David Eben
Gregorian Chant & Early Polyphony

David  Eben (born on the 6th of January 1965 in Prague) He is a founder and an art director of the Schola Gregoriana Pragensis ensemble. After graduation from the clarinet studies at Prague’s conservatory in 1986, he took up musicology at Faculty of Arts of Charles University. Since the second form he specialized in medieval music, mainly in Gregorian chant. In 1991 he graduated from Paris conservatory (Conservatoire Nationale Superieur de Musique de Paris), the program Conducting Gregorian Chant, and in the following year he worked as a conductor of the Choeur gregorien de Paris ensemble. Then he also often visited the Solesmes monastery, a centre of research into Gregorian chant, with the view of studying and consulting. Since 1993 he works at the Institute of Musicology of Charles University where he lectures on topics related to Gregorian chant and liturgy (neumatic and choral notation, introduction to Gregorian chant studies, seminar on medieval monody etc.). In September 2008 he became profesor of Gregorian Chant at the University of Lucerne (Switzerland). He regularly tutors in summer courses on theory and practice of Gregorian chant in France (Academie internationale de Sees, Centre de musique polyphonique de Picardie Saint-Valery) and in Switzerland (Festival de Musique Sacre de Fribourg). On a long term basis he has been co-operating with the Czech Radio in creating programs on Gregorian chant (History of the Tone, a cycle Liturgical Year through Gregorian Chant). Besides medieval sacred music he also deals with other music genres. Together with his two brothers he is active in the Eben Brothers Band.

About The Class

The changing face of the late Middle Ages This year, the class will focus on music from the close of the Medieval period, in which a number of contradictory influences get together. At this time, the main core of Gregorian chant had already been established and the new compositional efforts turned to new areas and forms. Among these, song repertoire is most prominent and even nowadays, its melodics sound surprisingly fresh. Regular beat comes into play as a new element and polyphonic composition emerges. However, late Middle Ages also deeply experienced the frailty of human nature that cannot be overcome without God’s help. It seems to be precisely in these periods of turn when old order is being infringed and a new one is on the horizon that the fleeting nature of all worldly affairs gets emphasized; often this brings an air of melancholy with is. The repertoire of the class will embrace both these elements that ultimately complement each other. Towards the end of the week, we shall look at a piece from the polyphonic secular work by Oswald von Wolkenstein who served at the court of Sigismund of Luxembourg.

Suggested Repertoire

Conductus Deus in adiutorium Procedenti puero (cod. St. Gallen 383) Quid ammiramini (Central Europe, 14th century) Antiphona Nigra sum – Cuncti simus (Llibre Vermeil de Monserrat, 14th century) Congaudet hodie celestis curia (Aquitaine polyphony) the leich Audi tellus (the Czech lands, 14th century) Oswald von Wolkenstein (ca. 1376 – 1445): Her wiert uns dürstet (a three-voice canon)

Level Of Skills Required

2. Advanced

Maximum number of students


Active Participants – Greogorian Chant & Early Polyphony