Amanda Sewell

Music Director

Amanda Sewell is a musicologist who holds a Ph.D. in musicology from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. Her research about music has appeared in textbooks, academic journals, and music encyclopedias.  Her first book, a biography of the American composer Wendy Carlos, is forthcoming from Oxford University Press. Amanda frequently contributes program notes for performances of classical music, including performances at Interlochen Center for the Arts.

Soprano Kathleen Battle, who was fired from the Metropolitan Opera in 1994, has been invited to return next season.  Battle’s diva-like behavior at the Met was as remarkable as her voice. She is said to have skipped rehearsals, been unprofessional at the rehearsals she attended, and, according to legend, she once phoned her agent from her limousine to ask him to ask the limo driver to adjust the air conditioning. 

 Nikolaus Harnoncourt, a conductor best known as one of the pioneers of historically informed performance, died Saturday at the age of 86. Harnoncourt served as a cellist with the Vienna Symphony from 1952 to 1969. In 1953, he and his wife, violinist Alice Hoffelner Harnoncourt, founded the Concentus Musicus Wien, an ensemble dedicated to performing Baroque music on period instruments and according to historically informed performance practice. 

The final episode of Downton Abbey is scheduled to air in the US on March 6. For six seasons, viewers have been captivated by the Crawley family and their staff, cheering on the devoted Bateses as they navigate yet another crisis, chuckling at Lord Grantham’s hesitation about listening to King George V’s address on the radio, or wondering if Lady Mary will ever find true happiness. 

 

To celebrate Downton in all its glory—from the Dowager Countess’s snappy one-liners to Mr. Carson’s skepticism about twentieth-century technology and attitudes—we’ve assembled a playlist of music inspired by the show. Some of the pieces are from John Lunn’s original score, and others were heard in the show itself. The rest of the music comes from the period and evokes what the characters would have sung, danced to, or listened to, either live or on the new-fangled phonograph that Lady Rose insisted on purchasing.

 

All you need to hear the playlist is a free Spotify account.

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