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Shakespeare, Music, and Memory - Colloquium and Concert
Shakespeare, Music, and Memory - Colloquium and Concert
WhenFriday, Apr. 29, 2016
Campus locationCommunications Building (CMU)
Campus room206
Event typesConferences, Lectures/Seminars, Performances
Event sponsorsSchool of Music and Simpson Center for the Humanities

To celebrate the life of William Shakespeare on the 400th anniversary of his death in April 1616, this conference explores the connection of music and memory in the plays of Shakespeare. As scholars have shown, well-known songs, instrumental tunes, and ballads were an essential part of the fabric of Shakespeare’s plays; even a brief textual reference prompted audiences to remember a ballad’s tune and full text, a process of remembering, which we recreate through scholarship and performance. The concert that concludes the colloquium will present music from the seminal event that elevated the remembrance of Shakespeare: the Jubilee of 1769, organized by the Shakespearean actor David Garrick in Stratford-upon-Avon.

This colloquium and concert examine the ways that Shakespeare’s plays created themes that would become part of culture for centuries to come, with a focus on the ways that musical cues evoke memory: not only conjuring the memory of tunes, but also recalling memories of emotion and of events. Shakespeare created this effect by both referring to known songs and by including actual songs in his plays.


11-11:45 am (Communications 202)

  • Michael Graham (Royal Holloway, University of London), “Shakespeare and British Opera: Music and Memory in The Knot Garden (1970)”

1-3:30 pm (Music 213)

  • Stacey Jocoy (Musicology, Texas Tech University), “John Playford and the Imagined Memory of a Royalist Shakespeare”
  • Amanda Eubanks Winkler (Music History & Cultures, Syracuse University), “A Thousand Voices: Performing Ariel”
  • Linda Phyllis Austern (Musicology, Northwestern University), “Music, Memory, and Shakespearean Theatricalities in Francis Beaumont’s Knight of the Burning Pestle”

4-5 pm (Brechemin Auditorium, School of Music)

  • Introduction: Jeffrey Todd Knight (English, University of Washington)
  • Stephen Orgel (Jackson Eli Reynolds Professor in Humanities, Stanford University), “Shakespeare and/or Music”

5-5:30 pm (Brechemin Auditorium, School of Music)
  • Concert: "Shakespeare's Jubilee" (1769)
    (UW Collegium Musicum, directed by JoAnn Taricani)

This concert, illustrated with images from the Jubilee in Stratford-upon-Avon, presents songs about Shakespeare, such as “Sweet Willie O!” and “All this for a poet,” written as part of the extravagant celebration organized by the Shakespearean actor David Garrick in 1769. This event was a seminal moment in creating the idea of remembering the memory of Shakespeare, marking the start of the movement known as bardolatry. This music is being presented for the first time in almost 250 years, in a new edition of the music by JoAnn Taricani (Music History, University of Washington). Performers include UW visiting scholar Linda Tsatsanis, UW graduate student Emerald Lessley, lutenist John Lenti, and baroque cellist Nathan Whittaker.

Other events in Seattle also will commemorate this anniversary, particularly the exhibition of one of the rare First Folio editions of Shakespeare’s plays at the Seattle Public Library, on loan from the Folger Shakespeare Library March 21-April 17, 2016. Other arts organizations will present plays of Shakespeare and music related to Shakespeare; their links will be added as their seasons are announced.
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