Category Archives: Uncategorized

CFP: Ethel Smyth Symposium, Dublin City University, 12-13 July 2024

Dame Ethel Smyth: Connections, Culture, and Context

Dublin City University
12–13 July 2024

CFP deadline EXTENDED: Monday 29 January 2024


Writing in her 1936 autobiography As Time Went On, Dame Ethel Smyth remarked that she had ‘never yet succeeded in becoming even a tiny wheel in the English music machine’. Smyth’s observation encapsulates the frustration that she often felt during her career as she strove to penetrate the male-dominated world of music. However, since the 1980s, a wealth of research has highlighted Smyth’s significance as a composer, writer, and social activist of the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. The landmark performance of The Wreckers (1902–04) at the Glyndebourne Opera Festival in 2022, and the world premiere of her cantata The Song of Love in 2023, reflect the ever-growing interest in performing Smyth’s music. The desire to bring new life to forgotten works is further exemplified by the first commercial recording of Der Wald (1899–1901), released by Resonus Classics in 2023 and highly praised by critics.

To mark the 80th anniversary of Ethel Smyth’s death in May 2024, this interdisciplinary symposium invites proposals concerning all aspects of Smyth’s life and music. Moreover, it seeks to broaden our understanding of Smyth’s world by looking at the culture and context from which her music emerged and aims to deepen our awareness of the social connections that she made over the course of her career. As such, we welcome proposals related (but not limited) to Ethel Smyth’s:

  • Musical output
  • Life and biography
  • Identity
  • Publications and autobiographical writing
  • Education and Leipzig circles
  • Political activities
  • Friendships and wider networks

We are delighted to announce that Dr Christopher Wiley (University of Surrey) will give the keynote address at the symposium. Wiley is an internationally acknowledged expert on musical biography and has published extensively on Ethel Smyth.


Please submit proposals of up to 250 words for 20-minute individual or co-authored presentations and 30-minute lecture recitals to Hannah Millington at by Monday 29 January 2024. Submissions should be sent in Word or Pages format and include a brief biographical note of no more than 150 words. We particularly welcome proposals from post/graduate students, independent scholars, and under-represented communities.

Applicants will be notified of the outcome by Friday 16 February.


We thank you for your engagement and look forward to welcoming you to Dublin City University in 2024.

Smyth’s ‘The Wreckers’ as You’ve Never Heard It Before!

From 21 May to 24 June 2022, Glyndebourne Festival Opera will present Smyth’s most famous work the way Smyth originally intended it. ‘The Wreckers’ was supposed to be in French – the libretto by Brewster was written in his preferred poetic language and Smyth hoped soprano Calvé and conductor Messager would take it on – but a German premiere necessitated a translation.  Now, after painstaking archival research, the team at Glyndebourne has restored the original French libretto and many sections that were cut following the 1906 premiere.  The result is supposedly a work with greater nuance and depth than the English version often performed today.

You can learn more about the upcoming production of ‘The Wreckers’ (Les Naufrageurs) and how they restored the original text and music here.

Tickets still available!