On a recent visit to France, Paul Phillips delivered a paper on French-themed compositions of Anthony Burgess and conducted concerts of Burgess’ music and his own 2007 composition in Burgess’ honor.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Paul Phillips, director of orchestras and chamber music, recently spent a week in Angers, France, where he presented a paper at the Fifth International Symposium on Anthony Burgess, organized by the Anthony Burgess Centre at the University of Angers, and conducted a concert with the University of Angers’ Orchestre Vox Campus.

Phillips’ paper, Musique pour la France d’Antoine Bourgeois, was about compositions by Anthony Burgess on French themes, including the history of soggetto cavato — music “carved out of words” — its origins and its use by Burgess in his Petite Symphonie pour Strasbourg. The paper also discussed other compositions by Burgess related to France or soggetto cavato and Phillips' own composition, A/B, which he composed in 2007 to celebrate the 90th anniversary of Burgess’ birth.

Phillips also conducted the second half of a concert by the Orchestre Vox Campus at the Grand Théâtre d’Angers, which included his own A/B, followed by Burgess’ Petite Symphonie pour Strasbourg and Marche pour une révolution 1789-1989. The British actor Peter Hudson portrayed Burgess in A/B, which also featured Bruno Rouillé, a professional French harmonica soloist.