A Mad King

Jonathan Beyer (’07), baritone 


PETER MAXWELL DAVIES Eight Songs for a Mad King

The Curtis 20/21 Ensemble presents Peter Maxwell Davies’s melodrama Eight Songs for a Mad King, long recognized as a major work of experimental theater. Composed in the late 1960s, Davies captures King George III’s descent into madness through inventive music and a wide array of non-traditional performance techniques, creating an unforgettable experience for the listener. The work is preceded by Joy Boy, a bright and minimal woodwind quartet by Curtis alumnus Julius Eastman, a gifted and idiosyncratic composer, pianist, and one of the first vocalists to take on the Eight Songs in performance.


The program will include a conversation with David Ludwig about the composers on the program; their lives and their works.

Generous support for the Curtis 20/21 Ensemble is provided by the Daniel W. Dietrich II Foundation.