To celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of Claude Debussy (1862-1918) the Institute of Musical Research in collaboration with Bangor University, the Royal College of Music and Gresham College present an international symposium centred on the links between Claude Debussy and the literary and visual arts. The event focuses on the works of Debussy, his texts and the ideas behind them.
Manuela Toscano teaches Musicology at the Universidade Nova de Lisboa. She is a member of the CESEM Research Center for Aesthetics and Sociology of Music. She has made a special study of Gesualdo’s sacred music: his Holy Week Responsories have been systematically analyzed in her book Maneirismo inquieto: Os Responsórios de Semana Santa de Carlo Gesualdo, 2007, 3 vols. through a historico-philosophical reflection on its particular existential place in mannerism. Her publications assume an interdisciplinary aesthetic approach, integrating analysis of art, literature, poetry and music. She has also published on Petrarchism in Iberian vocal music and on German Lied. Currently, she is researching Symbolist painting, poetry and music as well as the German romantic Lied. As a pianist she has performed German Romantic Lied and the French mélodie.
David J. Code is Lecturer in Music at the University of Glasgow. Previously, he taught at Stanford on a Mellon Post-Doctoral Fellowship, and at Bishop’s University in Quebec. His articles on Debussy, Mallarmé and Stravinsky have appeared in leading journals including JAMS and Representations; he recently contributed a biography of Debussy to the Reaktion Press ‘Critical Lives’ series on pivotal figures of the modern period. Recently, alongside work on a second Debussy monograph, he has also been publishing articles on the music in the films of Stanley Kubrick.
Having graduated with a degree in Modern Languages from University College, Cork, Mary Breatnach studied the viola in London and Germany and pursued a career as a musician. In 1989, she was awarded a PhD from the University of Edinburgh, where she was a member of staff in the French Department until retiring in 2010. As an Honorary Fellow, she continues research in the field of word and music studies. Her contributions to that field include numerous articles as well as Mallarmé and Boulez: A Study in Poetic Influence, published by Ashgate in 1996.
Professor Richard Langham Smith is a musicologist who has written on Debussy and contemporary French music in general. He read music at the University of York, he then pursued further study on the harpsichord and Baroque performance practice at the Amsterdam Conservatory. He has taught at the University of Lancaster, City University, the University of Exeter, and the Open University. Currently, he is Head of the Graduate School at the Royal College of Music, London. He was the Visiting Gresham Professor of Music in 2003.
Stephen Wyatt gained his Ph.D. at Cambridge for his dissertation, The Victorian Extravaganza: 1830-1885. He spent a brief time as Lecturer in Drama at Glasgow University but since 1975 he has been a freelance writer for theatre, radio and television. He is the only writer to have won the Tinniswood Award for best radio drama script twice – for Memorials to the Missing in 2008 and Gerontius in 2011. His television works include Dr Who and Casualty. His theatre work has been seen everywhere from the Bubble Theatre’s touring tent to London’s West End. Productions in 2011 included Pick Yourself Up (Queen’s Theatre, Hornchurch), The Standard Bearer (Stephanie Feury Theatre, Hollywood) and A Victorian Mikado (Krazy Kat Theatre national tour). He is also an experienced teacher and devised and taught the country’s first online radio drama course in conjunction with New Writing South and the University of Sussex. He is currently Royal Literary Fund Writing Fellow at the University of Greenwich.
Robert Orledge became Professor of Music at Liverpool University in 1991, specialising as a historical musicologist in the way composers composed, and publishing numerous books and articles on Fauré, Debussy, Koechlin and Satie. Since taking early retirement in 2004, he has become a ‘creative musicologist’, concentrating on completing and orchestrating Debussy’s unfinished works. His completion of The Fall of the House of Usher was successfully premiered at the Bregenz Opera Festival in 2006, alongside the Chinese ballet No-ja-li in Los Angeles. His Nocturne pour violon et orchestre was broadcast from the Amsterdam Concertgebouw in November 2011 with Isabelle Faust as soloist and Heinz Holliger conducting, and his most recent completion is Le Diable dans le beffroi. His volume of Debussy's orchestrations is due to be published in the Durand Oeuvres completes (V/11) later this year.
Emma Adlard is in the second year of her AHRC-funded PhD at King’s College London researching women’s patronage of French music and dance between 1900 and 1930. Emma holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Royal Holloway and a Master’s degree from Oxford; before beginning her doctorate she worked at Oxford University Press as an Editorial Assistant in the Music Department. In May 2011 Emma co-organised a joint conference between King’s and the University of North Carolina entitled ‘Music, Sound and Space in France: 1850 to World War I’, and she has given papers at the Seventh International Conference on Music Since 1900 and at the Tenth Annual Conference of the Society of Dix-Neuviémistes. Emma was recently awarded an AHRC scholarship to spend four months researching at the Library of Congress this year as a fellow of the John W. Kluge Center.
Lecturer in French at the University of Sheffield (UK) Helen Abbott specialises in nineteenth-century French poetry and music, with particular emphasis on voice and performance. Her first monograph, Between Baudelaire and Mallarmé: Voice, Conversation and Music was published with Ashgate in 2009. Her forthcoming book entitled Parisian Intersections: Baudelaire’s Legacy to Composers examines five different nineteenth-century song settings of Baudelaire’s ‘La Mort des amants’ by both well-known and minor composers of the era. She regularly collaborates with the Oxford Lieder Festival and is an associate researcher of the SongArt research group. Prior to taking up her post at the University of Sheffield in 2012, she was Head of French at Bangor University, north Wales.
Associate Professor of French at the University of Vermont, Joseph Acquisto specialises in nineteenth-and twentieth-century literature, especially poetry and the novel, with particular interest in the relations among literature, music, and philosophy. He is the author of articles on Baudelaire, Mallarmé, Proust, Cioran, and others, and of French Symbolist Poetry and the Idea of Music (Ashgate, 2006) and the forthcoming Crusoes and Other Castaways in Modern French Literature: Solitary Adventures (University of Delaware Press). He has just finished work on an edited volume provisionally entitled Thinking Poetry: Philosophical Approaches to Nineteenth-Century French Poetry and is currently working on a book on pessimism and antimodernism in Baudelaire and Cioran.