Art and Big Ideas Events

The Elusive Chopin

17 August 2016

How did Chopin create some of the greatest masterpieces in the piano literature?

This illustrated talk by John Rink, Professor of Musical Performance Studies and a Fellow of St John’s College, Cambridge, seeks to answer this question starting with a tour of his pianos, where his musical ideas were initially conceived and fully developed.

It then looks at Chopin’s compositional process and the different types of score that he produced over time, including sketches, abandoned manuscripts, fair copies intended for use by publishers and copies presented to friends as keepsakes. The multiple first editions and the autograph glosses in the scores used by Chopin’s students are also discussed, prior to a final consideration of the fate of Chopin’s music after his death.

This conversation challenges any assumptions we might have about the identity and stability of the Chopin's work, while allowing us to celebrate one of the richest musical imaginations the world has ever known.

Fathom by Jane Grant and John Matthias

In the first event for the Arts and Big Ideas series for 2016, artist Jane Grant and composer John Matthias presented their project Fathom, a major soundwork which immersed people in the live underwater experience of the Tamar Estuary.

Jane Grant and John Matthias, are co-directors of the art + sound research group at Plymouth University UK whose core members include artists, scientists, sound artists and musicians. The group fosters connections in the creative, academic and scientific disciplines by exploring the intersection of practice, theory and applied technology. There is a special emphasis on the interplay between sound, moving image and installation.