Profile: First graduate of Medieval Music Besalu’s certificate program – Elisabeth Ellison

Double bassist Elisabeth Ellison has become the first graduate of the full program of Medieval Music Besalu (Catalonia), receiving a Specialist Certificate in Medieval Music Performance Practice, issued by the University of Lleida. This rigorous program, headed by musicologist Mauricio Molina, began as a summer institute over a decade ago, then was expanded to a three-semester course of study and offered online as of 2021. Ellison, a classical bassist by trade, has long emphasized Baroque performance, including on the violone, and had become interested in earlier music, so she enrolled as soon as the full MMB online program was announced, and completed the work in 2022. Of the medieval instruments offered, she specialized in medieval percussion, acquired a collection, and completed three semesters of lessons. Other in-depth core and elective classes with MMB instructors included multiple systems of notation, history, improvisation and ornamentation, research methods, and the Cantigas de Santa Maria. Ms. Ellison declares she has found the program to be extremely informative, fulfulling, and useful in the several early music projects in which she performs, including (on vielle) the long-standing medieval music ensemble Istanpitta.

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