1522), and five of his selections were sung, along with works by Diego Ortiz (c.1510-c.1570), Gioseffo Zarlino (1517-1590), and Giovanni Bassano (c.1561-1617), respectively featuring sackbuts, voices and viols – with a special outpouring of diminutions (after Ortiz) by doctoral candidate in Viola da Gamba, Brady Lanier.


Cantus part-book from “Gelobet seist du”, by Michael Praetorius. Polyhymnia Caduceatrix et Panegyrica, 1619

The program concluded with a large-scale setting of “Gelobet seist du”, scored for five ensembles, from Michael Praetorius’s (1571-1621) Polyhymnia, Caduceatrix et Panegyrica of 1619. We are pleased to announce that this program will be broadcast by Public Radio International during the December holiday season [follow this link], and it will also run on Harmonia Early Music, hosted by HPI alumna, Angela Mariani. Bloomington residents can hear this program on WFIU this Christmas Eve, December 24th during the Harmonia time slot at 9:00 pm. You can listen to last year’s broadcast by following this link!


All HPI ensembles performed in this extravaganza of English Music.

One week later, the entire HPI department presented a double-header program entitled, “ALBION: the Land of the Crowned Rose”, centering on English repertory from the 15th to the 18th centuries, with music of Dunstaple, Cornysh, Taverner, Sheppard, Tomkins, Dowland, Gibbons, Ferrabosco, Locke, Purcell, and Boyce.

Prof. Philippe Canguilhem (University of Toulouse, France) led a special workshop dealing with 15th and 16th century techniques and formulae for extempore realization of plainchant. Focusing chiefly on fauxbourdon techniques, Prof. Canguilhem introduced HPI students to the rules and mechanics of these practices. It was a highly insightful session for all involved.

Max van Egmond

Max Van Egmond

The first week of November brought with it a visit from a historical performance pioneer, the bass/baritone Max Van Egmond, who offered two inspiring masterclasses and performed a solo cantata (BWV158) for the Bloomington Bach Cantata Project on November 8th, alongside solo arias sung by tenor, Paul Elliott and mezzo-soprano Mary Ann Hart. Max was also special guest for a lunch session sponsored by the JSoM Office of Career Planning and Development. He offered insights about his career with essential wisdom on how to navigate the waters of career development in historical performance. Follow this link for further information.



Violinist Elizabeth Wallfisch will join Stanley Ritchie and the IU Baroque Orchestra in January 2016

January: The IU Baroque Orchestra will be joined by special guest artist, Elizabeth Wallfisch, the renown violinist who has both led and appeared as a soloist with the foremost period instrument orchestras worldwide. She has taught at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague, the Royal Academy of Music in London, and the University of Melbourne.


From a manuscript once owned by Thomas Binkley, now among the holdings of the Lilly Library – the theme for Professor Don Freund’s new composition to be performed by the HPI at the Lilly Museum in February.

February: The IU Lilly Library, in association with the Medieval Studies Institute will present an exhibit entitled, “The Performing Medieval Book” to include examples of music notation featuring a number of well known chants. The HPI will perform a concert at the IU Lilly Museum to commemorate this exhibit on Sunday February 7th at 3:00 pm. Included among the “performed manuscripts” will be a fragment once owned by HPI founder Thomas Binkley, given to the Lilly Library by his wife, Raglind Binkley. Professor Don Freund of the JSoM composition faculty has composed a piece especially for the Lilly Museum concert, based on the chant, Discubuit Jesus, found in the “Binkley” manuscript fragment. As 2015 has marked the 20th anniversary of Binkley’s passing, it seems particularly fitting to honor his memory in this way. Professor Freund’s dynamic work will involve all students and vocal/instrumental resources in the HPI.


The final HPI concert of the calendar year was offered by the IU Classical Orchestra.



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