A distinguished assembly of scholars from France, Italy, England, and the United States convene at the UW in October to study, discuss, and perform the music of French composer Gabriel Fauré during “Effable and Ineffable: Gabriel Fauré and the Limits of Criticism,” an international conference co-sponsored by The UW Simpson Center for the Humanities and the UW School of Music.
Associated performances include a production of the composer’s 1913 opera Pénélope, presented by UW Music Oct. 22, 24 and 25 at Meany Studio Theater in collaboration with Vespertine Opera Company and Philharmonia Northwest.
In addition to performances and master classes at the School of Music and elsewhere on the UW campus, the conference features talks and plenary sessions by six interdisciplinary speakers: pianist-scholars Roy Howat (Royal Academy of Music, London and Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Glasgow) and Sylvia Kahan (City University of New York); music scholars Jann Pasler (University of California, San Diego), Steven Rings (University of Chicago), Carlo Caballero (University of Colorado), and Stephen Rumph (University of Washington); classicist Sander Goldberg (University of California, Los Angeles); and French literary scholar Jay Lutz (Oglethorpe University).
Altogether, 27 speakers are scheduled to deliver papers on diverse aspects of Fauré’s music, reception, and cultural significance during the weeklong conference, Oct. 21-25 at various locations on the UW campus.
School of Music professor Stephen Rumph, a lead organizer of the conference, says Fauré is “beloved by audiences and performers, yet neglected by scholars,” presenting challenges to traditional models of musical historiography and criticism. The conference promises to shine a well-deserved light on the artist Prof. Rumph calls "the most refined of Belle Époque composers," as well as the musicians and scholars who hold him in high regard.
Conference events are free except where noted. A detailed schedule and more information are at www.simpsoncenter.org/faure.
Oct. 22, 24, 25 (Thu, Sat, Sun)
Gabriel Fauré: Pénélope
UW Music partners with Vespertine Opera Company and Philharmonia Northwest to present Gabriel Fauré's rarely performed opera Pénélope (1913). Fauré's elegant lyricism and refined expression shine through this original treatment of Homer's timeless Odyssey, directed by Dan Miller and conducted by Dean Williamson. The cast of veteran professionals includes Julia Benzinger, Clayton Brainerd, Nerys Jones, and recent UW alumnus Eric Neuville.
Oct. 22 and 24: 7:30 p.m.
October 25: 2 p.m.
Meany Studio Theater
Tickets: $40 general, $20 students and seniors; $10 UW students
Oct. 21 (Wed)
Piano Masterclass with David Korevaar
David Korevaar, professor of piano at the University of Colorado, leads a master class with UW piano students. Korevaar is a noted concert pianist well-versed in French music of the 19th century, an area of expertise he will explore during this session.
4:30 pm, Brechemin Auditorium FREE
Oct. 22 (Thu)
Piano Masterclass with Roy Howat
Distinguished pianist and scholar Roy Howat presents a public masterclass focused on nineteenth-century French music. Howat, a member of the faculty of the Royal Academy of Music in London, has published Debussy in Proportion (Cambridge, 1983) and The Art of French Piano Music (Yale, 2009). He concertizes widely as a Steinway Artist, and is editing the Urtext version of Gabriel Fauré's works for Peters Edition.
4:30 pm, Brechemin Auditorium
Oct. 23 (Fri)
Recital: The Intimate Fauré
This recital showcases intimate works by the most refined of Belle Époque composers, Gabriel Fauré. The program includes the beloved Ballade for Piano and Pavane, alongside less familiar masterpieces like the Piano Trio, Fantaisie for flute, and Cinq mélodies "de Venise." Pianist-scholars Roy Howat, Sylvia Kahan, and David Korevaar join UW flute professor Donna Shin and UW graduate students and alumni.
7:30 pm, Brechemin Auditorium