23 May 2008 - 25 May 2008 All day CRASSH


Deadline for Registration: 16 May 2008 


Convenor:  Benjamin Walton (University of Cambridge)

This conference intends to get to the root of the musicological discipline’s construction of nineteenth-century music, seeking ways to deconstruct and transcend the foundational intellectual framework inferred from the Beethoven-Rossini opposition. It encourages leading specialists from the worlds of Italian opera and German instrumental music to engage in cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary exchanges at various levels of scholarly inquiry—historiography, reception history, and music analysis—while posing a number of questions about the assumptions and methods of historical musicology today. Is it any longer desirable or productive to portray Beethoven as the personification of a ‘governing paradigm’, or does this critique actually exaggerate the unassailability and coherence of Beethovenian ideas? Does our conception of this governing paradigm serve to suppress aspects of Beethoven’s oeuvre that might be considered un-Beethovenian, or even Rossinian? Now that the once-marginal field of opera studies has been fully incorporated into the discipline of musicology—even supplying it with its most potent critical paradigms—in what ways can opera specialists move beyond the critique of Beethovenian models of authorship and the work in order to construct alternative ‘Rossinian’ conceptions of the musical text and the composer’s relation to it? Could scholars revise our discipline’s perception of the relationship between Rossini and Beethoven by re-examining historical evidence and contemporary critical reception? How might analysis draw parallels between Beethoven’s and Rossini’s supposedly antithetical compositional procedures? In short, this conference asks how musicologists might bring the ostensibly separate aesthetic cultures of Beethoven and Rossini—German and Italian, operatic and symphonic, authorial and performative—into productive dialogue.

Confirmed speakers include:

Yael Braunschweig (University of California, Berkeley)
Scott Burnham (Princeton University)
Suzannah Clark (University of Oxford)
Martin Deasy (University of Cambridge)
John Deathridge (King's College London)
Dana Gooley (Brown University)
Matthew Head (King's College, London)
James Hepokoski (Yale University)
Gundula Kreuzer (Yale University)
Nicholas Mathew (University of California, Berkeley)
Roger Parker (King's College London)
Stephen Rumph (University of Washington)
Emanuele Senici (University of Rome)
Mary Ann Smart (University of California, Berkeley)
Richard Taruskin (University of California, Berkeley)
Benjamin Walton (University of Cambridge)
James Webster (Cornell University)
Richard Will (University of  Virginia)


You can register and pay online using the links on this page. 

British Academy
Music and Letters Trust
Royal Musical Association 


Upcoming Events


Tel: +44 1223 766886
Email enquiries@crassh.cam.ac.uk