Before Hildegard von Bingen notated her beautiful composition “O Antique Sancti,” very little music had been written. Known for her music and scientific texts, Hildegard von Bingen was a nun who lived from 1098 to 1179.
An all-female ensemble from the Knickerbocker Chamber Orchestra (KCO) brought Hildegard von Bingen’s thousand-year-old music to life on March 10 at 6 River Terrace, part of the Wonder Women of Classical Music concert that honored female composers through the ages.
The group also played 19th-century works by Fanny Mendelssohn, who was forced to publish her compositions under her brother Felix’s name, and Melanie Bonis, who got around the problem of discrimination by shortening her name to Mel and fooling music publishers into thinking she was a man. Below, KCO concertmaster Belinda Whitney speaks about an early 20th century composition by Florence Price, one of the first African-American women to publish music.
A crowd pleaser was an excerpt from Jessie Montgomery’s “Strum.” Born in 1981, Jessie grew up on the Lower East Side and is a rising star in contemporary classical music. Listen to Jessie and the Catalyst Quartet play “Strum.”
The concert was presented by the Battery Park City Authority and supported by Goldman Sachs.