Foreigners practicing music in 18th c. Rome: careers, accessibility and building reputations

Organised with the support of the Ecole Française de Rome and the Maison Française d’Oxford.

Drawing on recent advances in labor history and the history of cultural practices, the central focus of this lecture is the study of the specificities of the musical practices in the European musical capital of Rome during the 18th century. With the help of a wide range of documentation, the approach combines an analysis of the institutional and social frameworks of musical practice with an analysis of career development, based on quantitative evaluations and the reconstruction of individual careers. The study of working conditions in these different settings will shed light on the great variety of situations and ways of exercising the profession of musician. An examination of the recruitment procedures will show that access to positions and functions in musical institutions could follow several paths. This diversity of careers, profiles, and status will be taken into consideration. Particular attention will be paid to foreign musicians who have stayed in Rome as part of their training or to try to establish themselves. This orientation will lead to a study of the degree of openness of Roman musical institutions. The pluralistic identity of the professional environment of musicians’ practices in Rome supports case studies, individual or collective.

Élodie Oriol has been a lecturer at the University of Paris 8 Vincennes-Saint-Denis since 2022. Her research lies at the crossroads of the social and economic history of music and the history of cultural practices in modern Italy. In 2021 she published Vivre de la musique à Rome au XVIIIe siècle, based on her doctoral thesis. With Anne-Madeleine Goulet and José María Dominguez, Élodie co-edited the first collective book of the ERC Performart project, titled Spectacles et performances artistiques à Rome (1644-1740).