The Music of Vermeer with Kate Bolton-Porciatti
His exquisite depictions of 17th-century instruments include the cittern, guitar, harpsichord, lute, recorder, trumpet, viola da gamba and virginals: quite apart from the technical challenges they posed for artists, all these instruments had extra-musical connotations. So, far from being merely frozen images of contemporary life, these scenes resonate with allegorical, symbolic or moralistic undertones, and Dutch emblem books were published to help decipher and explain their significance. An understanding of musical symbols and metaphors, as well as the overtones of different musical instruments, is therefore fundamental to a fuller appreciation of Vermeer’s intention.
Led by Kate Bolton-Porciatti, an expert on the relationships between music and art, this Conversation will bring to life Vermeer’s musical scenes through a selection of historically-informed performances that evoke the spirit of the time. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an enriched appreciation of the harmony of music and art in the Golden Age of Dutch painting.
Kate Bolton-Porciatti is a professor of Italian cultural history and music at the Istituto Lorenzo de'Medici in Florence, where she teaches BA and MA courses in the humanities. She also lectures at the British Institute, Florence, and at the Chigiana Music Academy in Siena. Kate has published extensively as an academic and a journalist; she is a music critic for BBC Music and a travel writer for The Daily Telegraph, UK. Before moving to Italy permanently in 2005, she was a senior producer and broadcaster for BBC Arts & Classical Music in London and has won prestigious Jerusalem and Sony Awards for her programs. She did her M.Phil. thesis in Italy, exploring the musical culture of early Renaissance Florence.
This conversation is suitable for all ages.
90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.