EVENT CANCELLED Listening Closely: Green Library Music Lecture Series

Please note, due to circumstances beyond our control, the lecture scheduled for June 15 at Green Library by Prof. Haskins of UNH will not take place. We apologize for any inconvenience.


Join us at the Green Library for a new lecture series that explores music!

Thursday, February 9, 3pm, Tom Moore, FIU, "Grétry Philosophe," GL 835

André Grétry was, like only a handful of other composers, active as a writer of prose as well as music. The leading composer for the French operatic stage after the death of Rameau, he also produced three large prose works – his “Memoirs or Essays on Music,” his “On Truth,” and finally the “Reflections of a Solitary Man,” a sui generis work of philosophical writing, originally totaling well over 400,000 words, and written in Grétry’s old age, when he had given up composition. Grétry consciously continues the wide-ranging and personal tradition of philosophical musing of Michel de Montaigne from more than 200 years before, revealing an astounding range of interests in not only music, but science, philosophy, literature, and sexual politics. 

The “Reflections” were clearly intended to complete and complement the previous works. The author had announced their imminent publication two years before his passing, but this never happened, and they were left in manuscript at the composer’s death, and only published, with some chapters missing, more than a century later.

Thursday, March 23, 3:30pm, Michael Lynn, Oberlin College, Oberlin, “Rediscovering the French Flute of the True Golden Age,” GL220

Michael Lynn, Professor of Baroque Flute and Recorder at Oberlin Conservatory and writer on flute history, will present a lecture/demonstration on the development of the flute in 19th century France. This presents the development of the flute from, the 1-key flute, through the “modern” flute of Louis Lot. He brings with him a small, world-class collection of original flutes. This presentation is, of course, very interesting to people interested in historical flutes, but also to modern flutists because it shows the beginning of the Boehm flute and the changes that it went through, to become today’s instrument. Professor Lynn has presented similar lectures throughout the US, and well as in Portugal, Italy, and Romania

Wednesday, April 12, 3:00pm, Prof. Deborah Schwartz-Kates, University of Miami, “Alberto Ginastera and the Argentine Film Industry,” GL220

The year 2016 marked the centennial of the birth of the Argentine composer, Alberto Ginastera—a renowned creative figure of the Americas who was best known for his symphonic music, piano pieces, chamber works, operas, and ballets. Yet Ginastera also created a compelling body of film scores for eleven full-length motion pictures that overlapped with his official body of concert music. Ginastera produced these compositions from 1942-58—a period of intense personal creativity that coincided with dramatic shifts in the Argentine motion picture industry. Throughout this period, private film studios associated with classic Argentine cinema of the Golden Age came under increasing regulation, due to the changing cultural policies of the first two Perón presidencies.

In this lecture, Professor Schwartz-Kates situates Ginastera within this changing social and political landscape, examining his shifting financial and artistic status as a classical composer who worked within the Argentine film industry.  This presentation highlights the major producers, directors, screenwriters, and actors with whom the Argentine musician worked, and it overviews the critical reception that his motion picture music received. Above all, it aims to analyze the ways that the composer navigated the increasing regulation of the Argentine cinematic industry.  Ultimately, as this presentation shows, Ginastera began composing motion picture music with the highest aspirations, but exited the film industry in a disillusioned state. The story of how and why this aesthetic reversal took place, causing Ginastera to reject this important body of music altogether, forms a central thread of this narrative.

Thursday, June 15, 3:00pm, Prof. Rob Haskins, University of New Hampshire, "Extending Cage's Legacy,” GL220

John Cage is an American composer, music theorist, writer, philosopher, and artist who is perhaps best known for his 1952 composition 4′33″, which is performed in the absence of deliberate sound. American music scholar Joseph Kerman observed that “Cage is an extremely slippery figure to wrestle with, because if you are profoundly serious about art, . . . there are not too many ways of dealing with someone who is profoundly unserious about it.” Cage loved to disorient his interlocutors—to destabilize any single-minded view of him they might propose—but was so good at it that most people failed to recognize the serious intent behind such efforts.

Professor Rob Haskins of the University of New Hampshire will examine Cage's work and point toward productive ways in which we can engage with and creatively extend Cage’s important legacy.

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