St. Hildegard von Bingen – A Benedictine for Our Time

Ann K. Gebuhr

Monday, June 20, 10 AM

The workshop presentation will illuminate three topics focused on the life and work of St. Hildegard von Bingen: the historical context of her life, her compositions within the liturgical ‘norm’ of the twelfth century, and her gifts and admonitions to the 21st century. Born at the end of the eleventh century, Hildegard’s life spanned over three-fourths of the twelfth century (with its two major crusades and schism). She lived as a Benedictine, but her experience and work reflects very close contact and influence from both religious and political events of the time. Bernard of Clairvaux and exceptional permissions and protections from the Vatican encouraged her to use her gifts to the fullest, resulting in more than cursory involvement with the church and political events of her century. Her music was reknowned during her time, and extends in form and structure beyond the Gregorian norms prevalent at the time while still using basic neumatic materials and poetic forms. And her writing, theological, political, and in matters of health speak with life and currency today. The presentation will include visual and audio examples, accompanied by a handout of bibliographic and internet resources available for further study.

Composer/Theorist Ann K. Gebuhr is a three-time alumna of Indiana University (B.M, MM. and Ph.D.). She is a MacDowell Colony Fellow and a Composer/Scholar in Residence for the Rockefeller Foundation at the Study and Conference Center in Bellagio, Italy. Papers have been invited and published in Poland on the works of Krzysztof Penderecki, and Friedenskantate (Soprano, Chorus, Chamber Orchestra) was commissioned for the dedication of the 'Friedensfenster' at Thomaskirche, Leipzig. A book, Hildegard! includes a CD of eight new contemplations on Hildegard’s texts for solo flute, and was published in 2012. Houston is her home.