Yeats off the Page: Words for Music Perhaps

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventSymposium


On June 13, 2015, the 150th anniversary of Yeats’s birth in 1865, there began in worldwide venues numerous celebratory readings of Yeats’s poems and plays. Yeats off the Page aims to revive Yeats’s neglected attempts to reunite poetry and music through the ancient arts of musical speech, chanting, and regulated declamation with the aid of a psaltery. Professor Ronald Schuchard, author of _The Last Minstrels: Yeats and the Revival of the Bardic Arts_, lectures on the turn-of-the-century experiments that Yeats made with the musician Arnold Dolmetsch and the contralto actress Florence Farr. There are also talks and panels that explore past and present attempts to make poetry once again a communal art for the ears of the populace rather than solely a private art for the eye of the solitary reader, highlighted by afternoon performances of Yeats’s poems by contralto musician Robin Bier on an exact replica of Yeats’s psaltery, and “After Yeats,” a musical concept by Professor William Brooks in which Yeats is “chanted” in a series of translations (Arabic, Vietnamese, and Italian), accompanied by culturally appropriate stringed instruments in lieu of the psaltery. The capstone of these events will be a Late Music Concert, featuring arrangements by Irish composer Donnancha Dennehy and bringing together new works by Stef Conner, Jonathan Brigg, and Brooks,
Period3 Jul 20154 Jul 2015
Event typeConference
LocationYork, United KingdomShow on map


  • William Butler Yeats
  • Music
  • Poetry
  • Chanting
  • Composition