MUsic Monday will explore Britten’s ‘Spring Symphony’

The Marshall University School of Music and Theatre will present the fourth and final lecture of the spring series for MUsic Mondays on May 9 at 6:30 p.m. at the Cellar Door, 905 3rd Ave., Huntington.

The lecture, “May Day: Benjamin Britten’s Spring Symphony,” will explore post-World War II England and its national musical identity. Lead presenter Dr. Vicki Stroeher, professor of music history at Marshall, said that Britten’s 1949 work embodies the iconic English countryside, but with an eye on the changes in the post-World War II era.

“Britten lived and worked in a picturesque coastal town in rural Suffolk, England, for most of his life, so he expresses an affinity with the landscape and sea,” Stroeher said. “He was a pacifist and registered as a conscientious objector during the war. He did see service, but as a performer on the home front. England believed very strongly that arts and culture were what the fighting was for, so the government maintained performances throughout the country even when there was heavy bombing. In consequence, Britten felt very strongly that his role as a composer was to write music that spoke to the community. The Spring Symphony was offered both as an expression of spring and as a tonic to heal the nation in the war’s aftermath.”

The spring series, titled “Music for the Season,” has been investigating music that reflects the season for which it was written. The lecture series will resume in the fall on Sept. 19.

Seating is limited. Participants are invited to arrive early to enjoy conversation and refreshments.

Each lecture costs $10, payable at the door. Checks should be made payable to Marshall University. All proceeds will go to support the music program.

For more information about MUsic Mondays, call the School of Music and Theatre at 304-696-3117.