The American Handel Society holds a scholarly conference every other year in conjunction with its biennial music festival. This year’s conference will be held at the Pastoral Center, St. James Cathedral, Seattle, March 24-27, 2011. The conference will include scholarly papers by the world’s leading Handel scholars, as well as public lectures, concerts, receptions, meals, and more.

The conference portion of the festival is open to the public at the regular conference rate: $125 for the full three-day conference or $50 per day.

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Conference Schedule

Thursday, Mar. 24
(Thursday daytime events have separate fees)*
10:00 – 11:30: Baroque Dance Lecture-Demo (Anna Mansbridge)
11:30 – 1:00: Catered lunch and Country Garden slide show (Paul Willen)
1:00 – 5:30: Sing Handel choruses
6:00 – 8:00: Opening Reception (Handel’s harp music at 6:30 pm by Maxine Eilander)

Friday, Mar. 25
8:30 am: Snacks and coffee
9:00 – 11:45: Paper Session I: Singers and Their Contexts

Katherine Lowerre (East Lansing, Michigan), “An English Opera Singer in Handel’s London: Framing Narratives and Professional Networks”

Matthew Gardner (Ruprecht-Karls-Universität, Heidelberg, Germany), “Esther and Handel’s English Contemporaries”

David Vickers (Royal College of Music, Manchester), “Reassessing the Italians in Esther: Handel’s Bilingual Versions of his First English Oratorio”

Graydon Beeks (Pomona College),“Sweet Bird:” The Story of Dame Nellie Melba’s 1907 Recording”

12:00 – 1:00: Janet See baroque flute recital
1:15 – 2:30: Catered Lunch/AHS Board Meeting
2:30 – 4:45: Paper Session II: Ancients and Moderns

Corbett Bazler (University of Rochester), “Reforming Handel: The Failed Heroics of Imeneo and Deidamia”

Ruth Smith (Cambridge University, UK), “The Choice of Hercules and Handel”

Robert Ketterer (University of Iowa), “Iphigenia at Covent Garden”

Jonathan Rhodes Lee (University of California, Berkeley), “Must She her Acis Still Bemoan? Acis and Galatea and Sensibility”

7:00: Howard Serwer Memorial Lecture: David Hurley
8:00: Concert: Boston Early Music Festival: Acis and Galatea

Saturday, Mar. 26
8:30: Snacks and coffee
9:30 – 11:45: Paper Session III: Oratorio and Ode

Minji Kim (North Andover, MA), “The Voice of the People: Israelite Choruses in the 1720 Version of Handel’s Esther”

Helen Farson (University of California at Santa Barbara), “Quelling the Passion: Handel’s Reply to Dryden’s Arguments in A Song for St. Cecilia’s Day”

Fred Fehlsen (The Julliard School), “Reconsidering the Musical Language of Handel’s Messiah”

Stephen Nissenbaum (University of Massachusetts, Amherst), “Handel and the Boston Tea Party, 1773”

12:00 – 1:00: Handel Chorus concert
1:15 – 3:00: AHS luncheon, Donald Burrows: “Beyond the ‘New Deutsch’: a progress report on the Handel Documents project;” AHS General Membership Meeting
3:00 – 6:00: Afternoon free
7:00: Pre-Concert Lecture: John Roberts
8:00: Concert: Pacific Musicworks and Tudor Choir: Esther

Sunday, Mar. 27 (Sunday’s session at Town Hall)
10:00 – 1:30: Brunch and Paper Session IV: Sources and Documents

Ireri Chavez-Barcenas (Princeton University), “The Performing Parts of Handel’s Latin Works in the Koch Collection”

Annette Landgraf (HHA, Halle, Germany), “The Explanation and Deeper Meaning of Three Names in a Handel Document”

Thomas Goleeke (Tacoma,Washington), “Handel’s Gigue in D Minor: Is this the Earliest Version?”


Topics and Typologies

Angharad Davis (Yale University), “Towards a Typology of Handel’s Borrowings”

Greg Decker (Florida State University), “Colonizing Familiar Territory: Musical Topics, Stylistic Level, and Handel’s Cleopatra”

2:00: Pre-Concert Lecture
3:00: Concert: Seattle Baroque Orchestra
6:00: Post-Festival Dinner