Singing Music from 1500 to 1900


Singing Music from 1500 to 1900, York, July 2009

Why do solo singers of music composed before 1830 tend to ignore performance practice research, unlike instrumentalists? Should we move away from the “one-size-fits-all” operatic voice, and if so, how? Vibrato – do early music fans love it or hate it? What can classical singers learn from the expressive singing of some pop, rock and jazz stars? Should recitative be sung or spoken? Our conference aims to address such issues, showcase recent research and invigorate vocal performance. Planned presenters include Clifford Bartlett, Martha Elliott, Bruce Haynes, Greta Haenen, Graham O’Reilly, Andrew Parrott, John Potter, Anthony Rooley and Robert Toft. David Howard will chair two sessions on “live science”. Graham O’Reilly and Hugh Keyte will lecture on, rehearse and perform the iconic Miserere by Allegri and Bai, exactly as performed in 1870. Delegates will be invited to sing in four workshops, to be directed by Dominique Visse, Philip Thorby, Graham Coatman and Sally Drage.


Besides academics, the conference will appeal to professional and amateur early-music singers, besides early-music enthusiasts and concert-goers.


The conference will take place at the University of York, YO10 5DD, United Kingdom from 7th to 10th July 2009 inclusive. It will lead into the York Early Music Festival, which will open on 10th July with The Tallis Scholars directed by Peter Philips in York Minster.


For programme and abstracts, and to book, go to our website You can attend all 3 ½ days, with 3 nights B&B, all meals and all events for an affordable £359 (£339 for sponsors’ members) if you register before 4th May 2009.

For queries on the website, booking or payment Contact Sian Fraser at, phone: +44 (0)1904 328431.

Other queries to Richard Bethell, Conference Organiser, at, phone: +44 (0)1293 783195.

For information on the York Early Music festival, ring Delma Tomlin (Festival Director) on +44 (0)1904 632220, email or log on to