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Contemporary Music and Spirituality

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Contemporary Music and Spirituality
Southbank Centre, London, 1-3 February 2008

The revival of religious or spiritually-inspired music in the last twenty years by so many composers (such as Adams, Andriessen, Birtwistle, Grisey, Gubaydulina, Harvey, Henze, MacMillan, Messiaen, Pärt, Penderecki, Stockhausen and Tavener) and many artists is a sign of a profound change in the arts and their engagement with society. This conference will seek to explore why and how these composers and others have sought to convey religious or spiritual expression through music. How does this music engage with and transform the traditional narratives of modernity, and how has this music created a vision for the role of music in the twenty-first century? How can contemporary music shape our understanding of the divine in a so-called secular age, and what does this say about the nature of music and spirituality?

This conference will take place at Southbank Centre, London in collaboration with the Royal Musical Association from 1-3 February 2008. Keynote speakers at the conference include the composers Jonathan Harvey, James MacMillan and Francis Pott. It will dovetail with the opening of the Messiaen festival at Southbank Centre. As part of the conference, there will be a roundtable discussion on Messiaen’s Quatuor pour la fin du Temps on Sunday 3 February from 2.30 p.m.

Proposals for papers (of 20 minutes) on any subject related to the main conference theme should be sent to robert.sholl@tvu.ac.uk by October 31. Proposals should be in English, and contain an abstract of 300 words maximum. They also should include your name, a short biographical note, and your contact details.

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