An Unauthorised History Classical Music: Program

What to expect in our four fascinating talks unpacking the history of classical music, presented in partnership with ABC Classic.


Monday 25 July, 6.30pm

The Gamechangers

In the first of their four-part series, ABC Classic presenters Genevieve Lang and Russell Torrance delve into the people, places and ideas that have shaped the history of music. Why does Hildegard of Bingen still have cult status, almost a millennium after her lifetime? Was Beethoven really a revolutionary? How did film and technology change the way we make and listen to music? And what’s going to shape the sounds of the future? Expect to have your assumptions challenged and to leave with some great stories: this is An Unauthorised History of Classical Music.


Monday 1 August, 6.30pm

How Music Works

In their second talk in collaboration with the ACO, Genevieve Lang and Russell Torrance ask and answer questions about the nuts and bolts of music. What does a conductor actually do? How does sound leave an instrument and enter our brains? Why does music make us feel like it does? This talk will be full of lightbulb moments that will mean you never see music in the same way again.


Monday 8 August, 6.30pm

War, Peace and the Wrong Side of History

In the third of this four-part collaboration between the ABC and the ACO, Genevieve Lang and Russell Torrance explore the connection between music, war, controversy, and hope. They’ll ask how wartime has influenced composers in the 21st century, and how history has judged certain composers and performers. They’ll explain why song was so central to the suffragette movement, and how music can help to achieve reconciliation. Expect to be moved by tragedy and inspired by hope.


Monday 15 August, 6.30pm

Dirty Little Secrets

Things get awkward in the fourth and final talk from ABC Classic’s Genevieve Lang and Russell Torrance. Who are the composers who didn’t play by the rules? Who copied whose music, and why? What are the musical love children of the great composers? How did composers reconcile the pious and the profane – and what’s the naughtiest piece of music written by the unlikeliest composer? Expect to be shocked and amused in the final instalment of  An Unauthorised History of Classical Music.

Click here to buy tickets to An Unauthorised History of Classical Music, 25 July - 15 August, 6.30pm at The Neilson, Pier 2/3.