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Jacobs School of Music

Alain Barker
Jacobs School of Music

Last modified: Friday, May 20, 2011

IU Jacobs School of Music Professor Wendy Gillespie wins Thomas Binkley Award

May 20, 2011

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Wendy Gillespie, professor of viola da gamba at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, has been named the winner of the Thomas Binkley Award from Early Music America, the national service organization for the field of early music. The award will be presented at the group's annual meeting and awards ceremony at the Boston Early Music Festival on June 18.

Wendy Gillespie

Hanya Chlala

Wendy Gillespie

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The award recognizes outstanding achievement in performance and scholarship by the director of a university or college early music ensemble. It is named for the legendary lutenist and educator Thomas Binkley, who taught at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, made ground-breaking recordings with the Studio der Frühen Musik and served as founding director of the Early Music Institute at Indiana University from 1979 to 1995.

In addition, Gillespie will receive an Alumnae Achievement Award from Wellesley College in February 2012. The award is the highest honor given to alumnae for excellence and distinction in their fields of endeavor and has been presented annually since 1970. Previous winners include Hillary Clinton, Madeleine Albright, Phyllis Curtin, Nora Ephron, Judith Martin and Diane Sawyer.

Gillespie has been a faculty member of the Early Music Institute at the Jacobs School since 1985. She teaches early bowed strings, performance studies and reading from early notation; coaches chamber music; and presents concerts of medieval and renaissance music with a large ensemble consisting of consorts of viols, recorders, lutes, sackbuts and voices.

Gillespie has organized and taught at workshops and seminars in early music performance all over the United States and elsewhere, including the U.K., France, Germany, Russia, China and New Zealand.

In 2010-11, Gillespie instituted a series of Bach cantatas in Bloomington in partnership with the Bloomington Early Music Festival as a collaboration among students, faculty and local professional musicians.

She is president of the Viola da Gamba Society of America, a member of the Executive Board of the Medieval Studies Institute at Indiana University and a member of the Early Music America Higher Education Committee.

A native New Yorker, Gillespie has performed medieval, renaissance, baroque and contemporary music with ensembles ranging from the English Concert to Ensemble Sequentia and has participated in more than 80 recordings for harmonia mundi USA, EMI, Virgin Classics, BIS, Channel Classics, Avie and other labels.

As a member of the viol consorts Fretwork and Phantasm, she has toured the globe performing concerts and appearing on radio and television. With her colleagues, Gillespie has shared three Gramophone awards, several Gramophone and Grammy nominations and a French Grand Prix du Disque.