Britain and the British in World Culture. Celebrating Benjamin Britten’s Centenary

Center for New Technology in the Arts “Art-parkING”
Rimsky-Korsakov St. Petersburg State Conservatoire

British Council Russia, British Consulate-General in St. Petersburg

Britain and the British in World Culture. Celebrating Benjamin Britten’s Centenary
International Conference
St. Petersburg, 31st October – 1st November 2013

The two-day international conference “Britain and the British in 20th Century Culture” will take place in St. Petersburg at the Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatoire from 31st October to 1st November 2013. The conference is designed as a dialogue between musicology, art history and cultural history. A central theme will be how Britain and her people have been portrayed over the last century in various trends, spiritual movements and artistic styles, covering all kinds of arts, including music, literature, theatre, architecture, sculpture and cinematography.

“Not only England, but every Englishman is an island” (Novalis, 1799). The reception of this country, its people and culture has inspired memoirs, essays, books, articles, plays and films. Such a range of material offers potential for a wide range of conference topics.

The symbolism of the homonyms – Britten and Britain – allows us to put the British Britten at the heart of the conference. Intercultural and intertextual connections will be made by reflecting the multifaceted phenomenon of “Britishness” in British culture.

The Conference forms part of the Thirteenth International Festival “The International Conservatory Week Festival”, opening with a performance of one of Benjamin Britten’s masterpieces, “Spring Symphony”, on the 1st of November.

The Conference Organisers:
Liudmila Kovnatskaya (Professor of the Rimsky-Korsakov St. Petersburg State Conservatoire) – chair
Mikhail Gantvarg (Rector of the Rimsky-Korsakov St. Petersburg State Conservatoire)
Lidia Volchek (Director of the International Festival “The International Conservatory Week Festival”)
Lidia Ader (Senior researcher of the N. Rimsky-Korsakov Museum-Apartment, Director of the Center for New Technology in the Arts “Art-parkING”)
Nataly Kolesova (Director of the Center for New Technology in the Arts “Art-parkING”)

Proposals for academic papers and posters are invited (requirements – A3 format, should be sent by October 1st).
The working languages of the conference will be Russian and English. The time-limit for papers is 20 minutes plus a discussion time of 10 minutes. Please submit abstracts for papers of no less than 200 and no more than 300 words, together with a short CV of 100 words; both should be sent by e-mail to Lidia Ader (

The deadline for abstracts is 15 June 2013. Notifications of acceptance will be sent out by the end of June 2013 at the latest. Selected conference papers and materials will be published in the journal “Opera Musicologica”.
For some participants organizers will be able to provide a free accommodation.

Benjamin Britten at 100: An American Centenary Symposium

Registration for “Benjamin Britten at 100: An American Centenary Symposium” (24-27 October 2013, Normal, Illinois, USA) is now OPEN!

Please visit: to register, or for more information.

CALL FOR PAPERS: Benjamin Britten at 100: An American Centenary Symposium

{Recipients of a 2013 Britten Award by the Trustees of The Britten Estate}

Illinois State University
College of Fine Arts
School of Music
Normal, Illinois, USA
24 – 27 October 2013

The organizers of Benjamin Britten at 100: An American Centenary Symposium are pleased to welcome proposals for a conference and multi-disciplinary symposium to be held 24-27 October 2013. The Keynote address will be given by Dr. Lucy Walker (Director of Learning and Development, Britten-Pears Foundation; the Britten Thematic Catalog Project; editor of Britten in Pictures). Performances will include Britten’s War Requiem and numerous recitals of Britten’s chamber and vocal music as well as Alan Bennett’s The Habit of Art.

In addition to focused attention on Britten’s compositional efforts in all genres, the keynote lecture and multiple paper sessions seek to address the following topics:
• his position relative to the so-called English Musical Renaissance headed by Ralph Vaughan Williams;
• the various aspects of his nearly three-year residency in America and his relationship with the British public during that time period;
• the operatic innovations with which he heralded an international revival of the English opera tradition, largely dormant since Henry Purcell;
• the role of the BBC in his development as a composer and performer;
• his part in the founding of the English Opera Group and the Aldeburgh Festival of Music;
• his interest in and efforts toward the development of a repertory of works for children;
• his exploration of non-Western music, especially as exemplified in works for dance and the operatic stage;
• his collaborations with the foremost instrumentalists and vocalists of the mid-twentieth century;
• his attention to texts and themes from various generations and geographic locales;
• his response to folksong and the music of earlier centuries;
• his recital and lifelong partnership with tenor Peter Pears, particularly as it developed during their American years.

300-word abstracts (maximum length) for individual papers of 20 minutes (plus 10 minutes for questions) should be e-mailed in .pdf form to symposium organizers Vicki Pierce Stroeher: and Justin Vickers:

Deadline for abstracts: January 31, 2013.