Music Appreciation

Julian Williamson

Julian Williamson

Music Appreciation*

AutumnTerm:  Shostakovich and his world – Genius versus state repression; creativity and communism

This series will trace the amazing music produced, not only by Shostakovich but also by his many contemporaries all of whom struggled to display their genius under the shadow of a dictator who nearly destroyed the creative life of a whole nation.


Spring Term: The legacy of J.S. Bach

This term we will compare the comparative obscurity of Bach’s own life to the amazing way his output has changed the face of history ever since, and been a guiding light to many of the great composers of the world.


Summer Term: An Opera Tour down Unfamiliar Roads

This series will unearth some of Verdi’s forgotten works and will show what extraordinary gems they contain.


Tutor:                    Julian Williamson

Time:                     Tuesdays 10.30am – 12.30pm

Dates:                   Sept 19 – Nov 28 (half term Oct 24)

                              Jan 9 – March 20 (half term Feb 13)

                               April 24 – June 12 (half term May 29)

Venue:                 Victoria Hall

Fees:                     HLSI members £95 for a 10-week term

                              £68 for 7-week summer term

                              Non-members £120 for a 10-week term

                              £86 for 7-week summer term


Autumn term

Shostakovich and his world:  Genius versus state repression; creativity and communism

Shostakovich was, without doubt, one of the greatest musicians of the 20th century. His legacy includes symphonies, concertos, string quartets, piano music , a raft of ballet scores, film music, jazz and one of the world’s greatest operas. But he was one of the many Russian artists who had to try and produce their work under the yoke of one of the most repressive regimes the world has known.


Spring term

The legacy of J.S. Bach

If J.S.Bach reappeared in the world today he would be astonished at the universal love of his music. In his lifetime his work was little known outside the centre for which it was written and for nearly a century after his death it was largely forgotten. But the influence which he has exerted over other composers spread like ripples in a pond until it became a guide to almost all the great composers of subsequent centuries.


Summer term

An Opera Tour down Unfamiliar Roads: the little known works of Giuseppe Verdi

From Oberto to Luisa Miller, there are treasures hidden in the music which the world has ignored and which will delight and surprise you. Verdi wrote some of the most celebrated operas the world has ever known. But what many of us have never heard are some of the magical worlds he produced before he became internationally famous. During his life he wrote some thirty stage works of which seven or eight form a regular part of an opera house’s repertoire.  The remainder are only given an airing on rare occasions and so remain largely hidden to audiences.