Musicology Department

American Handel Festival



To register, please click here.


Bloomington, IN is served by Indianapolis International Airport (IND).

GO Express Travel (1-800-589-6004) offers shuttle service from the Ground Transportation Area to the conference hotel at the Indiana Memorial Union (Biddle Hotel). Reservations can be booked online.


The Biddle Hotel at the Indiana Memorial Union is offering groups rates for the American Handel Society.

Indiana Memorial Union Biddle Hotel and Conference Center
900 E. Seventh Street
Bloomington, IN 47405

Group Rate: $120.60-$170.10 (+ tax per room, per night)
Hotel Block Code: HANDEL19 (expires January 7, 2019)
To Make Reservations: 1-800-209-8145 or 1-812-855-2536;
Credit card number guarantees reservations
Complimentary parking pass at check-in

IU Jacobs School of Music Opera & Ballet Theater

The IU Opera Theater is offering group discounts to Giulio Cesare. The production, conducted by Gary Thor Wedow in collaboration with Director Robin Guarino, will take place in the Musical Arts Center on Feb 8 and 9 at 7:30pm. For full details, visit the IU Opera and Ballet Theater website. To access the discount, please visit us in person or online and use the promo code: AHF.


The Festival opens with the Howard Serwer Memorial Lecture given by Prof. Ellen Rosand (Yale University) and includes three days of academic panels and two major performances: Handel’s Giulio Cesare (Feb. 8th, 7:30pm) and Parnasso in festa (Feb. 9th, 8pm).


Tour of Musical Arts Center/Opera Theater
6:00 pm | Musical Arts Center (MAC)

Howard Serwer Memorial Lecture
Ellen Rosand (Yale University), "Handel's 'Music'"
7:00 pm | MAC Lobby

Reception for AHS conference registrants
8:00 pm | MAC Mezzanine



Session I: The 18th-century Narrative
Massimo Scalabrini, chair

9:00 am – 12:00 pm | Oak Room, Indiana Memorial Union

Nathan Link (Centre College): Portrayals of the Human Subject in Handel's Giulio Cesare

Matthew Gardner (University of Tübingen, Germany): Female Virtue in Early English Oratorios

Coffee break

Alison C. DeSimone (University of Missouri): Handel as Miscellany

Matthew Boyle (University of Alabama), Nathaniel Mitchell (Princeton University), and Paul Sherrill (University of Utah): Recognition, Reversal, and Style Change in “Se cerca, se dice”


Session II: Composition and Revision
John Roberts, chair

2:00 pm - 5:00 pm | Oak Room, Indiana Memorial Union

David R. Hurley (Pittsburg State University): Handel’s Transformative Compositional Practices: Variation and Drama in his Arias

Natassa Varka (King’s College, University of Cambridge): Charles Jennens and the Curious Case of the Disappearing Chorus

Coffee break

Kenneth Nott (University of Hartford): “Happy Beauty”: Understanding the Post-1752 Oratorio Additions in the Context of Handel’s Late Style

Mark P. Risinger (New York, NY): Semele in the Afterlife: J. C. Smith junior and the Revival of 1762


Opera Insights, Pre-Show Talk on Handel’s Giulio Cesare, presented by Devon Nelson (IU Musicology Department)
6:30 pm | Mezzanine Level, Musical Arts Center

Handel, Giulio Cesare, performed by IU Jacobs School of Music Opera & Ballet Theater
7:30 pm | Musical Arts Center
For group ticket discount, visit MAC Box Office in person or online, use promo code: AHF.



Session III: Performers, Reception, Performance Practice
Norbert Dubowy, chair

9:00 am - 12:00 pm | Sweeney Hall, Simon Center

Donald Burrows (The Open University): ‘Before him stood sundry sweet Singers of this our Israel’: The Chorus singers for Handel’s London Oratorio Performances

Luke Howard (Brigham Young University): Ebenezer Prout’s 1902 Edition of Messiah: Symptom or Cure?

Coffee break

Teresa M. Neff (Massachusetts Institute of Technology): Singing the “Hallelujah” Chorus: Performance Practices of the Boston Handel and Haydn Society in the Early 19th Century

Stephen Nissenbaum (University of Massachusetts at Amherst): Handel’s Oratorios as Cultural Capital in Early Nineteenth-Century Boston: A Prosopographical Analysis of the Leaders of the Handel & Haydn Society, 1817-1819


Session IV: Handel in History, Histories of Handel
Robert Ketterer, chair

2:00 pm - 5:00 pm | Sweeney Hall, Simon Center

Luca Della Libera (Conservatorio di musica Frosinone, Italy): “Stante sia opera del famosissimo sonatore“:  New documents on Handel in Florence in 1707 and on the Florentine Music Life between 1705 and 1707

Thomas McGeary (University of Illinois): Handel and the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-1714): Negotiating Conflicting Loyalties

Coffee break

Ellen T. Harris (Massachusetts Institute of Technology): “Master of the Orchester with a Sallary”: Handel at the Bank of England

Sandra Dolby (Indiana University): John Mainwaring—Fulfilling the Role of Folklorist in Writing the Memoirs of Handel


Handel, Parnasso in festa
Concentus and Baroque Orchestra (IU Historical Performance Institute)

8:00 pm | Auer Hall, Simon Center
Free Event

IU’s Concentus and Baroque Orchestra—both ensembles of the Jacobs School of Music’s Historical Performance Institute—will perform Parnasso in festa under the direction of guest conductor Jeffrey Thomas (American Bach Soloists).



Session V: Contemporaries and Contexts
Graydon Beeks, chair

9:15 - 9:55 am | Sweeney Hall, Simon Center

Ashley A. Greathouse (University of Cincinnati): The Coronation of George Frideric Handel in the Pleasure Gardens of Eighteenth-Century London

10:15-11:30 am

Robert Ketterer (The University of Iowa) and Donald Burrows (The Open University): A little Greek and Less Latin: Musgrave Heighington’s Six Select Odes of Anacreon in Greek and [Six] of Horace in Latin (London, c. 1736)

Musical Excerpts of Heighington's Six Select Odes performed by members of the IU Historical Performance Institute. Supported by the Paul Traver Memorial Fund.