March 2018


Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim and Nico Muhly - Contrapuntalism

  • Tuesday, 6 March 2018 - 6:00pm
AAR Lecture Room
Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears in Bali

This event is part of the series New Work in the Arts & Humanities: East and West.

Ever since Edward Saïd, scholars have alerted listeners to the ways in which composers of Western classical music have dipped into other traditions in order to dress up a musical Other with which to converse and compete. This can range from the use of formulaic exotic signifiers to direct quotation, but also includes the more diffuse assimilation of styles, ideas, and genres.

With every successive generation of composers untangling the counterpoint of musical signifiers, our readings of them become more complex: how do we hear, for instance, a twenty-first-century work alluding to Benjamin Britten’s infatuation with Balinese music? And how do composers today negotiate concerns regarding cultural appropriation?

Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim is the Critic in Residence at the American Academy in Rome and music critic for the New York Times. Nico Muhly is the Paul Fromm Composer in Residence at the American Academy in Rome.

The event will be held in English. You can watch this event livestreamed at

Conversations/Conversazioni series is sponsored by the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation.

Please note: valid photo ID is required for entry into the American Academy in Rome. Backpacks and luggage with dimensions larger than cm 40 x 35 x 15 (inches 16 x 14 x 6) are not permitted on the property. There are no locker facilities available.