This years’ British Forum for Ethnomusicology Annual Conference was held at the University of Sheffield from 20th to 23rd April 2017. There were over 150 attendees from the UK, Europe and beyond, and the keynote speaker was Professor Michael Bakan from Florida State University. City’s Music Department was represented by two of its academic staff: Professor Stephen Cottrell and Dr Laudan Nooshin, who both delivered papers. Stephen’s paper was entitled ‘Ethnomusicology, Music Information Retrieval and Big Music Data’, and considered the ways in which computational analysis of large audio data sets might impact on the study and understanding of music traditions around the globe. Laudan presented as part of a roundtable which she convened on ‘The Ethics and Aesthetics of Studying Music in Situations of Conflict and Violence’. Her contribution focused on some of the issues raised by music video responses to the 2009 contested presidential elections in Iran. The roundtable generated interesting discussion across a range of issues related to undertaking research in situations of conflict and violence.
The size and success of the conference again demonstrated the strength and vitality of British ethnomusicology, and the large numbers of early career scholars who attended – including some from City – augurs well for the future development of this part of the music studies field.
City University Music alumna, Siân Dicker (graduated 2014), was awarded the Dunraven Welsh Young Singer of the Year award after competing in the final at Maesteg Town Hall on Saturday 25th March 2017. The competition was adjudicated by David Jackson (Artistic Director of BBC Cardiff Singer of the World) as well as Welsh singers Rebecca Evans and Gary Griffiths. Siân is currently in her second year of a Masters in Vocal Studies at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama studying with Marie Vassiliou and Janice Chapman. As a result of winning the competition, Siân was awarded £2,500 towards her tuition fees for next year.
Siân’s upcoming engagements include her Wigmore Hall debut performing new music in collaboration with GSMD composers, opera scenes at Milton Court studio theatre in July as well as various recitals at the Guildhall school. See further details on her website: https://www.siandicker.com/
Cappella Romana, the vocal ensemble founded and directed by City Reader in Music Alexander Lingas, offered the first North American festival dedicated to Estonian composer Arvo Pärt between 5 and 12 February, 2017 in Portland, Oregon, USA. Dr Lingas himself presented a lecture and directed four events, two of which featured instrumentalists of Portland’s Third Angle New Music ensemble: ‘Odes of Repentance’, a programme of a cappella sacred works; the Passio Domini nostril Jesu Christi secundum Ioannem by candlelight (with the participation of the choir of Lewis and Clark College); the Missa Syllabica sung within the context of a Roman Catholic mass; and a gala finale concert at Reed College featuring Pärt’s Te Deum alongside works by Sir James MacMillan, the late Sir John Tavener, and Thanos Mikroutsikos. The full programme book including essays by Dr Lingas is available here: http://www.cappellaromana.org/apfbook/
Many of the concerts were sold out and the festival generated considerable interest in the media. Here is a review from the Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/arvo-pärt-festival-in-portland-oregon-exceeds-expectations_us_58a7712fe4b026a89a7a2ae2
Dr Alexander Lingas of City and the men of the American-based vocal ensemble Cappella Romana recently completed an innovative collaboration with the Seattle Symphony that highlighted the roots of Sergei Rachmaninov’s orchestral music in the sound world of Russian liturgical chant. For three successive days, Dr Lingas led the singers both in pre-concert lecture-demonstrations of Russian sacred music and in two short vocal works sung immediately before splendid performances of Rachmaninov’s First Piano Concerto and Second Symphony directed by SSO Principal Guest Conductor Thomas Dausgaard. The concerts were hailed by audiences and critics, with the Seattle Times describing the participation of Cappella Romana as ‘highly atmospheric’ and ‘an innovative and thought-provoking entry into Rachmaninov’s musical world’. Full reviews are available here:
During this busy weekend Cappella Romana also presented performances in Seattle (at St James Roman Catholic Cathedral) and Portland, Oregon (at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral) of a full-length concert tracing ‘The Russian Chant Revival’ of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Full programme notes are available here:
A video of Dr Lingas’s informal talk before the Portland concert is here:
#RussianChantRevival pre-concert lecture in #PDX
Posted by Cappella Romana on Sunday, April 2, 2017