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Dr. Verena Grüter
Dr. Verena Grüter studied theology and music. As an active official of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bavaria she worked as a vicar and a university lecturer with the Lutheran Church in El Salvador for three years. In doing so she also concerned herself with the theological and musical traditions of the music of Central America’s Lutheran Churches.
In cooperation with the Centre for Church Service and Church Music of the Michaelis monastery Hildesheim and the Centre for World Musicof Hildesheim University she organised several conferences on the Christian ecumenical music.
She worked as a research assistant at the Chair for Intercultural Theology, Mission Studies and Religious Studies at the Augustana College Neuendettelsau and qualified as a professor with her research study about the significance of music in interfaith meetings, which was based on fieldwork from the festival Musica Sacra International. In 2018 she published the book ‘Sound –Space –Religion’, which relates to herstudy, as a scientific interfaith reflexion about the festival Musica Sacra International. She has been part of the artistic direction of the festival since 2015.
Bettina Strübel studied church music and organ in Cologne and Hamburg and worked as a cantor in Leichlingen/Rhineland for 16 years. Since 2011 she has been living in Frankfurt/Main, where she initiated interfaith music projects and set up the Frankfurt Interfaith Choir (IRCF).
She is the editor of an interfaith songbook, which was developed as part of the Stuttgart based TRIMUM project and which was published in 2017 by Breitkopf & Härtel. A major part of her work there was focused on performances of big oratorical choir pieces as well as the planning and execution of the Leichlinger Organ Summer.
In August 2017 she took over the post of the cantor deanship at the Offenbacher Mirjam parish (Lutheran church). Together with Charan Daniel Kempin she conducts the Frankfurt Interfaith Choir. As part of the choir association she also directs women’s singing workshops at weekends with songs from Hildegard of Bingen.
In 2019 she was appointed artistic director of the interfaith festival Musica Sacra International.