A Brief History of The Musical Brain

The Musical Brain was established in 2010 as a charity dedicated to the arts, science and the mind. Our first annual conference, Robert Schumann: The Man, the Mind, the Musicexplored music and depression and took place at St John's Smith Square. Our 2011 conference was held at the Institute of Neurology, Queen Square and considered the similarities and differences between art forms in Why Music? Is Music Different from the Other Arts?

In 2012, we turned our focus to Beethoven and deafness in The Beethoven Question: Can Art Make Life Worth Living? at the Southbank Centre. This year also saw the inaugural outing of The Musical Brain's Trust, with The Sun Moves Always West at Dewsall Court, a weekend of reflection on the work of British composers whose lives were touched by the Great War.

In 2013 we explored music's response and application to conflict in Worlds in Collision: Music and the Trauma of War at the Mansion House, in collaboration with the City of London Festival. In 2014 we investigated the genius of Mozart in Mozart and the Power of Music: Memory, Myth and Magic at Senate House, in partnership with the Institute of Musical Research.

In 2015 we organised our first event for young people and brought 260 school children together for Singing, Science & Adventure at the Landmark Arts Centre in Teddington. In 2016, 450 years since Shakespeare's death, we looked at what music meant to the Bard, in Shakespeare's Musical Brain at King's College, London.

In 2017 we held Why Sing? The Evolution of Singing at The Priory Church of the Order of St John. 

In 2016 and 2017 we held two Elgar Walks along the Three Choirs Way, exploring the surroundings that Elgar knew and loved. In 2018 we organised two days of walks, talks, discussions and concerts examining the homeland, poetry, music and mind of Ivor Gurney.

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