Musical Competitions in Europe


organized by
Centro Studi Opera Omnia
Luigi Boccherini, Lucca

Palazzetto Bru ZaneCentre de musique
romantique française, Venice

in collaboration with
IAM – Italian Institute for Applied Musicology

Edizione Nazionale Italiana
dell’Opera omnia di P. A. Locatelli

Lovere (BG), Accademia Tadini

09-11 June 2023



The Centro Studi Opera Omnia Luigi Boccherini and the Palazzetto Bru Zane are pleased to invite submissions of proposals for the symposium «Musical Competitions in Europe (1700-1920)», to be held in Lovere (BG) Italy, Accademia Tadini, from 09 to 11 June 2023.

Multiplication of musical competitions during the 18th and 19th centuries is one aspect of this art’s development that has been neglected until now. It concerns instrumental or vocal performances as well as composition or instrument making. It can be a way to bring people together, to promote an institution or an industry, to encourage emulation, or to develop a certain way to practise or write music.

In the 18th century composers and musicisans used to compete each other in performance, especially with organ, harpsichord or violin. But the modern form of competition develops in the 19th century.

The conference aims to examine these competitions and to analyse their flourishing on a large geographical and temporal scales. We encourage studies that focus on the purpose of these events, and on the way they work: competition programmes, members of the jury, evaluation criteria, rewards, etc. Facing the declining influence of patronage, are musical contests an expression of a certain democratization of this art?

  • Vocal or instrumental competitions
  • Famous Musical Duels (Handel vs Scarlatti; Beethoven vs Steibelt; Mozart vs Clementi; Liszt vs Thalberg, etc.)
  • Composition contests
  • Instrument’s making in World Fair or national fairs
  • Members of the juries
  • Institutions organizing competitions
  • Musical genres promoted by competitions
  • Political discourse during these events
  • The use of medals or titles in the promotion of an artistic career

Scholarly Committee:

  • Alexandre Dratwicki (Palazzetto Bru Zane, Venezia)
  • Roberto Illiano (Centro Studi Opera Omnia Luigi Boccherini)
  • Étienne Jardin (Palazzetto Bru Zane, Venezia)
  • Massimiliano Locanto (Università di Salerno)
  • Michela Niccolai (IHRIM, Lyon2 / LaM, ULB)
  • Fulvia Morabito (Centro Studi Opera Omnia Luigi Boccherini)
  • Massimiliano Sala (Centro Studi Opera Omnia Luigi Boccherini)

Keynote Speakers:

  • Charles Edward McGuire (Oberlin College, OH)

The official languages of the conference are English, French, Italian. Papers selected at the conference will be published in a miscellaneous volume.
Papers are limited to twenty minutes in length, allowing time for questions and discussion. Please submit an abstract of no more than 500 words and one page of biographical information.

All proposals should be submitted by email no later than ***19 February 2023*** to <>. Please include your name, contact details (postal address, e-mail and telephone number) and (if applicable) your affiliation with your proposal.

The committee will make its final decision on the abstracts by the half of March, and contributors will be informed immediately thereafter. Further information about the programme, registration, travel, and accommodation will be announced after that date.

For any additional information, please contact:

Dr. Massimiliano Sala

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