WFIU’s featured artist for the month of March is gambist , early music specialist, and Professor of Music Wendy Gillespie.
Gillespie specializes in historically informed performance of the viola da gamba, an instrument that is bowed like a violin but has frets like a guitar. She performs music from the medieval, renaissance, and Baroque periods, as well as contemporary works. In a 2008 interview, Gillespie stated that her love for the viol comes from the nature of the repertoire: “I enjoy music for many equal voices conversing together… for me it is the polyphony that is most important.”
A former member of the viol consorts Fretwork and Phantasm, Gillespie has shared nominations for Gramophone and Grammy awards, as well as a French Grand Prix du Disque. Gillespie has also performed with other early music ensembles including the English Concert and Ensemble Sequentia.
As a performer in these ensembles, Gillespie has an extensive catalog of recordings, on the Harmonia Mundi, EMI Virgin Classics, Channel Classics, and BIS labels. She is also active as a teacher of workshops in early music throughout the United States and in Europe.
At IU, Gillespie serves as a member of the executive board of the Medieval Studies Institute. As a member of the faculty of IU’s Early Music Institute, Gillespie teaches early music performance, early bowed strings, and historical notation. She is a past president of the Viola da Gamba Society of America.
WFIU will feature performances by Wendy Gillespie in our classical music programming throughout the month of March.