Tallis 2020 Symposium

To celebrate the 450th anniversary of one of choral music’s most iconic works – Thomas Tallis’ 40-part motet Spem in alium – Oxford Festival of the Arts and ORA Singers are putting on a two-day interdisciplinary symposium which will culminate in the performance of Spem, together with ORA Singers’ newly-commissioned Sir James MacMillan 40-part reflection on the work.

Described as a ‘shattering experience’ by Stephen Fry, Vidi aquam will receive its world premiere performance at the Tate Modern en route to Oxford.  Working with our Honorary academic advisor, Professor John Milsom, the symposium will feature eminent British and international scholars. It will delve deeply into the compositional history of the 450-year-old work, and the vicissitudes of the Reformations in an artistic perspective with the composer that lived, worked and survived four Tudor monarchs, from Henry VIII to Elizabeth I.  It will also include insights from contemporary composers, musicologists, and performers, as well as a pre-performance Q&A with Sir James MacMillan.

We are now seeking proposals for 30 minute papers from scholars on any aspect of Spem in alium. All the details on the Call for Papers can be found here.


Jun 19 2020


10:30 am - 5:30 pm


Tickets for this event are free but advanced booking is required

More Info



Grove Auditorium
Magdalen College