The Five: Margriet Tindemans, Artistic Director of the Medieval Women’s Choir

Margriet Tindemans

In advance of next weekend’s Medieval Women’s Choir concert — A Voice of Her Own — at St. James Cathedral, Margriet Tindeman’s agreed to participate in The Five.  A Voice of Her Own brings together music from the pen of a number of women composers.  The program will feature pieces by local talents Karen Thomas (Seattle Pro Musica), Sheila Bristow, and Margriet Tindemans as well as works by Hildegard of Bingen.

Zach Carstensen: Can you talk about a piece of music that changed you — as a person, musician?

Margriet Tindeman: Hard to single out one piece. Starting with the earliest I would say the music of the 12th century abbess Hildegard of Bingen. When I was a member of the German ensemble Sequentia, we were very much involved in the revival of her music, and put on one of the first staged productions of her morality play, the ‘Ordo Virtutum’.  Other pieces: The Lachrymae Pavans, and the lute songs by John Dowland, almost anything by J.S.Bach, Monteverdi’s Vespers, music by Bartok, Samual Barber’s Adagio for strings.

Maybe as a person and  musician I was most influenced by musicians: my teacher Wieland Kuijken, the singer Andrea von Ramm thought me, in their very different ways, how to be a musician.

ZC: Is there one piece of music you would like to play but haven’t?

MT: Again, there are many. I would love to be a good keyboard player — which I am not — and be able to play Bach, Buxtehude.

ZC: What piece of music defines you as a musician?

MT: I am too much of a ‘renaissance’ musician, in the sense of a musician with multiple talents and interests, to be able to say one piece would define me: as director of the Medieval Women’s Choir, it might be music by Hildegard of Bingen, as a vielle player it might be improvisation, or 14th century Italian music, as a viol player it might be the Bach Sonatas for viol and harpsichord, or the Tombeau  de Ste. Colombe by Marin Marais, as a viola player it might be Dowland’s Pavans, but I have also done a lot of contemporary music, so in that area ‘White man sleeps’ by Kevin Volans comes to mind.

ZC: Some people have strong memories associated with a piece of music; do you have a piece like this? What are the memories attached?

MT: As a kid going to my first concert and hearing two famous Dutch violinists; sitting in a cold church and hearing Bach’s St. John Passion during Holy Week.

ZC: Is there one piece of music more people should know?

MT: All of the above!


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