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Morley College London is excited to announce that its summer programme of Penny Lectures will begin on Friday 3 May, with Michael Tippett – The Biography, hosted by writer and broadcaster Oliver Soden and run in collaboration with Insiders/Outsiders Festival.

Tippett was appointed Director of Music at Morley during the Second World War and was instrumental in developing the music department at the College, extending the musical repertoire enjoyed in the UK, and supporting the refugee community by hiring refugee musicians such as Walter Bergmann, Mátyás Seiber, and Walter Goehr. He revived the Morley College Choir and, despite the wartime blackouts and destruction, he staged a number of popular concerts that showcased the neglected works of Monteverdi and Purcell alongside contemporary pieces by Stravinsky and Bartók. A lifelong pacifist, he completed one of his best-known works – A Child of Our Time, inspired by reports of Jewish persecution in Germany – while working at Morley. Following a brief imprisonment for Tippett, A Child of Our Time received its premiere in 1943, and featured the Morley College Choir along with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and soloists from Sadler’s Wells Opera.

At the upcoming Penny Lecture, Oliver Soden will introduce his new biography of Tippett, published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson. His lecture will also include live performances of Tippett’s work, featuring the talents of staff and students from Morley’s School of Music and Performing Arts.

Tickets are available online from the Morley website and advance bookings are strongly advised. Donations for the Morley Bursary Fun will be collected on the day of the lecture, and copies of Michael Tippett: The Biography will be available to purchase.

Book tickets now. 

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morley college

Emma Cons Hall, Morley College London, 61 Westminster Bridge Road, London SE1 7HT