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Instruments of the Eighteenth Century Seminar: Kathryn Cok

February 21 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

‘Instruments of Culture: Jan Alensoon – cultural and musical observations of an Eighteenth Century Dutch dilettante’

Speaker: Dr Kathryn Cok, Royal Conservatoire, The Hague

What inspired a musical amateur from the town of Leiden in The Dutch Republic to make a Grand Tour at the age of forty?

The aim of this paper is to provide an insight into the life and activities of Jan Alensoon (1683-1769), amateur harpsichord player and singer, and author of a basso continuo method for harpsichord. Light will be shed on his family background, education, and musical activities. In addition, Dr Cok will share a few examples of the adventures Alensoon experienced while abroad, and provide a glimpse into his enthusiastic and rather eccentric character.

As an amateur musician of good parentage, Alensoon used music as a social tool to gain entry to the households of European nobility and diplomats during his tour. Occasionally, this resulted in impromptu chamber music sessions with renowned composers and performers.

Musical examples of repertoire familiar to Alensoon will be performed and discussed.

Email alice.little@music.ox.ac.uk for further details. All welcome – no need to book in advance.


February 21
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Event Category:


Faculty of Music
01865 276133


The Bate Collection, Faculty of Music
The Bate Collection, Faculty of Music
St Aldates, Oxford, OX1 1DB
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01865 276128