Winter Conferences Explore Cutting-Edge Approaches to Historical Keyboards

Over the course of January–February 2022, the Cornell Center for Historical Keyboard and its affiliate organizations, the Westfield Center for Historical Keyboard Studies and Cornell ReSounds, put on two conferences devoted to cutting-edge approaches to historical keyboards. The first, in January, was the Westfield Center's Diversity and Belonging: Unsung Keyboard Stories, which took place at the University of Michigan and considered timely questions of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the context of keyboard music histories; an esteemed roster of keyboard performer-scholars – including Karen Walwyn, Leah Claiborne, Connor Chee, Joel Schoenhals, Ana María Otamendi, Kola Owolabi, Kira Thurman, Kimberly Marshall, Leon Chisholm, and many more – appeared at the five-day event. 

You can watch recordings of several concerts and talks from Diversity and Belonging on the Westfield Center's YouTube webpage.

On the subsequent weekend, Cornell ReSounds presented play | pen, a two-day virtual symposium concentrating on connections between past musical inventions and new media designs, thus fortifying Cornell as a hub for the collaborative performance of instruments old and new. The event served as a kickoff for a new class on instrument-building taught by organizers Elizabeth Ogonek (assistant professor) and Ryan McCullough (visiting lecturer), and participants included Emily Dolan, Mark Stewart, Andrew McPherson, Cory Smyth, Jesse Jones, Devin Hough, and Bart Hopkin.

Check out a lovely promo for play | pen by way of this link.

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Diversity and Belonging conference