Schubert as Dramatist

Oxford Lieder Festival

Schubert as Dramatist Conference

Faculty of Music, University of Oxford

Friday 24 October 2014

Conference Organizers: Joe Davies (University of Oxford); Sholto Kynoch (Artistic Director, Lieder Festival); Susan Wollenberg (University of Oxford)

Registration details can be found at:


9.00–9.30: Registration

9.30–11.00: Paper Session 1A – Ideas and their Expression in the Stage Works and Late Instrumental Music

Chair: Lorraine Byrne Bodley

Michael Richardson (Stony Brook University)

Medievalism and Historicism in Franz Schubert’s Fierrabras

Xavier Hascher (Université de Strasbourg)

Under the Shadow of the ‘Ombra’: Characterizations of Drama in Schubert’s Mature Instrumental Works

9.30-11.00: Paper Session 1B – Defining Drama in Schubert’s Lieder

Chair: Laura Tunbridge

Susan Wollenberg (University of Oxford)

Schubert’s Dramatic Lieder: Rehabilitating ‘Adelwold und Emma’, D 211

Marjorie Hirsch (Williams College)

Gretchen abbandonata: The Lied as Aria

Martin Parker Dixon (University of Glasgow)

A Brechtian approach to Schubertian Drama

11.00–11.30: Coffee

11.30–12.30: Keynote Lecture

Chair: TBC

Lorraine Byrne Bodley (Maynooth University)

Goethe and Schubert: The Wonder of Song and Vicissitudes of the Singspiel

12.30–14.30: Lunch

13.10–14.10: Recital, Holywell Music Room

Schubert at the Opera: members of the National Opera

15.00–16.30: Paper Session 2A – Topic and Genre

Chair: Marjorie Hirsch

Clive McClelland (University of Leeds)

‘Durch Nacht und Wind’: Tempesta as a topic in Schubert’s Lieder

Joe Davies (University of Oxford)

Topical Drama: Hearing the Schubertian Grotesque

Barbara Strahan (Maynooth University)

A Tragic Perspective: Negotiating a Narrative in Schubert’s Four-Hand Piano Fantasias

15.00–16.30: Paper Session 2B – Processes and Drama in Songs, Sonatas, and Impromptus 

Chair: Susan Wollenberg

James Sobaskie (Mississippi State University)

Dramatic implications of contextual processes in two serenades of Schubert

Jonathan Guez (Yale University)

Thematic Alterations and Narrative Time in Schubert’s Songs and Sonatas

Brian Black (University of Lethbridge)

The Dramatic Unity of Schubert’s Instrumental Music

16.30–17.00: Coffee

17.00–18.00: Lecture-Recital 

Chair: Joe Davies

Mine Doğantan-Dack (University of Oxford)

Narrative and Drama in Schubert’s Piano Trio in E Flat Major, D 929

***Original call for papers follows***

International Conference, Friday 24 October 2014

Faculty of Music, University of Oxford

Keynote Speaker: Lorraine Byrne Bodley (National University of Ireland, Maynooth)

Call for papers

This international conference linked with the Oxford Lieder Festival seeks fresh analytical and critical perspectives not only on Schubert’s operatic works but also on the role of ‘drama’ in the composer’s songs, ballads, and instrumental music. We welcome contributions on the following topics:

  1. reappraising Schubert’s operatic works
  2. performativity in Schubert’s songs and operas
  3. defining drama in Schubertian song
  4. understanding drama (and narrative) in Schubert’s instrumental music
  5. text setting in Schubert’s songs
  6. topic, affect, expression in Schubert’s songs, dramatic scenes, and operas

Proposals for individual twenty-minute papers should be no longer than 250 words. Abstracts for themed sessions/roundtable discussions should be no longer than 750 words. All submissions should be emailed to by Monday 30 June 2014. Successful applicants will be notified by 21 July 2014.

Organizers: Joe Davies (Faculty of Music, University of Oxford) and Sholto Kynoch (Artistic Director, Oxford Lieder)

For further details and booking information please visit

The Oxford Lieder Festival is one of the world’s most prestigious song festivals. This year’s extended three-week Festival, The Schubert Project, runs from 10 October – 1 November, and includes the first UK performance of Schubert’s complete songs. In addition to the extensive concert schedule, which also includes chamber, orchestral, sacred and instrumental music, The Schubert Project is ‘bringing Schubert’s Vienna to Oxford’: art, theatre, food & drink, talks, workshops, masterclasses, film screenings and more will all illuminate Schubert’s world.