08 May 2024
75 Minutes

The Concerto and the Birth of the Musical Celebrity

Music Talk with Dr Paul Smith

This lecture will explore the history of the concerto and some of the most famous classical music performers in history. Delving into the development of the concerto form and drawing on a wide range of examples, this lecture will explain the musical characteristics of the classical concerto and also connect these ideas with the social and cultural landscape of the 19th century. Some contemporary examples will also be played showing how these trends have evolved into the 21st century. Underpinning the talk will be an understanding of the political economy of the musical soloist with the concerto star being one of the earliest forms of musical celebrity.

About Paul Smith
Paul is a composer and researcher based in Sydney who specialises in opera and music for the toy piano. He is Associate Professor in Music at the University of New England and his works have premiered in Singapore, the UK, Italy, the USA, and Armenia in addition to Australian festivals and concert performances. In 2023, his vocal work ‘Songs of the Sirens’ was performed on the sands of Bondi Beach as part of Bondi Festival and he was a recipient of the ABC Classic Composer Commissioning Fund to write three new works for toy piano and recorder. Paul’s work draws on ideas of play, satire, and the absurd and he regularly collaborates with visual artists, theatre makers, and directors.  Paul is the co-artistic director of Blush Opera where he is currently developing a new work based on the life of Florence Broadhurst.

Audience Information

Duration: 75 minutes

Wednesday 8 May at 11am

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