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The Power of Musick - Music and Politics in Georgian Britain

13-15 June 2013

Herrenhausen Symposium by the Volkswagen Foundation and the German Historical Institute, London

Venue: German Historical Institute London


During Handel’s stay in London, which lasted nearly fifty years, the city of the Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, becomes one of the musical capitals of the early 18th century next to Italy, Hamburg, and Paris. 1710, when Handel first comes to England, he is still in the service of the Elector George Louis of Hanover who – four years later – becomes King of Great Britain and Ireland. Handel is now composing secular and sacred music for the English Court, the Church of England, and the opera. The aristocratic audiences take part in the rich musical life and newspapers report on the performances. What factors contributed to the fact that London became a first-rate city of music? What role did the personal union between England and Hanover play and what was the effect that a "German" king sat on the throne of England? And did the contemporary press, the rulers, and the public of the 18th century imagine Handel as an English (or German) composer? The symposium "The Power of Musick - Music and Politics in Georgian Britain" examines the work of Handel during his London period and its effect on the contemporary musical life between town and country, court, church, and the middle classes.


Otto Biba, Vienna
Tim Blanning, Oxford
Donald Burrows, London
Werner Busch, Berlin
Tassilo Erhardt, Liverpool
Andreas Gestrich, London
Wolfgang Hirschmann, Halle
Laurenz Lütteken, Zurich
Hans Joachim Marx, Hamburg
Annette Richards, Cornell
Ruth Smith, Cambridge
Stefanie Stockhorst, Potsdam
Wiebke Thormählen, Southampton
Andreas Waczkat, Göttingen
Melanie Wald-Fuhrmann, Berlin

Symposium programme (PDF file)
Symposium flyer (PDF file)