(781) 283-2072
B.A., Oberlin College; Certificate, The Royal Conservatory of The Hague; M.A., Ph.D., Duke University

Claire Fontijn
Professor of Music

Interests include early music in general, Western Europe 1000-1750, music composed by women such as Fanny Hensel and St. Hildegard.

My fascination with musical life in 17th-century Western Europe leads me into various archives and churches for information about composers and performers. My biography of Antonia Bembo demonstrates the vividness of one such composer's life, works, and times. In addition to writing about musicians, I am active as a music editor, producing new scores of music otherwise only available in manuscript or in archaic print. I delight in bringing new "old" music to the stage and to recordings in this way.

At Wellesley, there is great potential for conversation across the disciplines. To this end, Professor of Religion Sharon Elkins and I developed a course on Hildegard of Bingen that we offer regularly, in which students can choose between the two disciplines and between distribution areas. I enjoy introducing students to the foreign culture of early music in Part One of the History of Western Music, and to the multivalent complexities of Music, Gender, and Sexuality in Music 222. I am working on a new course in Music and Cinema.

I am also interested in history, language, and literature. I enjoy speaking Italian, French, German, and Dutch, and have recently studied Latin--all languages that are essential to my archival and historical research. I am a member of the American Musicological Society and the Society for Seventeenth-Century Music, in which I have served as a committee member and in leadership roles.

Other activities and interests include being with my daughter (12), playing historical flutes and modern flute, swimming, walking, bicycling, hiking, crossword puzzles, gardening, traveling, being at the seaside, going to concerts, badminton, volleyball, croquet....

My books:

-Desperate Measures:  The Life and Music of Antonia Padoani Bembo (Cloth, 2006; Paper, 2013)
-Fiori Musicali: Liber Amicorum Alexander Silbiger (Paper, 2010) 
-The Vision of Music in Saint Hildegard's Scivias:  Synthesizing Image, Text, Notation, and Theory (Paper and Electronic, 2013)