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Bach and Handel – what’s the difference?

24 April @ 7:30 pm 9:00 pm

Professor John Butt, OBE, FRSE, FBA
Gardiner Professor of Music, University of Glasgow, Visiting Professor at Princeton, and Musical Director of the Dunedin Consort.

John Butt with the Dunedin Consort (Credit: Jen Owens Images)

John Butt is Gardiner Professor of Music at the University of Glasgow and musical director of Edinburgh’s Dunedin Consort. As an undergraduate at Cambridge University, he held the office of organ scholar at King’s College. Continuing as a graduate student working on the music of Bach he received his PhD in 1987. He was subsequently a lecturer at the University of Aberdeen and a Fellow of Magdalene College Cambridge, joining the faculty at UC Berkeley in 1989 as University Organist and Professor of Music. In autumn 1997 he returned to Cambridge as a University Lecturer and Fellow of King’s College, and in October 2001 he took up his current post at Glasgow. His books have been published by Cambridge University Press: these include Bach Interpretation (1990), a handbook on Bach’s Mass in B Minor (1991), Music Education and the Art of Performance in the German Baroque (1994). 

Summary: The two greatest composers of the early eighteenth century often engender their own devotees, but very little attention is given to what actually divides them. Given that the two come from very similar backgrounds, their careers went down radically different paths. At a technical level they inevitably share many characteristics, but the differences in mindset, musical hearing and narrative musical consciousness might well reveal much about the sheer breadth of early eighteenth-century thought – right on the cusp of the modern world.

Attending this lecture: This event is open to both members and non-members to attend in person. The event will also be streamed using Zoom. Unless COVID-19 (or other) restrictions are imposed, it will not be necessary to book in advance. If such restrictions are put in place, then this webpage will be updated with information on how to book.

Members: Members will receive an email about a week before the event providing them with the information required to listen to the lecture using Zoom.

Non-members: Non-members may attend either on Zoom or in-person on payment of £5 (student non-members £3) by booking through EventBrite:



New Walk Museum, 53 New Walk
Leicester, LE1 7EA
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