Our new display celebrates the history of Sonorities Festival Belfast the city’s longest running festival of contemporary music.
First billed as Northern Ireland’s festival of twentieth century music, Sonorities began in 1981 as a venture by the Music Department of Queen’s University Belfast – now part of the School of Arts, English and Languages.
In the Encyclopaedia of Music in Ireland, Hilary Bracefield explains that the early festivals aimed to introduce music by major composers of the twentieth century then rarely heard in Northern Ireland. Electro-acoustic music was first heard at the Festival in 1985 and became a particular feature from 2004 , the year that the Sonic Arts Research Centre (SARC) was opened by Karlheinz Stockhausen.
Today Sonorities plays host to “all things weird and wonderful”, including concerts, club nights, installations, visuals and workshops.
Our current display also features material from our Hamilton Harty Collection (MS44), including the scrapbooks of Olive and Nell Baguely which offer fascinating insights into the history of music at Queen’s.
The Harty Collection was donated to the library by Harty’s personal secretary and friend Olive Baguely in 1946. She was the executor of his possessions after his death.
In 1960 Baguely received an honorary degree from Queen’s in recognition of her commitment to Harty, his legacy, and her assignment of his belongings to the university.
The programme of public music events at Queen’s (including Sonorities) is made possible today through the bequest of Olive Baguely and other benefactors.
For more information on Sonorities and to view the full programme visit the website. Most events are absolutely FREE, but tickets must be pre-booked.