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Speaking of Music

The Irma Stern Museum invites you to the launch of a series of talks on music by Dr. Hans Huyssen

In two initial lecture demonstrations supported by audio-visual aids, Huyssen reflects on music by Monteverdi and several composers from the Bach family respectively. Departing from specific musical examples, the lectures follow a broadly contextual approach: On the one hand, they investigate the musical works with respect to their originating circumstances in order to reveal how historical conventions were harnessed to artistic ends. On the other hand, they explore the music's current topicality, thereby touching on the challenges that current performers face at re-interpreting and re-presenting the works in a meaningful manner.

Huyssen has developed a unique way of framing music as a complex phenomenon, whose full emergence relies on a large set of contributing interactions, of which a proficient performance is but one. It follows that musical expression is intrinsically linked to musical perceptiveness and a thriving musical culture will therefore be just as much dependent on discerning audiences as on creative musicians. Accordingly the lectures place a strong emphasis on the crucial role of the individual listeners subjective musical discernment. Guiding music lovers to develop their innate listening abilities, rather than adopting formalized conventions, becomes an important way of empowering audiences once again to engage with music not only as a medium of entertainment, but foremost as a medium of cultural discourse.

Saturday 9 September 11h00

Monteverdi and the invention of musical expressivity

Reflections on Monteverdi's legacy on his 450th anniversary

Saturday 16 September 11h00

The Bachs - a singular lineage of Thuringian composers

Introduction to the Cape Consort's Heritage Day concerts which will feature works by Johann, Johann Michael, Johann Christoph & Johann Sebastian Bach

Tickets at the door R 100 (cash only / including entrance to the museum)

Further information and reservations: Mary van Blommestein: 021 685 5686 /

About the lecturer: Hans Huyssen is a composer, conductor, cellist, lecturer, producer of the CD label mucavi records and director of two Early Music ensembles - the Munich based Baroque Opera group cosi facciamo and the local Cape Consort. Binding these diverse activities together is the recognition of music's reliance on a finely attuned net of diverse yet contributing factors, all of which are indispensable for the emergence of congruent musical expressions and meaningful musical experiences. Rather than opting for the exclusive specialization in a single musical field, Huyssen considers himself a musicologist - concerned with music - enabling ecosystems just as much as with actual music making. He has recently completed a trans-disciplinary Ph.D in composition, investigating music from a philosophical complexity perspective.

He has received the coveted Helgard Steyn Award for composition, is a NRF-rated researcher and an adjunct senior lecturer in music history and performance practice at the SA College of Music at UCT.

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Posted: 2017/08/30 (10:14:25 AM)


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21 Cecil Road, Rosebank, Cape Town, South Africa | Tuesday - Friday 10h00 - 17h00 | Saturday 10h00 - 14h00 | Tel: +27(0)21 685 5686
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