Patrick Summers, Artistic and Music Director for Houston Grand Opera, moves from the conductor's podium to the speaker's podium when he gives three lectures in Rice University's prestigious Campbell Lecture Series on March 18, 19 and 20. His three presentations, collectively titled "Thinking Music: the Conductor as Cultural Leader and Teacher," will endeavor to explain music's role and relevance in modern society. Summers, who is profiled in the April 2013 issue of Opera News (on sale March 8), will also conduct two major productions this spring at Houston Grand Opera: a new production of Wagner's Tristan und Isolde (April 18 - May 5), featuring Nina Stemme in her US role debut as Isolde and Ben Heppner as Tristan, followed by Verdi's Il trovatore (April 26 - May 11).
The Campbell Lecture Series is a nationally recognized endowed lecture series at Rice University's School of Humanities that, each year, features a distinguished leader in the humanities. Summers' first lecture, based on the musical form of the fugue, threads together the idea of music as language and philosophy with insights into music's basic properties of rhythm, melody, and harmony. The second lecture, a theme and variations, looks to elucidate opera, the human voice, and the life of an opera company. The third and final lecture, in sonata form, discusses a brief history of conducting and the conductor's responsibility toward education and artistic awareness, all while looking forward to the future of listening.
Each lecture is scheduled to last 45 minutes and will be followed by Q & A. The three lectures will also be recorded for future webcast, and a book based on the lectures will be published by University of Chicago Press (details to be announced). Summers comments: "Through these lectures, I hope to have an entertaining polyphonic discussion that can unlock, and perhaps define, music."
For further information visit: http://campbell.rice.edu/patricksummers.aspx