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A Heavenly Beginning and a Cosmic Close

Originally Posted on admin, November 16, 2007

News & Publications: Santa Fe

Dean's Lecture, 11/16: “A Heavenly Beginning and a Cosmic Close: Bach, Beethoven, and the Musically Infinite”

WHAT: The Dean’s Lecture Series

WHO:  Wendy Allanbrook, University of California, Berkeley, Music Department

TITLE:  “A Heavenly Beginning and a Cosmic Close: Bach, Beethoven, and the Musically Infinite”

WHERE:  Great Hall, Peterson Student Center, St. John’s College

WHEN: Friday, November 16, 8 p.m.

COST:  This event is free of charge and open to the public.

CONTACT: 984-6000

In previous lectures at St. John’s Allanbrook has described Mozart’s compositional style as having a kind of comic finitude – a worldly precision of reference drawing on the musical habits of eighteenth-century Europe. In this lecture she will examine his style from a slightly different perspective by presenting two counterexamples, by composers flanking Mozart chronologically, which strive after a sense of musical infinity.


Wye J. Allanbrook is a music historian who has written extensively on the music of Mozart and Haydn, social dance history, comic opera, and the poetics of musical expression. She was a tutor at St. John’s College in Annapolis from 1969 to 1994. Invited to the University of California, Berkeley, in 1994 to give the Ernest Bloch Lectures, she was offered an appointment in the Department of Music and remained on the faculty there until her retirement this July. She has held fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the Guggenheim Foundation, and was twice a fellow at the National Humanities Center in North Carolina. At present she is continuing her study of expression in the instrumental music of Mozart and Haydn.