Dante and Music

The 750th anniversary of Dante's birth in 1265 will be celebrated by the Center for Italian Studies and the Department of Music at the University of Pennsylvania with an international conference on "Dante and Music" to be held in Philadelphia November 5-6, 2015

L'Aquila, San Silvestro, Angelo musicante, photo di M. Jodice

L'Aquila, Chiesa di S. Silvestro, Angelo musicante, photo by M. Jodice


According to Dante music expresses the divine order of the «Cosmos». «L’armonia che temperi e discerni» (Paradiso, I, 78) is the divine tuning of life whose multiple bodies are harmonized like notes. Conversely, disharmony evokes the absence of the divine.  In poetry, music is able to produce different meanings and visions of the world from the «dolce» sound of «stilnovo» to the «aspre e chiocce» effects of the «rime petrose». 

The fascinating theme of music in Dante engages also the theme of music after Dante. How did Dante inspire musicians and how were his works put to or translated into notes? Furthermore, since Dante’s own music is made of words, what kind of verbal styles in the poetic tradition from the Middle Ages to the present refer or contest Dante’s choices?


Scientific Committee: Kevin Brownlee, Mauro Calcagno, Fabio Finotti


Concert: The conference will include a free piano recital on November 5 at 7:30pm. Italian pianist Leonora Armellini who will present Franz Liszt's Après une lecture de Dante and other pieces. Please click here for the full concert program and rsvp to johnston@sas.upenn.edu to reserve your seat.

The event if at the Van Pelt Library. Please be advised that a form of identification may be required for access.


Click here for the full Conference Program.

Please follow the links for travel information/ Seguite i link per informazioni utili:

Find your way / Come spostarsi

Parking / Dove parcheggiare

Where to stay / Dove alloggiare

Things to do / Cosa fare a Philadelphia



This event is organized with the collaboration of 

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5 November 2015 - 6 November 2015
9:30 am - 6:00 pm
Kislack Center and Class of '55 Conference Room - Van Pelt Library, 3420 Walnut St.
Dante and Music Concert3.pdf404.76 KB
Dante and Music program fin2.pdf278.86 KB
Dante and music brochure fin.pdf397.85 KB