The symposium Antonio Caldara (1670-1736) and the Performance of Power will be held on Zoom on Friday 23 and Saturday 24 September, 2022, hosted by the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, University of Sydney.
Antonio Caldara (1670-1736) was one of the pre-eminent composers of the late Baroque. Born in Venice, he was court composer to the Duke of Mantua, to Prince Ruspoli in Rome, and finally to Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI in Vienna. At least as famous, respected and influential in his own time as contemporaries such as J.S. Bach, Handel and Vivaldi, he has been neglected in the historiography of the period, partly because his service as a court musician limited the dissemination of his works but also because his role as court musician has been read as a marker of conventionality, in contrast with the narratives of innovation which have dominated discourse about his better-known contemporaries. This symposium brings together international scholars to explore Caldara’s decisive contribution as a composer and rhetorical craftsman within the context of early 18th-century court culture. The time is now ripe for Caldara’s re-evaluation as a major creative force in the period.