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The AHRC at the Cheltenham Music Festival

Date: 25/06/2014

The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) is hosting four events at this year's Cheltenham Music Festival, which runs from 2nd to 13th July. Each event has been paired with a concert related to the topic of the talk, and which will begin immediately after it.

The three events, Mozart Outside, British Brass and Military Bands, Composing Women and The Listening Experience Database will a research topic or issues facing the contemporary music scene.

Mozart Outside, Thursday 3rd July

A key moment in Miloš Forman's film of Peter Shaffer's Amadeus has Salieri fictionally overhearing a performance of the slow movement of the Serenade for 13 wind instruments, and this triggers a soliloquy on Mozart's unattainable mastery. Mark Everist, Professor of Music at Southampton University, author of Mozart's Ghosts and a member of the AHRC's Peer Review College, asks what effect such cinematographic moments have on our understanding of the composer. Mark will also talk about Mozart's generally accepted status as a 'genius', and how his music has been used by other people, especially in the 20th Century.

The accompanying concert will be a performance of the Serenade for 13 Winds.

British Brass and Military Bands, Sunday 6th July

Brass and military bands had an impact on British music that has been largely overlooked. In 1914 they were ubiquitous. They entertained, educated, caused real musical change and created an expansion in professional music that was unprecedented. Trevor Herbert, Emeritus Professor of Music at the Open University, discusses how they emerged and why their achievement is so important. Trevor is currently working on an AHRC-funded project entitled 'Military Sponsorship of Music in Britain in the Nineteenth Century and its Relationship with the Musical Mainstream'.

The accompanying concert is a Centenary Prom.

Composing Women, Tuesday 8th July

Sally Taylor, Executive Director of the Culture Capital Exchange and Chair of the PRS for Music Foundation will be in discussion with Kerry Andrew, Hannah Kendall and Dobrinka Tabakova about the experiences of women composers in Britain today. Questions will range from how the landscape has changed for female composers, whether their appearance affects their success and the wider reputation of women in the field. Audience participation will be encouraged.

The accompanying concert will feature music composed in homage to the Virgin Mary, from the medieval times, through to the 20th century, some of which has been commissioned by the talk participants.

The Listening Experience Database, Friday 11th July

The Listening Experience Database Project (LED) is gathering records of people's experiences of listening to music of all kinds, from any culture or period: what they were listening to, where and when, and the effect it had on them. It is a collaboration between the Open University and the Royal College of Music, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. Project leader Professor David Rowland of the Open University is joined by project team colleagues Ivan Hewett (Chief Music Critic of the Daily Telegraph) and Simon Brown (LED Research Associate), both from the Royal College of Music- to discuss the nature and aims of the project, what it has already uncovered about people's encounters with music in their everyday lives, and how it will capture the everyday listening experiences that the critics miss. They will illustrate their discussion with examples ranging from eighteenth-century letters to social media.

The accompanying concert is features tenor Mark Padmore and pianist Huw Watkins.

Further information and tickets for these events are available on the Cheltenham Festival website.

Notes to editors

  • For further information from the AHRC, please contact Danielle Moore-Chick on 01793 41 6021 or d.moore-chick@ahrc.ac.uk
  • The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funds world-class, independent researchers in a wide range of subjects: ancient history, modern dance, archaeology, digital content, philosophy, English literature, design, the creative and performing arts, and much more. This financial year the AHRC will spend approximately £98m to fund research and postgraduate training in collaboration with a number of partners. The quality and range of research supported by this investment of public funds not only provides social and cultural benefits but also contributes to the economic success of the UK. www.ahrc.ac.uk


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