Berlin family lectures

What Words Cannot Express: Ian Bostridge on the Power of Music

Ian Bostridge by Sim Canetty-Clarke

What can music express that words cannot? This question intrigues esteemed tenor Ian Bostridge, whose “idiosyncratic vocalism, intense theatricality, and extreme musicianship” place him at the top of his field.

These queries make up the subject of a series of virtual lectures — and a virtual performance — that Bostridge will give at the University of Chicago this month. In a free, probing three-part lecture entitled “Musical Identities,” Bostridge examines the deeply communicative means of music to capture the otherwise indescribable phenomena of life: identity, existence, and death.

Vocalist Ian Bostridge to Deliver Lecture Series on Music and Identity

Acclaimed tenor Ian Bostridge

For acclaimed vocalist Ian Bostridge, classical music compositions count among the world’s most indispensable works of art—ones that should be as much a part of shared human experience as the poetry of Shakespeare, the paintings of Matisse and the novels of Charles Dickens.

The three-time Grammy Award winner seeks to help audiences connect to the resonance of classical music, and how the form expresses ideas of existence, love and loss and the inevitability of death.

This month, Bostridge will amplify that conversation as part of the Randy L. and Melvin R. Berlin Family Lectures, hosted annually by the Division of the Humanities at the University of Chicago. His lecture series, “Musical Identities,” will begin April 11 and continue April 17 and 24. Each presentation will be held virtually from 1 to 2:30 p.m. CDT. Registration for the series is free and open to the public.

Danielle Allen to Deliver Lecture Series on "Democracy in the Time of Coronavirus"

Danielle Allen

The United States can become the world leader in virus response—if only the country were able to break the “laws of politics.”

That’s what Danielle Allen wrote in a recent Washington Post column, arguing for the creation of 30 “mega-labs” to test for COVID-19. A few days before that, the Harvard University political theorist helped publish “Roadmap to Pandemic Resilience,” a report describing the coronavirus as “a profound threat to our democracy, comparable to the Great Depression and World War II.”

Allen will further that conversation as part of the Randy L. and Melvin R. Berlin Family Lectures, hosted by the University of Chicago. Registration for the series is free and open to the public.

'Road Map' to Recovery Report: 20 Million Coronavirus Tests Per Day Needed to Fully Open Economy

Danielle Allen

Political philosopher and historian of political thought Danielle Allen is the lead author of the 'Road Map' to Recovery Report and will be this year's speaker for the Virtual Berlin Family Lecture series about "Democracy in the Time of Coronavirus" to be held on May 12, 13, 19, and 20 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. CT. During the course of four lectures, she explores the distinctive challenges posed to democracy by the emergency conditions brought by a global pandemic, as well as the specific resources the U.S. Constitutional system has for achieving resilience in the face of this existential threat. Allen will focus on how we can integrate health, economic, ethical, and democratic objectives in our response to COVID-19.

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