Music, Literature and Comparative Composition: The Task of Translation

A panel discussion following the premiere of Mohammed Fairouz's Symphony No. 3 "Poems and Prayers."

Voice, lyricism, tonality, counterpoint, the operatic: literary critics and social theorists often make recourse to the metaphors of musicality. Similarly, musicians often draw upon literature, not merely by writing or incorporating it in the form of lyric, but as theoretical inspiration.  A few undertake theoretical labor in and through their music.  Such is the case with Mohammed Fairouz. Following on the world premiere of Fairouz's Symphony No. 3: "Poems and Prayers," which weaves together poetic texts from the Arabic, Aramaic and Hebrew, this panel opens up discussion about music and literature to questions of translation and comparative composition, as well as the politics of analogizing language and music.

View this panel discussion on YouTube.


Event Details
February 17, 2012 at 2:30 PM
501 Schermerhorn


Jacqueline Rose (Queen Mary, University of London)
Jacqueline Rose is internationally known for her writing on feminism, psychoanalysis, literature and more recently on the politics and ideology of Israel-Palestine.

Sinan Antoon (New York University)
Sinan Antoon is a well-known Iraqi poet, novelist, scholar and translator. His teaching and research interests lie in premodern Arabo-Islamic culture and contemporary Arab culture and politics.

Michael P. Steinberg (Brown University)
Michael P. Steinberg is a music critic, musicologist and author. He is Director of the Cogut Center for the Humanities and Professor of History and Music. He also serves as Associate Editor of The Musical Quarterly and The Opera Quarterly.

Mohammed Fairouz (Composer)
Straddling Eastern and Western idioms, Mohammed Fairouz is one of the most frequently performed composers of his generation. This panel convenes following the world premiere of his third symphony "Poems and Prayers."

Moderated by Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak (Columbia University)

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Photo Credits for ICLS