23 Feb 2015 7:30pm - 9:30pm West Road Concert Hall


This event is free and open to all (places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis)

To open the 2015 inaugural Humanitas Series in Vocal Music, Sir John Tomlinson will give a recital accompanied by pianist David Owen Norris

It was years of playing historical figures on the opera stage which inspired the idea of portraying the Sixteenth-Century Michaelangelo in updated form, as a nineteenth-century painter in his workshop, looking over his old papers and poems, and reliving each one in turn…


Britten – “Seven Sonnets of Michaelangelo”
Wolf – “Drei Gedichte von Michaelangelo”
Shostakovich – “Suite on Verses of Michaelangelo Buonarroti”

Event in the series

Michelangelo in Song
23 Feb 2015 7:30pm - 9:30pm, West Road Concert Hall

Featuring Britten's song cycle “Seven Sonnets of Michelangelo”. 

The Construction of the Role of Wotan
25 Feb 2015 5:00pm - 6:30pm, West Road Concert Hall

Illustrated lecture by Sir John Tomlinson in conversation with Patrick Carnegy.

The Construction of the Role of the Minotaur
27 Feb 2015 5:00pm - 6:30pm, West Road Concert Hall

Sir John Tomlinson in conversation with composer Sir Harrison Birtwistle.

About the Professorship

The Humanitas Chair in Vocal Music has been made possible by the generous support of the Mercedes T. Bass Charitable Corporation.

The combination of word and music, whether in the genre of song, opera, or sacred and secular choral repertoires, has for centuries been a vehicle for some of humanity's most profound aesthetic experiences as well as a topic of enduring scholarly fascination (the very question of primacy between the two elements has itself been the subject of several operas). This newly established series of HUMANITAS Visiting Professorships provides an unparalleled opportunity for world-ranking figures to explore, through lectures, masterclasses, colloquia and performances, the many facets of vocal art: the creation of character in opera; the relationship of singer and pianist in Lied performance; voice production in diverse vocal and operatic traditions; as well as the embodied nature of the act of singing itself. At a time when live transmission to cinemas of performances from the world's leading opera houses is creating new audiences, and choral singing is enjoying a growth in national popularity perhaps not seen since the nineteenth century, the HUMANITAS Professorships in Vocal Music will play an important role in enriching public understanding and enjoyment. The tradition of vocal music at Cambridge is envied all over the world, and its alumni are to be found singing at the highest international level across the globe. Given also the firm place of Performance Studies in the work of the Faculty of Music, there could be no better host institution for these new posts than the University of Cambridge.          

Standing Committee

Richard Causton (Music Faculty)
Stephen Cleobury (Director of Music, King's College)
Ian Fenlon (Music Faculty)
Nick Marston (Music Faculty)
Martin Ennis (Music Faculty)

Hosting College

King's College

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