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The University of Southampton
MusicPart of Humanities

Norris in Guildhall Gallery Celebration

Published: 30 January 2015

Southampton's Professor David Owen Norris will perform a specially designed programme to celebrate the reopening of the Guildhall Art Gallery, City of London, after major renovation.

As part of the £600,000 renovation of the Gallery, the Victorian paintings have been re-hung. They include Holman Hunt’s St Agnes’ Eve (the painting which caught Rossetti’s eye, and led to the formation of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood), John Byam Shaw’s The Blessed Damozel (after Rossetti’s poem), and a number of musical paintings including The Music Lesson by Lord Leighton, The Violinist by George Storey, and the remarkable A Sonata of Beethoven by Alfred Emslie, which imagines Beethoven in uncharacteristic knee-breeches.

Professor David Owen Norris has been invited to provide a musical programme for this event, which will include Sullivan’s song St Agnes’ Eve; the first performance in modern times of Lawrence Kellie’s setting of Oscar Wilde’s Under the Balcony (the only setting of Wilde’s verse published during the poet’s lifetime); and the first performance since 1948 of Sir Ivor Atkins’s English adaptation of Debussy’s setting of Rossetti’s Blessed Damozel. The singer will be Amanda Pitt, the piano kindly supplied by Yamaha Music UK.

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