Zentrum für Genderforschung (ZfG) / Institut 14 – Musikästhetik

Symposium Graz (Austria)

“Passionately intellectual, intellectually passionate”: Elizabeth Maconchy (1907 – 1994)

Friday 24 – Saturday 25 October 2014

Palais Meran, Florentinersaal, Leonhardstraße 15, A-8010 Graz

Dame Elizabeth Maconchy Le Fanu (1907 – 1994) is among the outstanding British composers of the 20th century. Initially a student of Vaughan Williams, she became fascinated early on – during the 1920s – by Bartók’s music. It set her on a Continental track, unlike some of her colleagues who at the time cultivated the splendid isolation of their Englishness. Conversely, Maconchy’s music gained strong resonances on the continent; by 1936 her works had been played in Eastern Europe, France, Germany, but also the US and Australia. (In this regard, sadly, World War II marked a break; from then on up until now, the reception of her work has become less international.)
            It is widely assumed that chamber music forms the centre of Maconchy’s oeuvre. She herself called the thirteen string quartets she wrote between 1933 and 1984 “my best and most deeply-felt works”. However, the symposium is meant to explore a wider range of Maconchy’s compositions, including opera and orchestral works. We shall study Maconchy’s development, as reflected in the technical and spiritual aspects of her music. We shall also contextualize it both in the mostly male musical world of 20th century Britain, dominated by Elgar, Delius, Vaughan Williams, Walton, Tippett and Britten, and that of continental Europe. Vis-à-vis these contexts, Maconchy spoke a voice of her own. Her work matches the claim she once made: “Music should be passionately intellectual and intellectually passionate.”

Organization: PDin Dr.in Christa Brüstle
                    Univ.Prof. Dr.phil. Andreas Dorschel MA

Folder Symposium

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Mariann Steegmann Foundation              Das Land Steiermark - Wissenschaft und Forschung