- Professional Development
Join us this July for an exciting, fast-paced online workshop experience where participants will have opportunities to develop and refine their performance skills, deepen their knowledge of historically informed performance practices, and explore a wide range of historical repertoire. Musicians of any level with any degree of Early Music experience—whether absolute beginner, enthusiastic amateur, or dedicated pre-professional—can study with faculty members from Longy’s world-renowned Historical Performance Department.
All workshops will be held online Summer 2021.
The six workshops offered this year are:
Women Filling the Gap: Exploring the Pre-classical Through Female Composers July 15–17
Senza Basso: Solo Bach for Strings July 18, 20, 22, 24
Keeping it Fresh: Improvisation and Ornamentation
in an Early Music Context July 19, 21, 23, 25
Hildegard von Bingen: A Feminine Universe July 18–22
Baroque Dance for Musicians July 19–23
All That I Wish: Women, Men, and Desire in Medieval Courtly Song July 25–27
Learn more about Longy’s Historical Performance Program, including our Artist Diploma, Graduate Performance Diploma, and Master of Music Degree.
Women Filling the Gap: Exploring the Pre-classical Through Female Composers
Faculty: Vivian Montgomery & Na’ama Lion
Dates: July 15–17 (Thursday–Saturday), 10am–12pm & 2pm–4pm ET
This cross-disciplinary workshop will explore the works of women composers between the eras commonly called “Baroque” and “Classical.” Instructors Na’ama Lion (historical flute) and Vivian Montgomery (historical keyboards) invite modern and historical musicians of all kinds to dig into a diverse and neglected repertoire while learning performance practice from fascinating sources. We will also explore the work of significant historic women composers in a broader social and cultural context, talking about forces that have shaped the traditional canon of “Western Art Music,” considering why music by women has historically been excluded, and challenging beliefs about creativity, gender, and success in relation to musical culture. Composers will include Anna Bon di Venezia, Francesca Lebrun, Marianna von Martines, Maddalena Laura Sirmen, and Héléne Montgeroult, with a dip into the earlier genius of Élisabeth Jacquet de La Guerre. Join us to follow the timeless thread of European women’s work in music, uncovering new perspectives on the sounds, experiments, and conditions of their creativity during this rich period.
Senza Basso: Solo Bach for Strings
Faculty: Dana Maiben
Dates: July 18, 20, 22, & 24 (Sun/Tue/Thu/Sat), 1:30–4pm ET
Johann Sebastian Bach’s works “Senza Basso” — composed for unaccompanied violin or cello in the early years of the composer’s career — form a mainstay in every string player’s personal practice for good reason: The technical challenges these works present are more than matched by the craftsmanship and expressiveness of the music. In this workshop for intermediate to advanced string players, we will study selected movements of this repertory in depth, from the ground up — sleuthing out the bass line, mapping the phrase structure, understanding the harmonic language, exploring dance aspects alongside the physicality of playing, comparing contemporaneous solo works, introducing applications of baroque performance practice principles and scholarship, and highlighting the rhetoric of these extraordinary pieces, all with an ear to tailoring our practice strategies and delivering expressive performances. In a supportive masterclass format, each participant will have a chance to play and receive personalized coaching on a movement or two of their choice, augmented by targeted and personalized written and practical homework aimed at gaining a more thorough understanding of the music.
Keeping it Fresh: Improvisation and Ornamentation in an Early Music Context
Faculty: Doug Freundlich
Dates: July 19, 21, 23, & 25 (Mon/Wed/Fri/Sun), 1:30–3:30pm ET
Take a journey that will expand your improvisational comfort zone. This workshop will focus on blending and balancing elements of planning, memory, and in-the-moment discovery as these skills relate to improvisation and ornamentation. Doug’s background as a researcher, pedagogue, and performer in diverse genres offers a unique opportunity to view improvisation from historical, cross-cultural, and psychological perspectives. In-class projects include exercises on pre-hearing, strengthening ear-to-finger connections, and improvising over popular chord progressions such as Passacaglia, La Folia and La Monica. Strategies for improvising preludes, fantasias and cadenzas will also be addressed. We will consult primary sources such as 16th century “lick books” and supplement our improvisational work with suggestions for online listening.
Hildegard von Bingen: A Feminine Universe
Faculty: Pamela Dellal
Dates: July 18–22 (Sunday–Thursday), 1:30pm–3:30pm ET
Hildegard von Bingen had a powerful vision of the role of the feminine in the divine plan. We will explore her theology, poetry, and music, focusing on the unique elements of her work. The holistic concepts of celestial, human, and musical harmony, linking the four elements of the cosmos, the humors of the body, and the eight medieval modes, imbue her writings and compositions. The study of medieval mode and original notation will enhance our perspective on the power of music to bring the soul closer to the divine. The workshop will focus on texts, pieces, and aspects of Hildegard’s music concerning women and women’s participation in worship, in salvation, and in the world; solo and group pieces will be explored.
Baroque Dance for Musicians
Faculty: Ken Pierce & Jane Hershey
Dates: July 19–23 (Monday–Friday), 10am-12:30pm ET
Dance — in particular, the French noble style of dancing that was seen in ballrooms and on stages throughout Europe — was a part of daily life for musicians and composers during the Baroque period, and it had a profound effect on the shape and character of the music they wrote and played. In this workshop, students will learn some of the dance steps and sequences that were familiar to all Baroque musicians, and they will learn to approach Baroque music, whether written explicitly for dance or not, with an awareness of its connections to dance. The first hour of each session will be devoted to movement. After a brief warmup, dancers will learn and practice basic steps and choreographic sequences for selected Baroque dance types (for example, bourrées, menuets, sarabandes, gigues, and gavottes). The movement sequences will be designed to accommodate small spaces and challenging floors. Following a short break, the remainder of the session will be devoted to music-making: students will explore music associated with some of the dance types listed above, addressing questions of rhythm, articulation, phrasing, and tempo as these apply to music that might be used for, or informed by, dance. The workshop is suitable for all singers and instrumentalists. By permission of the instructors, students may register for the first session (dance) only.
All That I Wish: Women, Men, and Desire in Medieval Courtly Song
Faculty: Anne Azéma
Dates: July 25–27 (Saturday–Monday), 9:30am–12:30pm ET
This workshop will introduce the world of medieval solo song during its “golden age” (ca. 1100-1300), from the main regions of continental Europe, with a special attention to a feminine voice within that repertoire. Repertoires to be considered will include the Troubadours and Trouvères, as well as medieval narrative texts. We will also briefly consider some of the ways in which the themes of medieval courtly love persist into, and influence, contemporary music, theater, and film. Topics will include the social and historical context of medieval music making; musical notation and manuscript transmission; the all-important relation of poetry to music; vocal style and technique; the question of instrumental accompaniment. The goal of this workshop is to provide a clear and helpful roadmap for further inquiry, study, and performances of these beautiful and important repertoires.