Playing at the Center of the Cosmos:
The Meaning of Hildegard’s Ordo Virtutum
Hildegard von Bingen was an extraordinary 12th century abbess, visual and musical artist. She is also the chosen namesake for Hildegard Center for the Arts.
A special collaboration between Hildegard Center for the Arts and the UNL Medieval & Renaissance Studies Program brought to Nebraska guest speaker Dr. Margot Fassler on Monday, October 10, 2011 for a lecture/reception at the Great Plains Art Museum, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Dr. Fassler’s lecture focused on Hildegard von Bingen as an interdisciplinary theologian, one who brings her ideas to life through poetry, music, drama, and the visual arts. To make the point, her lecture focused on Hildegard’s Cosmic Egg, a model of the universe, but one that situates her sung play, the Ordo Virtutum, at its center. The presentation included striking illuminations from a twelfth-century treatise, musical examples and a film clip. Additional music was provided by the UNL Chamber Singers and a reception immediately followed the lecture. The event was FREE and open to the public.
Support for this event was provided by Hildegard Center for the Arts. UNL School of Music, Women’s and Gender Studies Program, and the Department of Classics and Religious Studies.
About Dr. Margot Fassler
Dr. Fassler is the Keough-Hesburgh Professor of Music History and Liturgy and Co-Director of the Master of Sacred Music Program at the University of Notre Dame. Her special fields of study are Medieval and American sacred music, and the liturgy of the Latin Middle Ages. Her sub specialties are liturgical drama of the Middle Ages and Mariology.
Her book Gothic Song: Victorine Sequences and Augustinian Reform in Twelfth-Century Paris has received awards from both the American Musicological Society and the Medieval Academy of America; among her edited volumes is The Divine Office in the Latin Middle Ages (with Rebecca A. Balzer; Oxford University Press). Her monograph The Virgin of Chartres: Making History through Liturgy and the Artswill appeared in 2010 ( Yale University Press). Fassler is the author of over forty articles on a broad range of topics and is currently preparing a book on the twelfth-century theologian, exegete, and composer Hildegard of Bingen, and a textbook for W.W. Norton. Under the auspices of a grant from the Lilly Endowment, Inc, Professor Fassler works with congregations and practitioners to make videos of sacred music in it liturgical contexts. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.