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Dr Christopher Wiley delivers paper at conference on biography at the University of Nottingham

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1200px-University_of_Nottingham_logo.svgDr Christopher Wiley has presented a paper at the multi-disciplinary conference ‘Biography and Public History: Constructing Historical Narratives through Life-Writing’, held in the Department of Music at the University of Nottingham on Wednesday 20 June 2018.

Dr Wiley’s paper, ‘Anecdote as a Genre in Musical Biography’, drew primarily on his recent research on Victorian life-writing, while also discussing the foundational role of anecdote within musical biography from its advent at the turn of the nineteenth century onwards.

Proposing that biographical anecdote warrants recognition as a genre in its own right given its extraordinary staying power and the sophisticated narratives that developed around specific examples, Dr Wiley demonstrated its potential to contribute to a greater understanding of associated culture through the recounting of stories of its most cherished figures.

The one-day conference was attended by some 50 international delegates. Dr Wiley also chaired the opening session, which featured papers on archaeology, buildings architecture, and literature.

Further information may be found at the conference webpage: https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/conference/fac-arts/humanities/music/biography-and-public-history/biography-and-public-history.aspx

The full conference programme is available online here: https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/humanities/departments/music/documents/2018/final-programme.pdf

Dr Christopher Wiley gives paper on musical biography at Edinburgh Napier University

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EdNapUni_redDr Christopher Wiley has delivered a paper on musical biography at the ‘Music and Literature: Innovations, Intersections, and Interpretations’ conference hosted at Merchiston CampusEdinburgh Napier University, Edinburgh, Scotland on 14-15 June 2018.

Entitled ‘Musical biography and the (non-)consonance of music and literature’, Dr Wiley’s paper revealed how biographical narratives might actually contradict the evidence of the music itself, or they may represent an appropriation of specific works for a given time and place, or function to promote them within wider reading communities who may otherwise be unfamiliar with that music.

Dr Wiley drew case studies from his wider research conducted over the years on musical biography, including the apocryphal story of Mozart’s Requiem, the earliest 12 volumes of the ‘Master Musicians’ series, and Ethel Smyth’s autobiographies. The two-day conference was attended by some 50 delegates.

Further information may be found at the conference website: https://musicandliteratureconference.wordpress.com/

The full programme for the event is available online here: https://musicandliteratureconference.wordpress.com/programme/

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Dr Christopher Wiley gives talk on Ethel Smyth for Surrey Local History Symposium at Surrey History Centre

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Surrey History CentreDr Christopher Wiley delivered a talk entitled Dame Ethel Smyth, Ground-breaking Composer, Writer, and Suffragette’ at the Annual Symposium of Surrey Local History Committee on Saturday 21 April 2018.

The one-day symposium, whose theme was The Changing Role of Women’, featured presentations from five speakers who work in areas of local history. Organized by a committee of Surrey Archaeological Society, the event was held at Surrey History Centre, Woking, and attracted around 40 audience members from across the county.

In addition to his internationally recognized academic research, Dr Wiley has previously spoken on Ethel Smyth at a range of local history events in the Surrey area, including talks at The Lightbox, Woking, The Guildford Institute, and at Smyth’s childhood home in Frimley Green.

The programme for the Surrey Local History Symposium is available at the following links:

Surrey History Centre – https://www.surreycc.gov.uk/heritage-culture-and-recreation/archives-and-history/surrey-history-centre/heritage-events

Surrey Archeological Society – https://www.surreyarchaeology.org.uk/content/changing-role-of-women-surrey-local-history-symposium

Celebrate Woking – https://www.celebratewoking.info/events/annual-symposium-changing-role-of-women

Dr Christopher Wiley delivers Keynote lecture at international conference at the University of Amsterdam

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Dr Christopher WJanuary 2018_Amsterdam_Poster 2018 Workshop Transnational Perspectives on Artistsiley gave a Keynote lecture at the two-day international workshop, ‘Transnational Perspectives on the Writing of Artists’ Lives, 19th-21st centuries’, held at the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands on 25–26 January 2018.

Dr Wiley’s 50-minute paper, entitled ‘Musical Biography as a National and Transnational Genre’, explored the extent to which composer life-writing reflects the preoccupations and concerns of its time and place of origin while simultaneously embodying pan-European values that remain strikingly robust across texts from different countries and centuries.

Addressed to an interdisciplinary audience primarily from The Netherlands, France, the UK, and US, Dr Wiley’s lecture developed research previously presented at the University of Oxford, and generated much productive discussion from delegates.

An internationally acknowledged expert in the field, Dr Wiley has given a number of previous keynotes at conferences on biography, including the four-day ‘(Auto)Biography as a Musicological Discourse’ held at the University of Arts, Belgrade in 2008.

The full schedule for the workshop may be viewed here: http://www.uva.nl/en/shared-content/subsites/amsterdam-institute-for-humanities-research/en/events/events/2018/01/transnational-perspectives-artists-lives.html

The programme is also available online as a PDF: https://www.huizingainstituut.nl/v02/wp-content/uploads/Programme-Workshop-Transnational-Perspectives-on-Artists-Lives-2-Jan-18.pdf

Dr Christopher Wiley co-organizes international multi-disciplinary conference on Writing About Contemporary Artists at the University of Surrey

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Keynote - Annie Yim, Christopher Le Brun, and Christopher WileyDr Christopher Wiley was Chair of the Conference Committee for an international, multi-disciplinary three-day conference entitled Writing About Contemporary Artists: Challenges, Practices, and Complexities’, held at the University of Surrey from 20-22 October 2017.

Hosted and sponsored by the University’s Institute of Advanced Studies, the conference brought together scholars and practitioners in fields including musicology, theatre studies, dance and choreography, literature, film, digital media, and the visual arts. Its 70 participants represented a strongly international delegation drawn from North and South America, Australia, South Africa, and across Europe and the UK.

Dr Wiley compèred and co-authored the event’s central Keynote Concert and Dialogue (pictured above) given by MusicArt London, featuring the distinguished painter Christopher Le Brun (President of the Royal Academy of Arts) and pianist Dr Annie Yim (St John’s Smith Square Young Artist in Residence 2016/17), with additional contributions by composer Richard Birchall.

Dr Wiley also acted as chair and panel member for the final conference session (pictured below), a roundtable on ‘Contemporary artists, contemporary writing: Internet and social media’, at which he spoke about his reviewing activity across the art disciplines for digital magazine Musical Theatre Review as well as his guest-blogging for sites such as the Association of National Teaching Fellows blog and Oxford University Press Blog.

Further information may be found at the conference website: http://www.ias.surrey.ac.uk/workshops/artistswriting/

The full programme (including abstracts) may be downloaded here: http://www.ias.surrey.ac.uk/workshops/artistswriting/papers/Writing%20About%20Contemporary%20Artists%20conference%20_%20Proggramme.pdf

Roundtable - Christopher Wiley, Björn Heile, Katie Beswick, and Ian Pace

Update: Online reports on the conference are available at the following links:

http://www.planethugill.com/2017/10/writing-about-contemporary-artists.html

http://annieyim.com/keynote-concert-and-dialogue-at-an-international-multi-disciplinary-conference-at-the-university-of-surrey-21-october-2017/

http://blogs.surrey.ac.uk/arts/2017/10/22/international-conference-in-pats-building-writing-about-contemporary-artists/

Dr Christopher Wiley delivers paper at Collaborating Couples conference at the University of Bristol

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Dr Christopher Wiley presented a paper at a two-day international conference entitled ‘Beyond Genius and Muse – Collaborating Couples in Twentieth-Century Arts’, held at the Victoria Rooms, University of Bristol on 18–19 April 2017.

Dr Wiley’s paper, Subject and Countersubject: The Prevalence of the Genius and the Muse in Musical Biography’, explored the pattern of collaborating couples that has emerged historically in musical biography, drawing on examples including Brahms and Clara Schumann, Ethel Smyth and Henry Brewster, Britten and Peter Pears, and Adele.

It built upon Dr Wiley’s previous scholarship conducted in this area across more than 10 years, of which the most recent output, his book chapter ‘Musical Biography and the Myth of the Muse’, was published in 2015.

The conference brought together some 50 academics from across Europe and the US, encompassing a range of topics in music, literature, and the visual arts.

Further information is available at the conference website: https://collaboratingcouples.wordpress.com/

Victoria Rooms

Dr Christopher Wiley gives talk on Ethel Smyth’s opera The Boatswain’s Mate for Guildford Hard of Hearing Support Group

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Ethel SmythDr Christopher Wiley delivered a talk entitled ‘Ethel Smyth’s (feminist?) opera, The Boatswain’s Mate at the Millmead Centre, Guildford on 27 February 2017, for Guildford Hard of Hearing Support Group.

The Boatswain’s Mate was the fourth of six operas composed by Smyth (who suffered from distorted hearing and deafness for the last several decades of her life), and was the most popular and most frequently performed during her own lifetime. It was recently released in its first complete modern recording by Retrospect Opera (of which Dr Wiley is a part).

An acknowledged expert on Smyth, Dr Wiley provided an outline of the circumstances of the composition of The Boatswain’s Mate, its plot, and interesting features of the music. He also discussed the extent to which the work constitutes a ‘feminist opera’, as has previously been suggested.

This is the second time that Dr Wiley has addressed Guildford Hard of Hearing Support Group, having delivered a presentation on Smyth’s life and works two years ago in January 2015. Dr Wiley has also recently given talks on Smyth at The Guildford Institute and at the composer’s childhood home in Frimley Green.

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