Composer David Ludwig will premiere The Anchoress, a song cycle for soprano that explores the medieval mystic tradition of anchorism and its relationship to contemporary society, set to poetry by Katie Ford. Ludwig will channel the voice and inner life of an imagined medieval anchoress—a Christian who lived in extreme confinement in a quest for spiritual perfection. Largely forgotten today, the practice of anchorism grew in popularity in late medieval England, particularly among women. Bridging Renaissance and contemporary musical languages through the combination of modern saxophones and ancient instruments, the composition will serve as a medium to discuss contemporary issues of "gender, faith, self-determination, and social power," as Ludwig explains. The premiere of this new work will be presented by the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society.
Additional unrestricted funds are added to each grant for general operating support.