Thursday Talks - 24/04/2014

“Death for Five Voices”: Carlo Gesualdo, a tale of lunacy and musical genius

Speaker: Sebastian Schmidt, University of Zurich

Sebastian Schmidt presenting "Death for Five Voices"

Carlo Gesualdo (1560-1613) is one of the most fascinating and obscure characters in the history of music. Born into nobility, he was drawn into music early in his life and became an accomplished lutenist, famed in late 16th century Italy. But fate took a different path: heir to his house after his elder brother’s death, Gesualdo was married to Maria d’Avalos, the “most beautiful woman of her time”. What followed was a tragic tale of love and jealousy, culminating in a deed of unspeakable atrocity. Laden with guilt, Gesualdo fled society and started to compose: his music speaks of agony and genius, and has inspired composers from Schönberg to Stravinsky with its unique, dolorous tonality.

The curious case of Five Stars movement in Italy: can direct democracy scale up?

Speaker: Stefano Fusco, ETH Zurich

Stefano Fusco presenting: "The curious case of Five Stars movement in Italy"

One is worth one: this is the motto of the new reality of the italian struggling politics. A unique case in the European scenario, the Five star movement proposes a practical way to give voice to all the people in Italy, and at the same time to revolutionize the idea of politics. A short description of the movement and its recent history will hopefully help revealing the lights and shadows of this social experiment.