Dr. Vicki Pierce Stroeher, associate professor of music, presented her paper, “‘Without any tune’: The Role of the Discursive Shift in Britten’s Interpretation of Poetry” at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom at the “Literary Britten” Conference on Sept. 3.
Benjamin Britten (1913-1976) was a 20th century English composer of the operas Peter Grimes, Billy Budd, and the Turn of the Screw, as well as a number of other vocal and instrumental works. Stroeher said she is particularly interested in his songs and song cycles, and so most of her research over the years has focused on these and the intersection between poetry and music. This particular paper explores Britten’s musical language and how he uses that language to interpret poetry. The paper will be published as part of a new book series.
“I first fell in love with Britten’s works in college and have been researching Britten since my earliest days in graduate school,” Stroeher said. “Being invited to present at this conference dedicated to his work is both an honor and a confirmation of my research efforts. I am humbled by it, but also excited about the opportunity to share my work with other Britten scholars.”
Stroeher received her Ph.D. in musicology in 1994 from the University of North Texas. Her dissertation was titled “Form and Meaning in Benjamin Britten’s Sonnet Cycles.” She received a bachelor’s degree in music history and a bachelor’s in music education from Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas, in 1981, and pursued additional studies at Indiana University and Goldsmith’s College, University of London.
Additionally, Stroeher is in residence at the Britten-Pears Library in Aldeburgh, England, for the month of September, working on transcribing and editing a volume of correspondence between Britten and his recital partner Peter Pears, with two colleagues from the Britten-Pears Library, Lucy Walker and Jude Brimmer.
Stroeher is married to Dr. Michael Stroeher, professor of trombone and euphonium at Marshall.
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