38. Evolution of a Song Cycle
18 October 2019, 15:30 - 16:30
Presented in association with the Museum of Natural History
In a discussion led by John Holmes (editor of the Museum’s anthology Guests of Time), composer Cheryl Frances-Hoad, soprano Carola Darwin, poet Kelley Swain and scientist James Neenan talk about the collaborative process behind a Darwin-inspired song cycle with new poetry and music, ahead of this evening’s chamber music concert.
ComposerCheryl Frances-Hoad was born in Essex in 1980 and received her musical education at the Yehudi Menuhin School, the University of Cambridge (where she was awarded a double 1st for her BA in Music and a distinction for her MPhil in Composition) and Kings College London (PhD, Composition). Her music has been described as “like a declaration of faith in the eternal verities of composition” (The Times), with “a voice overflowing not only with ideas, but also with the discipline and artistry necessary to harness them” (The ... Read Full Biography
SopranoCarola Darwin combines a career as an opera and concert singer with research and writing about music. She took her first degree in Natural Sciences (Chemistry) at Cambridge, before gaining an M Mus (Perf.) in singing from the Royal Northern College of Music. At the Oxford Lieder Festival 2019, she premièred Cheryl Frances-Hoad’s Endless Forms Most Beautiful: a song-cycle on texts about evolution and the environment, commissioned with funds from the Arts Council. Operatic roles include Fox (The Cunning Little Vixen, Surrey Ope... Read Full Biography
PoetKelley Swain is a poet, novelist, and critic, working at the crossroads of science and art. Originally from Rhode Island, she lived in London for a decade before moving to rural Oxfordshire. She holds an MSc in Medical Humanities from King’s College London, writing and teaching in the subject, and has worked for Imperial College London, Duke University, and the University of Reading, leading courses, seminars, and workshops. She is a regular contributor to The Lancet medical journals, specialising in reviews of literature, theatre, exh... Read Full Biography
SpeakerJohn Holmes is Professor of Victorian Literature and Culture at the University of Birmingham and an Honorary Associate of the Oxford University Museum of Natural History. His books include Darwin’s Bards: British and American Poetry in the Age of Evolution (2009) and The Pre-Raphaelites and Science (2018). He has worked very closely with the museum on their Visions of Nature programmes, including editing the collection Guests of Time (2016), which gathered together poems by the three poets in residence at the museum, Kelley Swain, John... Read Full Biography
SpeakerJames Neenan is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History, co-funded by the John Fell Fund. Prior to this, James was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa, where he studied inner ear evolution and growth in dinosaurs. James obtained a BSc (Hons) in Palaeobiology from University College London, followed by an MSc in Palaeobiology at the University of Bristol. He conducted his doctoral work at the University of Zurich in Switzerland, where he studied the an... Read Full Biography
This event is part of a series:
The 18th Oxford Lieder Festival will explore life, death, and the mysterious areas between and beyond. Sprites and nymphs cause mayhem and mischief, while legends abound from Greco-Roman sagas to the Lorelei and the Erlking. Storytelling with the Crick Crack Club, a ghost tour, a magic show and more all complement the myriad concerts, masterclasses and study events over a packed fortnight....