Rethinking Poulenc: International Conference

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Poulenc Portrait
Posted on 05 July 2013

Professor Barbara Kelly organised and hosted an international conference and festival entitled 'Rethinking Poulenc' at Keele to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the composer Francis Poulenc's death.

Poulenc has emerged as one of the most frequently performed French composers of the twentieth century alongside Debussy, Ravel and Fauré, but he is only recently attracting serious scholarly attention.  This Festival constituted the UK's most significant and high-profile tribute to this major composer.  Prof. Kelly welcomed around 60 delegates from the UK, Europe, USA and Canada to discuss the composer's music, editions, religious and sexual identity and his role in reshaping music and the arts in the aftermath of WWI. 


Invited speakers included Hervé Lacombe (Université de Rennes 2) and Nicolas Southon (Paris). 

The Festival included four concerts devoted to chamber and vocal music, which were supported by Keele Key Fund.  Keele was delighted to welcome the internationally acclaimed cellist, Marc Coppey (Paris); pianists Roy Howat (RAM), Ronald Woodley (Birmingham Conservatoire) and Michael Bell (Keele); clarinettist, Victoria Soames-Samek and mezzo-soprano, Karen Radcliffe (Keele).  The conference and festival was also supported by the Royal Musical Association, the Society of Music Analysis, The RI, Keele University, The Association des amis de Francis Poulenc, Birmingham Conservatoire, Boydell and Brewer and the Harding Trust.