Learical Inspiration

Watch this space for news of acclaimed pianist and composer David Owen Norris’s freshly commissioned work for children’s choir, based on Lear’s writing. We plan to premiere this in Southampton in 2020.

If you have composed a musical setting of one of Lear’s poems or a musical response to his work, we’d love to hear it and (with your permission) may feature it on these pages. Please contact me at sjl15@st-andrews.ac.uk

In response to my work on Lear's music, Professor Michael Heyman of Berklee College, Boston invited his students in 2018-19 to take on the challenge of composing a musical setting for one of Lear's nonsense poems. The winners of a lighthearted competition to find the best setting were Gabriel Krischer and Maria Landi.

You can hear their wonderfully creative settings of 'Mr and Mrs Discobbolos' and 'The Quangle Wangle's Hat' here, along with personal statements about their approach to the project:

Constructive comments on this website are also very welcome. As you may know, Research Councils UK seek evidence of ‘impact’, defined as ‘the demonstrable contribution that excellent research makes to society and the economy… embracing all the extremely diverse ways in which research-related knowledge and skills benefit individuals, organisations and nations’. If you feel that your knowledge or understanding of Edward Lear has been changed by reading material on this website or in my book, Inventing Edward Lear (Harvard UP, 2018), then I would be especially glad to know this. Such ‘impact data’ (sigh) helps us to record more music and plan more public exhibitions, concerts, and workshops (hurrah).

The following valuable links provide further information on Edward Lear:

A Blog of Bosh

The Edward Lear Society

Edward Lear and the Tennyson Family