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Guns and arias

An academic at the University of St Andrews will examine musical responses to terrorism at a lecture today (5th December 2005).

The talk, by Professor John Anderson, will explore the ways in which one contemporary American composer, John Adams, has examined the issue of terrorism. The composer’s 2002 ‘Transmigration of Souls’ commemorated the victims of 9/11 and his controversial 1991 opera ‘The Death of Klinghoffer’ was recently performed at the Edinburgh Festival.

The 1991 opera was not only highly controversial because Edinburgh audience members were apparently seized by gun toting ‘terrorists’ (they were actually actors) but in its alleged humanisation of terrorists.

Professor Anderson, of the University’s School of International Relations, will analyse the opera and its attempt to explore the roots of terrorism. He said: ‘I would like to examine whether it is possible to raise some wider questions about the impact of music on our understanding of political events or whether it might be better, as some critics suggest, to keep music and politics apart.”

**The lecture ‘Guns and arias: Musical responses to terrorism’ by Professor John Anderson is at 5pm tonight (Monday 5th December 2005) in School II, St Salvator’s Quadrangle, North Street, St Andrews.

ENDS

Issued by Beattie Media On behalf of the University of St Andrews

Contact Gayle Cook, Press Officer on 01334 467227 / 462529, mobile 07900 050 103, or email gec3@st- andrews.ac.uk

Ref: Music and Terrorism 051205.doc

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