Philippe de Vitry: An International Symposium

Philippe de Vitry: An International Symposium

November 6-7, 2015 | Yale University, New Haven, CT

Philippe de Vitry (1291–1361) was a renowned poet, music theorist, composer, diplomat, and bishop. Along with Guillaume de Machaut (c. 1300–1377), he is emblematic of the French fourteenth century—a pivotal era in the history of Western music and poetry, and one in which he flourished as an influential public intellectual and early humanist. But while Machaut has been the subject of numerous books and conferences, Vitry’s story has been told piecemeal in shorter studies that focus on one or several aspects of his output and legacy (musical, musico-theoretical, poetic, historical, bibliographic, bibliophilic) at the expense of the others.

This symposium, co-organized by Anna Zayaruznaya (Yale University) and Karen Desmond (McGill University), and hosted by Yale University, will be the first to focus on this important figure, and will feature papers by an international panel of experts (from universities in the U.S., Canada, France, the Netherlands, Germany, the U.K., and Australia) on medieval music, literature, and intellectual and institutional history. The conference will enable detailed investigation of Vitry and the social and political contexts in which he worked. It is anticipated that this event will revitalize discourse in the field around this important figure, generate substantial new research, and provide a secure basis for interdisciplinary engagement with broader issues fundamental to understanding intellectual culture of the fourteenth century.

Keynote Speaker

Andrew Wathey (Northumbria University), “Vitry at Meaux”

Speakers (in alphabetical order; program and abstracts will be online shortly)

Margaret Bent (All Souls College, Oxford) and Kevin Brownlee (University of Pennsylvania) “Icarus, Phaeton, Haman: Did Vitry Know Dante?”

Charles E. Brewer (Florida State University), “Aristotelian Commentaries and the Numbering of Time”

Carolann Buff (Westminster Choir College, Rider University), “Philippe de Vitry and the Equal-Cantus Motet”

Karen Cook (The Hartt School, University of Hartford), “Terminology in the Paris and Rome Portions of the Former Ars nova Treatise”

Karen Desmond (McGill University), “Vitriacan Theory, Practice, and Chronologies of the ars nova

Lawrence M. Earp (University of Wisconsin-Madison), “Tradition and Innovation in Ars nova Motet Notation”

Sarah Fuller (Stony Brook University), “In the Workshop of Vitrian Motets: Crafting a Motetus Voice”

John Douglas Gray (Boulder, CO), “Approaching the Ars nova Exemplar”

Elina G. Hamilton (The Boston Conservatory), “Philippe de Vitry in England: Three French Motets in the Quatuor Principalia

Jared C. Hartt (Oberlin Conservatory of Music), “Analysis of Sonority as an Essential Tool for Motet Attribution”

Karl Kügle (Utrecht University), “Vitry in the Rhineland? A Provisional Report” 

Ralf Lützelschwab (Freie Universität Berlin), “Philippe de Vitry und das Avignonesische Papsttum”

Anne Walters Robertson (University of Chicago), A Musical Lesson for a King from the Roman de Fauvel

Jason Stoessel (University of New England, Australia), “Philippe de Vitry: Inventor of ars nova?”

William Watson (Yale University), “Philippe de Vitry as Patron-Theorist”

Anna Zayaruznaya (Yale University), “New Voices for Vitry”