Address: Vancouver, BC Canada

2010 - Grail/Parzival Conference

17 October 2010
Vancouver Waldorf School Round House

Since 2001 the Cambridge Music Conference has organised seven conferences on the topic of 'music and healing', the first four at Cambridge University with concerts featured within the renown summer music festival Cambridge Summer Recitals. The metaphysics of each conference developed out of new works of music commissioned to present the ideas at the heart of each event. The first conference in 2001 focused on 'Music and Healing', the second in 2002 on 'Music and Narrative', and the third in 2003 on 'Sacred Music'. The fourth Cambridge Music Conference in 2005 'Music of the Heart' was a unique collaborative effort with England's leading heart hospital, The Royal Brompton Hospital. Scientific understanding of music's healing effect has now set a precedent for using music as an integral form of rehabilitation in hospitals. Since 2005 the nucleus of musicians at the heart of the Cambridge Music Conference have agreed to take up the theme of healing within the context of the Grail resulting in 'Grail Narratives' in 2006, 'Grail Transformation' in 2007, and 'Grail Epiphany' in 2008.

The Anthroposophical Medical Group has been willing to let the Vancouver Grail/Parzival Conference hold its usual place in the calendar this year so as to help create continuity for these Grail Conferences.

The unique quality of the new works commissioned for the London Grail Conferences is that all the music has been composed with the art of eurythmy in mind. The idea of composing new works specifically for the art of eurythmy to enhance the dialogue and development of music and eurythmy is the first of its kind and looks forward to the 100th anniversary of the art of eurythmy in 2011.

Composers Nigel Osborne, Reid Professor of Music at Edinburgh University and Howard Skempton, Professor of Music Composition at Birmingham Conservatory have made major contributions to the Cambridge Music Conference since 2001. Performing musicians featuring at the Vancouver Grail/Parzival Conference, Jinny Shaw (oboe) and Lesley Shrigley Jones (cello) have both performed within Cambridge Summer Recitals, the music festival, in which the Cambridge Music Conference came to birth. The Vancouver event begins with a local string quartet performing Nigel Osborne's 'Medicinal Songs and Dances'. The closing performance are works inspired by the Grail performed in the art of eurythmy by Maren Stott, who has been central to the development of these conferences.

Philip Thatcher, General Secretary of the Anthroposophical Society of Canada will explore Parzival's unique experience of the Grail as central to our understanding for healing in our time. Specialist musicians Linda Eterman and Lorna Fortin, as well as artist Elaine Mackee will present workshops.

Published articles about past conferences 'The Grail as Metaphor for Transformation' (2006) and 'Quest for the Grail Within' (2007) along with a report about Nigel Osborne's therapeutic work with children exposed to violence in war locked zones will be available on registration.

Yours Sincerely,
Elizabeth Carmack