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Durham University



On this page you can find the list of forthcoming events with details, in addition to the link to the music section of the university's What's On guide.

Research Forum: Lisa McCormick (Edinburgh)

28th January 2020, 15:00, Concert Room, Department of Music

Scandalous Choices: Moral Disturbances in Classical Music Competitions

Please note this lecture has been rescheduled from 26 November 2019

In previous research, I explained how international classical music competitions could become public forums where civil competence could be displayed, representations of civil relations could be broadcast, and an expansion of the musical public could be imagined. This potential, while important, is only rarely realised; competitions produce controversies with much more regularity. In this paper, I seek to understand the causes and consequences of chronic moral upset in the competition circuit in order to produce general insights that will broaden and strengthen the cultural theory of scandal. My analytic framework features a typology of scandals of various magnitudes. I also consider their effects. Through a close examination of an iconic music scandal – Ivo Pogorelich’s elimination from the 1980 Chopin Competition in Warsaw – I explore the potential hazards of re-enchantment and the fallout from symbolic condensation.

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