2013 Hollander Distinguished Lecture in Musicology to Focus on 18th Century Grand Tour

Music and the Grand Tour in the 18th Century

John A. Rice
Friday, March 15 • 4:30-6:00 p.m.
Conference Room, Fourth Floor West, Main Library MSU Campus
Free and open to the public.

Europe’s relatively peaceful and prosperous state after 1715 led to an increase in international travel. The nobility and the upper middle classes of Germany, France, and especially Britain went south to Italy, touring palaces, visiting galleries, and sampling the local cuisine. Their travels, collectively, have come to be called the Grand Tour.

Many professional musicians traveled around Europe to enhance their skills and earn money. Although their travels differed from those of the noble and wealthy whose experiences typified the Grand Tour, in this presentation Rice will apply the term broadly to all the great travels across Europe.

The Grand Tour affected music in many ways by broadening the tastes of musicians and patrons. It brought foreigners into the theaters of Italy, introducing Italian singers and composers to visitors. Among the most popular souvenirs that tourists brought home were musical scores.

No musician gained more from travel than Mozart. Although his father’s primary motive in organizing the European tour that the Mozart family made from 1763-66 was to earn money from the performances of his two prodigious children, the trip also benefited the children by exposing them to the languages, customs, and musical styles of Europe’s cities and courts.

Sponsored by the Stanley and Selma Hollander Endowed Fund in Musicology.

John A. Rice, visiting lecturer in musicology at the University of Michigan, is a member of the Akademie für Mozart-Forschung in Salzburg and studied at the University of California, Berkeley, under Daniel Heartz (Ph.D, 1987). He has taught at the University of Washington, Colby College, the University of Houston, the University of Texas at Austin, and the University of Pittsburgh. He has written many articles and several books on music of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, most recently Mozart on the Stage (2009) and Music in the Eighteenth Century (2012, part of a new series of textbooks published by Norton, Western Music in Context). His book, Antonio Salieri and Viennese Opera (1998), received the American Musicological Society’s Kinkeldey Award.

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