Evelyn Glennie: Feeling Sound Revisited

A smiling woman hitting a drum

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Dame Evelyn Glennie teaches us how to really listen.

This is an online only event hosted on the British Library platform. Bookers will be sent a viewing link shortly before the event and will be able to watch at any time for 48 hours after the start time.

This event will be live captioned. 

***Students must input their university or college email address upon checkout.***

Given Ludwig Van Beethoven’s unquestionable musical genius, one of the most surprising facts about the composer is that he was deaf. By his early 20s, Beethoven had begun to suffer intermittent hearing loss and it is believed that by his mid-40s, his hearing had diminished almost completely.

But how necessary is our hearing in the creation and appreciation of music? In her 2017 talk at the British Library, one of the world’s leading percussionists, Dame Evelyn Glennie explored this very question.

Dame Evelyn’s unique connection to her music comes from having lost almost all of her hearing by the age of 12. She joined eminent neuroscientist Colin Blakemore to discuss and demonstrate how we can all really listen.

In this exclusive online re-release, we have the unique opportunity to revisit this popular event. Alongside the preeminent music writer and broadcaster, Dr Katy Hamilton, Dame Evelyn will be joining us live to answer your online questions as the conversation continues.

As part of our ongoing Beethoven season of events and the British Library’s 2022 Season of Sound: a range of talks, discussions and performances celebrating the Library’s sound archive of over six million recordings.

Evelyn Glennie: ‘My aim is to teach the world to listen’. Despite her deafness, Dame Evenlyn is one of the world’s leading percussionists and has performed with some of the world's greatest artists, conductors and orchestras. She had a leading role in the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games in London. With more than 40 solo CDs and numerous awards including a double Grammy, Dame Evelyn Glennie continues to both amaze and move audiences the world over with her unique performances. How does she do it? She taught herself to hear with parts of her body other than her ears, and records and performs her music barefoot. Evelyn is currently forming The Evelyn Glennie Collection with a vision to open a centre that embodies her mission to ‘Teach the World to Listen’.

Colin Blakemore: ‘The brain is the most complex structure that we know of, in the universe’ says Colin Blakemore, Professor of Neuroscience and Philosophy, University of London and Emeritus Professor of Neuroscience, University of Oxford. In 2014 he was knighted for his services to scientific research, policy and outreach. He specialises in vision and how the brain continues to change into adulthood. His work has expanded our understanding of conditions such as autism, dyslexia and schizophrenia.

Dr. Katy Hamilton is a writer and broadcaster who specialises in nineteenth-century music. She has published several books and articles on the music of Brahms and his contemporaries, is a contributor to BBC Music Magazine, and appears regularly on BBC Radio 3. Katy works with venues and organisations including the Wigmore Hall, BBC Proms, Southbank Centre and the Salzburg Festival. She also teaches at City Lit. You can find out more about her work at her website.

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Name: Evelyn Glennie: Feeling Sound Revisited
Where: Entrance Hall
The British Library
96 Euston Road
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When: -
Enquiries: +44 (0)1937 546546