Talking Thomas Tallis

Sidney hosts study day.

Sidney Sussex recently hosted a one-day conference re-appraising the life and work of the renowned sixteenth-century English composer Thomas Tallis. Organiser and Osborn Director of Music Dr David Skinner reflects on the day:

"Emblematically the servant of four monarchs, Thomas Tallis (d. 1585) worked during the central decades of the sixteenth century, when the English Reformation entered a phase of turbulence. Although the compositional legacy of these years is extraordinarily rich and varied, its chronology is contestable, not least because so few of the manuscript sources date from Tallis’s lifetime.

Supported by the AHRC-funded Tudor Partbooks research project, this Study Day focused upon the dates and contexts of some key pieces of evidence: the antiphon Gaude gloriosa, the motet O sacrum convivium, the vernacular Litany of 1544, the anthem O Lord give thy holy spirit, and Tallis's employment as organist at Dover Priory.

The study day included papers by David Skinner, Andrew Johnstone, Magnus Williamson, Kerry McCarthy, John Milsom and Roger Bowers. It ended with an evening recital by ALAMIRE in Jesus Chapel. The papers will be published in the May 2016 issue of Early Music (OUP)."

You can read a 'live-feed' of the day by following the link to Storify.


This is an archived news story first posted in December, 2015

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