The Open University has been awarded a research grant by the Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) for the project ‘G.F.Handel: The Collected Documents’, with a contribution from the Winton Dean Fund administered by the Handel Institute. It supports a three-year research period towards the preparation of a major new reference book, to be published by Cambridge University Press in 2012.
The career of George Frideric Handel has left behind a substantial documentary trail. His public performances in London were advertised in the newspapers; his activities were reported in private correspondence, and in the archives of courts and patrons; even his musical scores are ‘documents’ in their evidence for dates of composition, and for the composer’s relationship with particular performers. His professional life in London, mainly involving Italian opera and English oratorio, spanned nearly 50 years, but there are also documents relating to his early career in Germany and Italy. The book will bring together the texts of all known references from Handel’s lifetime, taking into account much new material that has been discovered during the last 50 years.
The project is based at The Open University’s London Regional Centre in Camden Town, with a team that includes some of Britain’s foremost Handel scholars. Professor Donald Burrows is the project leader, with Anthony Hicks (Research Fellow until 2010), Helen Coffey (Research Associate), John Greenacombe (Research Fellow) and assistance from Dr Terence Best (Visiting Research Fellow) in the area of foreign-language documents.
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