Rethinking Poulenc: 50 Years On

Rethinking Poulenc:  50 Years On

International Conference, 21-23 June 2013, Keele University, England, UK

Programme Committee

Barbara L. Kelly (Keele University), Christopher Moore (University of Ottawa), Deborah Mawer (Lancaster University) and Sylvie Douche (Sorbonne)


Call for Papers

The 50th anniversary of Poulenc’s death provides us with a timely moment to reappraise his contribution to music of the twentieth century.  Poulenc has emerged as arguably one of the most frequently performed French composers of the twentieth century alongside Debussy, Ravel, Fauré and Messiaen.  Yet in rejecting aspects of modernism, his musical contribution is often overlooked or not taken seriously in narratives of twentieth-century music.  In recent years, however, there have been some notable studies and the publication of important primary sources, facilitating this reassessment.  The conference will explore Poulenc and his artistic circles, looking at his music, his public and private networks, and his legacy.  Given the recent debates about modernism, its scope and nature, this conference provides a timely moment to draw together scholars worldwide to discuss his enduring significance.  There will be a number of performances of Poulenc works during the conference. The event will culminate in a roundtable of leading scholars in the area.

The programme committee is open to all topics but papers would be welcome on the following themes:

  • Poulenc and his contemporaries
  • Public and private patronage
  • Poulenc in performance
  • Poulenc , the critics and the press
  • Analysing Poulenc
  • Concert life in twentieth-century France
  • Ballet and opera in the twentieth-century interwar period
  • Poulenc’s music and its relationship to place (Paris, Noizay, Rocamadour, etc.)
  • Poulenc and Modernism, Neoclassicism and Surrealism
  • Poulenc’s secular and sacred muses
  • Poulenc’s anglophone connections
  • Poulenc’s legacy


We are grateful for the support of the Society for Music Analysis and the Institute for Humanities, Keele University.  Other sponsors will be announced in due course.

Postgraduates are welcome to submit an abstract and/or to indicate their wish to participate in postgraduate workshops.  Details of the workshop element will be advertised separately.  The Society for Music Analysis is funding a number of postgraduate bursaries.   Please indicate if you wish to be considered for a postgraduate bursary.   Ensure you include your institutional affiliation, year of study and name of supervisor.


Abstracts should be 300 words in length (max).  The Programme Committee invites proposals of no more than 300 words for individual papers of 20 minutes (plus 10 minutes for questions).  Proposals should outline the topic and argument and give an indication of sources and methodologies.  Abstracts will be welcomed in either English or French.  The conference languages will be English and French.

Abstracts should be sent to Barbara Kelly: by the deadline. 

Deadline for abstracts: Friday 18 January 2013.  We will notify everyone by 30 January 2013.

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