Performing ‘Early’ Music in the Age of Recordings: National Styles and Influences in Performance – Then and Now

A conference on the study of performance, past and present, 13-14 October 2014

The 5th International Early Music Seminar in Tel Aviv, The Israel Conservatory of Music in Tel Aviv.

Held in collaboration with the Department of Music, University of Haifa, and with the support of the Israel Musicological Society

Seminar director: Drora Bruck (Israel Conservatory of Music)

Conference convenors: Dr. Alon Schab (University of Haifa), Dr. Uri Golomb (Tel Aviv University)

Keynote speaker: Rinaldo Alessandrini

The second international conference on Performing ‘Early’ Music in the Age of Recordings will be held as part of the 5th International Early Music Seminar at the Israel Conservatory of Music in Tel Aviv.

The issue of national styles affects the performance of early music in two ways. On the one hand, there is the issue of national styles at the time of composition – for instance, the Italian and French styles in the 17th and 18th centuries, and their impact on performance (including their effect on musical composition and performance in other countries, such as Germany and England). On the other hand, there is the issue of national performance styles in the past few decades, both within the early music world (e.g., the so-called Netherlands School of Baroque performance, or the British collegiate choral tradition) and outside it (e.g, the Lutheran tradition of Bach performance). The two issues can be related (as in the debate on whether Italians have an inherent advantage in performing the music of Monteverdi and Vivaldi); and the issue of composition style “then” can have a profound impact on performance style “now” (e.g., the debate on the relevance of French inegale in the performance of Bach’s music).

In general, there is a view that music performance in the age of recordings has become increasingly uniform, that national schools have been marginalised and even endangered by the pursuit of technical perfection and the homogenising effect of the recording industry. Historical performance has been viewed as part of this phenomenon; but it has also been greeted as a potential – and even actual – resource for preserving or revitalising distinct national schools.

This year’s “Performing ‘Early’ Music in the Age of Recordings” conference aims to explore topics arising from these and related issues.


The deadline for proposals has been extentded. Proposals should be submitted by 20 July, 2014.

The programme committee encourages submissions within the following areas, although other topics are also welcome:

  1. The relationship between national composition styles and performance conventions
  2. The relationship between local folklore and performance conventions
  3. Performance schools within the Early Music Movement
  4. Globalization and the Early Music Movement
  5. Traditional vs. Historically Informed – mutual influences

Each proposal should contain:

  1. Name and institutional affiliation
  2. Title of proposed paper
  3. An abstract (up to 400 words)
  4. Short CV (up to 150 words)
  5. Contact details

The conference will be held in English.

To submit proposals, and for further information, please write to: (Please include the word “conference” in the subject heading)

Delegates to the concert will be welcome to attend a recital by Rinaldo Alessandrini on October 11 (two days prior to the conference) and to attend master classes given in the context of the International Early Music Seminar (Tel Aviv, October 9-16; in this link). Rinaldo Alessandrini’s keynote on October 13 will be followed by a concert by the Romanian ensemble Flauto Dolce.