Confessions of a Telemanniac: Challenges and Opportunities for the Musician-Historian

Tue, Jan 16, 2024
5:00 pm EST - 6:30 pm EST

In this presentation, Steven Zohn considers Telemann’s changing status over the past three decades as an object of musicological study and as a semi-canonical figure in the performing world. How does our understanding of the composer’s legacy align with current priorities in the fields of eighteenth-century studies and historically-informed/inspired performance? What are some of the challenges and opportunities for future engagement with this legacy? The accompanying video performances, from a recent program entitled “Telemann the Godfather,” illustrate how Telemann’s music might be placed in dialogue with his younger contemporaries.

Participants are encouraged to watch the following live videos by Night Music for New York’s Gotham Early Music Series:

Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, Sonata in A minor for flute, violin, and continuo, Wq 148 (1735/1747): Allegretto, Adagio, Allegro assai

Johann Gottlieb Janitsch, Sonata da camera in C minor for flute, oboe, viola, and continuo, Op. 1, No. 1 (1760): Adagio, Allegretto, Allegro assai

Georg Philipp Telemann, Sonata in A major for flute, violin, cello, and continuo, TWV 43:A1 (Quadri, 1730): Soave, Allegro, Andante, Vivace


Steven Zohn’s research centers on the music of Telemann and the Bach family, though he has also explored such topics as music as intellectual property in eighteenth-century Britain, the history of banquet music, and music in nineteenth-century autograph albums. Among his publications on Telemann are Music for a Mixed Taste: Style, Genre, and Meaning in Telemann’s Instrumental Works (2008), The Telemann Compendium (2020), and Telemann Studies (2022). His advocacy of the composer’s music was recognized in 2022 with the Georg-Philipp-Telemann-Preis der Landeshauptstadt Magdeburg. Zohn is General Editor of the American Bach Society, past president of the Society for Eighteenth-Century Music, and former co-editor of the journal Eighteenth-Century Music. As a performer on historical flutes, he co-directs Night Music, freelances with various other period-instrument ensembles, and has taught for The Juilliard School’s graduate program in historical performance. He is Laura H. Carnell Professor of Music Studies at Temple University.


Please register for this event here.