February 4, 2014

Renaissance England Music Expert set to speak at UM

Due to a winter storm warning, this event has been rescheduled for Thursday, Feb. 27 at 3:30 p.m. in LeBaron Recital Hall.

The Concert and Lecture Committee of the University of Montevallo and the Department of Music is presenting a lecture by Kerry McCarthy, associate professor of music at Duke University, entitled “From the Library of a Renaissance Composer” Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014, at 3:30 p.m. in LeBaron Recital Hall.

What does a musician’s personal library of books tell us about him? In the case of renowned 16th-century composer William Byrd, quite a lot. A staunch Catholic during a time when Catholics were routinely persecuted in England, Byrd assembled a library with some very surprising volumes on religious and political controversies, many of which argued violently against his own beliefs. Dr. McCarthy describes the often colorful content of Byrd’s books (did you know eating garlic every day is a terrible vice?) and considers why Byrd might have been interested in them. The lecture is also a bit of a detective story, as Dr. McCarthy discusses her quest to find and authenticate these books as being Byrd’s property (there are plenty of English fellows named “William Byrd”…).

Dr. McCarthy is one of the world’s leading experts on William Byrd and music in Renaissance England. Her books include Liturgy and Contemplation in Byrd’s Gradualia (Routledge, 2007) and the new biography William Byrd (Oxford, 2013), and her research has also been published in Musical TimesRenaissance StudiesJournal of the Royal Music AssociationMusic and Letters and Early Music History.

All faculty, staff, students and guests are invited to this free lecture. A reception will follow the event.