The first annual Christmas Lecture in the Public Research Programme took place on Wednesday 16 December 2020.
Beethoven: 1770 – 1827. Art and music is not available at the click of a button. There’s no TV, radio, CDs, music streaming. Music can only be heard if you play an instrument or listen to someone else perform live. How would you absorb, savour and appreciate music in this historic aural landscape?Dr Robert Taub and Professor James Daybell transported us back in time to explore the musical context and social surroundings of one of history’s greatest composers, Ludwig van Beethoven, in a special celebration of his 250th birthday.
They revealed how research into the musical sketches Beethoven produced and cherished throughout his life lead to a greater understanding of the creative evolution of his art. This research enables more communicative performances and, ultimately, more meaningful experiences of listening and understanding for us all.
Beethoven’s music was a driving force for human expression, breaking boundaries of artistic perceptions, enabling musical communication that remains vital today. His musical sketches were a critical component of how he developed all manner of musical ideas, at a time when the piano as we know it today was in a state of rapid technological development.
Following an introduction by Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Professor Judith Petts CBE, Robert performed live musical excerpts from Beethoven’s startlingly original early period as well as the heroic middle and transcendent late periods, while he and James also brought to life the broader context of history and art in the period.
Attendees submitted questions for a Q&A session at the end of the lecture with Robert and James.
All are welcome to join us for the Public Research Programme’s annual Christmas Lecture, to hear a fascinating – and surprising – talk from leading academics and their perspective of our world through a research lens.
This event is open to the public and free to attend. Once you have booked your place in advance you will receive a link to access this event online, please join the call via the link provided 5 minutes before the event begins.