Skip to main content

Past Events > 2022


Composing Philosophy? Songs on Poems of Friedrich Nietzsche

29 May 2022, 16:00 - 17:15



Free entry! No booking required.

A special event in collaboration with Oxford University's Faculty of Music, featuring Oxford Lieder Young Artists

Shortly following the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche’s retreat from public life in 1889, composers started to turn to his works for inspiration. Initial and still well-known responses came in the form of Richard Strauss’s tone poem Also Sprach Zarathustra (Thus Spoke Zoroaster, 1896) and Gustav Mahler’s Symphony no.3 (1896), which set a short poem from Zarathustra to music. But since those earliest years, hundreds of composers have turned to Nietzsche’s texts—especially his poems—as fodder for compositions of all kinds.

Devised and presented by Jennifer Ronyak (Marie Skłodowska Curie Individual European Fellow in the Faculty of Music) this short song recital features performers from Oxford Lieder’s Young Artist Programme. It juxtaposes two very contrasting song sets based entirely on Nietzsche’s poetry, one by the early twentieth-century Croatian composer Dora Pejačević, and another by the contemporary German composer Wolfgang Rihm, before concluding with Mahler’s setting from his Symphony no.3.

In a short concluding discussion, Jennifer Ronyak and Associate Professor of German David Groiser will reflect on the interaction between Nietzsche’s philosophical projects, the role of his literary and poetic impulses within them, and how these topics relate to musical attempts to engage with Nietzsche through song.


Artist Portrait

Jennifer Ronyak

Jennifer Ronyak

Speaker

Jennifer Ronyak is currently Senior Scientist in the Institute for Musical Aesthetics at the University for Music and Performing Arts Graz (Kunstuniversität Graz). Her work has been published in The Journal of the American Musicological Society, 19th-Century Music, Music & Letters, The Journal of Musicology, and the Jahrbuch Musik und Gender. Her book, Intimacy, Performance, and the Lied in the Early Nineteenth Century, will appear later this year from Indiana University Press. She has also explored the implications of her resear... Read Full Biography
Artist Portrait

David Groiser

David Groiser

Speaker

Artist Portrait

Angharad Rowlands

Angharad Rowlands

Mezzo-soprano

Described by Gramophone as “arresting”, Angharad Rowlands is a Welsh mezzo-soprano studying for an MA in Performance at the RAM under Raymond Connell and Iain Ledingham. She is a semi-finalist of the Hurn Court Opera Singer of the Year Competition (2020), a Nevill Holt Opera Associate Artist, and a member of the Academy Song Circle. From September 2022, Angharad will join Royal Academy Opera. In 2019 Angharad made her debut at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden as 2nd Bridesmaid in David McVicar’s revival production of... Read Full Biography
Artist Portrait

Joseph Beesley

Joseph Beesley

Pianist

Joseph Beesley is a repetiteur, accompanist and conductor based in London, studying at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama under Bretton Brown, Liz Rowe, Susanna Stranders, and Dominic Wheeler. He has acted as a repetiteur for productions at the Guildhall as well as for New Chamber Opera and British Youth Opera, and in 2022 makes his professional debut with Opera Holland Park and Nevill Holt Opera. In 2021 he played in the Final of the Kathleen Ferrier Competition, and has accompanied masterclasses with Simon Lepper and James Conlon amon... Read Full Biography
Artist Portrait

Jonathan Eyers

Jonathan Eyers

Baritone

Jonathan Eyers is a baritone from Hamilton, New Zealand, and is currently completing the second year of the Opera Studies Course at Guildhall School of Music and Drama, studying with Robert Dean. Jonathan holds a Master of Performance with Distinction from Guildhall and a Bachelor of Music with First Class Honours at the University of Waikato. As a student at Guildhall, Jonathan has taken part in numerous exciting performances: in the London Symphony Orchestra's production of Candide with Marin Alsop; in Iain Burnside's Swansong; ... Read Full Biography
Artist Portrait

Joseph Cavalli-Price

Joseph Cavalli-Price

Pianist

Welsh-Italian pianist Joseph Cavalli-Price is a collaborative pianist and tenor completing his Masters in Piano Accompaniment at the Royal Academy of Music, studying with Michael Dussek, Joseph Middleton, Malcolm Martineau and Raymond Connell. In 2020, he graduated with a First Class Honours degree in Vocal and Opera Performance from the Royal Welsh College of Music. At the Academy, Joseph plays for the prestigious Song Circle and Academy Voices, recently performing in a series of three “Transcending Borders” recitals, explori... Read Full Biography

Mailing List