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Classical Music and Gender: A Wonderfully Tangled Web  

John Prescott We will explore the history of women composers and the gender associations of particular instruments. We will investigate the anxiety around music and masculinity and the rise of women conductors in recent years. We will end by exploring gender, opera and the human voice. Topics will include castrated males performing in opera, women playing male roles in opera and how gender disguise is used as an important plot device in opera. Finally, Elliot Franks, a female to male transgendered singer, will share his unique journey and perspective on many of the issues we will have discussed. Week 1. Women composers: When, Where and How? Week 2. Who plays what - Gender Associations with Different Instruments Week 3. Anxiety around Music and Masculinity. Week 4. The Rise of Women Conductors Week 5. Gender, Opera and the Human Voice Week 6. Gender, Opera and the Human Voice continued. John Prescott received his Ph.D in Music History and Literature from the University of California, Berkeley. He wrote his doctoral dissertation on John Stanley, the 18th-century blind organist, conductor, violinist, and impresario. His academic honors include post-graduate study in music as a Marshal Scholar at St. John’s College, Cambridge University, England. In addition to delivering pre-concert lectures, program notes, and for musical performance groups throughout the Bay Area, he has taught at UC Berkeley and at The Crowden School in Berkeley, OLLI at UC Berkeley as well as OLLI at SF State, and was the musicologist for the San Francisco Elderhostel Arts and Humanities Program.