Scholarly Symposium

Saturday, April 24, 2021  8:30am-5:30pm
Department of Music & Dance (online, free)

Late Style and the Idea of the Summative Work in Bach and Beethoven

Robert Marshall and Scott Burnham, Keynote speakers

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Presenters:  (click for Presenter bios/photos/abstracts)

Anthony Barone, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Christine Blanken, Bach-Archiv Leipzig
Scott Burnham (Keynote), CUNY Graduate Center, Princeton University
Keith Chapin, Cardiff University
Erinn Knyt, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Richard Kramer, Graduate Center of the City University of New York
Robert Marshall (Keynote), Brandeis University
Ernest May, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Reuben Phillips, University of Oxford
Michael Spitzer, University of Liverpool

Ellen Exner, New England Conservatory
Abigail Fine, University of Oregon
Linda Hutcheon, University of Toronto
Daniel R. Melamed, Indiana University
Andrew Talle, Northwestern University

The Symposium will be in virtual format this year: Zoom and YouTube Live

Artistic “lateness” is often characterized by complexities and contradictions that consolidate a lifetime of achievements and accumulated experience into summative works that seem to live on outside of place and time. At the same time, a composer’s late style has frequently been seen as transcending nostalgia and generating new directions for the next generation of composers.

Late works by J. S. Bach and Ludwig van Beethoven are often historically interpreted as summative capstones, while, at the same time, providing foundations for subsequent repertoire. This symposium brings together scholars from diverse perspectives to elucidate (1) the multiple meanings of Late Style in the music of Bach and Beethoven and (2) how their summative late works have been understood and received by composers, performers, theorists, historians, philosophers, critics, and others. Topics range from the philosophical to the practical: for example, new understandings of Late Style, relationships between reflection and creation, and the reception history of late works.