AMS - Library of Congress Lecture Series
The American Musicological Society and the Music Division of the Library of Congress are pleased to present a series of lectures highlighting musicological research conducted in the Division’s collections.
- 27 October 2016, 7 p.m., Madison Bldg., Montpelier Room: Dominic McHugh (Sheffield University), "In the Workshop of Lerner and Loewe: Archival Sources for the Genesis of My Fair Lady"
Dominic McHugh describes his lecture as follows: "Sixty years after its premiere, Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe’s My Fair Lady (1956) remains an important landmark in the history of the Broadway musical. Its original run of 2,717 performances far exceeded that of any other musical of its generation, while its positive critical reception was almost unprecedented. Yet surprisingly little is still known about the background to the musical, or indeed the wider cultural resonances of the Lerner-Loewe collaboration as a whole. Curiously, My Fair Lady is such a lauded work that it is almost impenetrable: its lasting presence in culture and society often masks its daring and imagination. This lecture delves into the Library of Congress’s extensive musical theatre collections, which provide a unique window into the workshop of Lerner and Loewe. Unusually, over a dozen boxes of music reveal the gruelling process of producing scores for a Broadway musical in the 1950s, placing the emphasis not on the creation of a work but rather on achieving an effective performance. The lecture examines the particularities of the team’s creative process, focusing on their collaborations with the dance and choral arrangers, as well as the musical’s orchestrators."
Dominic McHugh is Senior Lecturer in Musicology and Director of Performance at The University of Sheffield, UK. His publications include the books Loverly: The Life and Times of ‘My Fair Lady’ and Alan Jay Lerner: A Lyricist’s Letters, both published by Oxford University Press. His other publications include chapters in The Oxford Handbook of the British Musical, The Routledge Companion to Music and Visual Culture and The Palgrave Handbook of Musical Theatre Producers, as well as articles for Journal of the American Musicological Society, The Wagner Journal and New Theatre Quarterly. He is a graduate of King’s College London, winning the Purcell Prize, and also studied piano performance at the Royal Academy of Music. He has also appeared numerous times on BBC TV and radio and has acted as a consultant for Christie’s, the Sydney Opera House and the Victoria and Albert Museum.
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Click here for information on previous lectures, including links to the webcasts:
Beethoven’s Sonata in E Major, opus 109"
Race, the Blues, and On the Town (1944)"
Biography as Music History”