Call for Papers

Call for Contribution

The symposium will take place on Friday and Saturday 9–10 December 2022.

2022 marks the 200th anniversary of Franck’s birth, and yet his music seems to have become less understood as the years have passed. This conference aims to reinvigorate his reputation while stimulating discussions amongst the leading contemporary scholars, both on his works and the potential compositional paths he inspired.

The symposium will be versatile, merging practice with research, with a conference of approximately 20 contributors and culminating in a round-table, and two masterclasses (piano and organ) and concerts dedicated to Franck's works and those of his pupils. The aim of the symposium is to reinforce Franck as an artist who developed his craft throughout the various stages of his life and left a lasting impression on classical music.

We encourage interdisciplinary approaches and invite papers on the following topics but are, of course, open to all suggestions:

  • Franck's style as a product of the social-political environment

  • Franck's influence in the 19th and 20th Century

  • Women in connection with Franck and the period (e.g. Augusta Holmès, Pauline Viardot, Mel-Bonis etc.)

  • The musical climate of France pre-1870

  • Franck's spiritual/erotic/serene side

  • Franck: pianist or organist?

  • Franck the salon composer and Franck the improviser

  • Keyboard instruments in France in the 19th century

  • Franck and the harmonium

  • Hulda and Franck's other operas

  • Contrasting styles in performances of César Franck (e.g. Alfred Cortot, Blanche Selva etc.)

In line with current practice, papers will be presented in a hybrid form. There are two options for presenting:

Live presentation at the RCM:

Each speaker should prepare a presentation lasting roughly 20 minutes with 10 minutes for Q&A.

Online presentation:

Each speaker should submit a presentation (a PowerPoint with overlaid speech or another equivalent) lasting no more than 20 minutes which participants can watch before the symposium. Each contributor should put their name and affiliation on each slide. During the conference, there will be a follow up session lasting 15 minutes, led by a respondent, with questions from participants.


This format allows up to 30 minutes of talk/performance, sacrificing time for Q&A.

Keynote speakers: François de Médicis (Université de Montréal – in English).

Filmed presentation by Joël-Marie Fauquet (in French).


Researchers and practitioners are invited to submit proposals for papers or lecture-recitals. The chosen topics will be organised into subject groups.

Proposals should include:

  • Title of presentation

  • Name(s) of speaker(s) and affiliations

  • A proposal of c. 300 words

  • A short biography of c. 100 words

  • Provisional indication of preference for a live or online presentation and in which language

Organising Committee: Prof. Richard Langham Smith, Dr. Christina Guillaumier & James Lipka.

Reading Committee: Prof. Richard Langham Smith, Prof. Christopher Dingle, Dr. Christina Guillaumier & James Lipka

Please send proposals to by 30 May 2022. Acceptance notified by 30 June 2022.

The official languages of the conference will be English and French.