Call for Papers: Endless beauties. George Frideric Handel and French Music Culture

Call for Papers

International Scholarly Conference at the Handel Festival in Halle an der Saale, 27 to 29 May 2024

Unendliche Schönheiten. Georg Friedrich Händel und die Musikkultur Frankreichs – Une infinité de belles choses. Georges Frédéric Haendel et la culture musicale française – Endless beauties. George Frideric Handel and French Music Culture

If one can trust the Mémoires d’un Musicien of 1756, then George Frideric Handel had in his library numerous volumes of operas by Jean-Baptiste Lully, André Campra, Jean-Marie Leclair and Jean-Philippe Rameau. These volumes included Rameau’s works for keyboard and treatises on music. In 1733 Abbé Antoine François Prévost mentioned that Handel had “emprunté le fond d’une infinité de belles choses de Lully, et surtout des Cantates Françaises”. This is a good reason to set up an International Conference to reconsider the conditions, requirements, scope and significance of the impact of French music on Handel’s oeuvre. These influences affect nearly all genres in his oeuvre: the Italian operas based on French librettos (Teseo, Amadigi di Gaula), and the English oratorios based on French plays (Esther, Athalia, Theodora, Jephtha), the overtures and suites for orchestra, and for harpsichord. The influences are also visible in the cantatas (of which the French Sans y penser is certainly a special case), in Handel’s church music, the music for the stage drama Alceste, and in the collaboration with the French dancer Marie Sallé.

The conference aims to explore the transfer routes of French music to Germany, Italy and England as well as the adaptations and transformations of French models in Handel’s works. Other focal points will be the history of the impact and performance of Handel’s music and the changing images of Handel in France from the 18th century to the present. Comparative reflections on the reception of French music by Handel’s contemporaries are also very welcome.

The organisers invite interested scholars to participate in the conference with a 25-minute paper and ask for an application with a proposal and abstract by 15 October 2023. Travel and accommodation costs will be covered for the conference days (three nights 26/27, 27/28, 28/29 May).


  • Georg-Friedrich-Händel-Gesellschaft e.V., Internationale Vereinigung
  • Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg, Institut für Musik, Medien- und Sprechwissenschaften, Abteilung Musikwissenschaft
  • Stiftung Händel-Haus Halle


Please download the Call for Papers:

Call for papers Handel Conference 2024 [105KB/pdf]
Call for papers Händel-Konferenz 2024 [104KB/pdf]