• Song Cycles Conference, April 20-22, 2018 image

    Song Cycles Conference, April 20-22, 2018

  • Song Cycles Conference, April 20-22, 2018 image

    Song Cycles Conference, April 20-22, 2018

April 20-22, 2018, Cook Recital Hall, Music Building

Explore the deeper meaning in music

14 unique presentations blend performance with engaging discussions

“20th- and 21st-Century Song Cycles for Voice and Piano,” a conference hosted by the Michigan State University College of Music on April 20-22, 2018, will bring together scholars and performers interested in exploring this music from complementary perspectives. The three day conference includes five sessions hosted  by MSU Associate Professors of Music Theory Michael Callahan and Gordon Sly.

Conference is free and open to the public. Daily sessions include multiple presentations and discussions along with social gatherings and networking opportunities.


Parking is free on campus on weekends and after 6pm on weekdays. Suggested parking for Friday, Lot 62 on the north end of Spartan Stadium and IM Sports or Parking Ramp 6 located off East Grand River Avenue. 

Can’t attend but woudl like to observe?

Beginning Friday, April 20, 2 p.m. a select group of presentations will be avaiable to view online through Livestream. Visit the event page for updates.

Song Cycles conference Itinerary

Each presentation cycle includes a scholarly presentation, immediately followed by a performance, then a 15-minute open discussion period with attendees and participants. Download, view and print Itinerary [PDF]

Friday April 20th

SESSION 1, hosted by Michael Callahan

  • Wasting the Night (1990) Music by Scott Wheeler. Text by Edna St. Vincent Millay
  • Despite and Still (1968) Music by Samuel Barber. Text by Robert Graves, James Joyce, and Theodore Roethke
  • Civil Words (2014) Music by Jennifer Higdon. Text by Anonymous, Thaddeus Oliver, Abraham Lincoln, William Cullen Bryant, and Kate Putman Osgood


SESSION 2, hosted by Gordon Sly

  • 4 Verses of Captain Lebyadkin (1974) Music by Dmitri Shostakovich. Text by Dostoyevsky
  • From the Diary of Sally Hemings (2000) Music by William Bolcom. Text by Sandra Seaton

Saturday April 21st

SESSION 3, hosted by Gordon Sly

  • Tel Jour Telle Nuit (1937) Music by Francis Poulenc. Text by Paul Éluard
  • ὁδοιπορία [the journey] (2010) Music by Paul Sánchez. Text by Sappho
  • Apparition (1979) Music by George Crumb. Text by Walt Whitman


SESSION 4, hosted by Michael Callahan

  • Sonnets from the Portuguese (1991) Music by Libby Larsen, Text by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
  • Cold Mountain Songs (1993) Music by Robert Morris, Text by Han-Shan
  • The Holy Sonnets of John Donne (1945) Music by Benjamin Britten. Text by John Donne


Sunday April 22nd

SESSION 5, hosted by Gordon Sly

  • We’ll to the Woods No More (1927) Music by John Ireland. Text by Alfred Edward Housman
  • Pushkin Romances (1935) Music by Georgy Sviridov. Text by Alexander Pushkin


  • Das Buch der hängenden Gärten (1908–9) Music by Arnold Schoenberg. Text by Stefan George