Press coverage for John Butt and The Musicians’ Union: A Social History

Published on: Author: Eva Moreda Rodriguez Leave a comment

The Dunedin Consort’s recording of Bach’s Christmas Cantata and Magnificat, conducted by Prof John Butt, and the exhibition at the Mitchell Library marking the end of the research project The Musicians’ Union: A Social History have both enjoyed press coverage during the Christmas holidays. Prof Butt discussed the genesis of Bach’s Magnificat and Christmas Cantata at the BBC 4’s Frontrow. He also spoke about his past and recent experiences as a listener for The Guardian – including calling musicals ‘the dustbin equivalent of the Gesamtkunswerk’ and revealing an obsession with Glasgow group The Vaselines!

Musicians' Union illustration circa 1930 handout from Glasgow University
Musicians’ Union illustration circa 1930 handout from Glasgow University

The exhibition, The Musicians’ Union: A Social History, which marks the conclusion of the homonymous research project, was similarly featured in The Herald. The exhibition itself, curated by Prof Martin Cloonan and Dr John Williamson, can be visited at the Mitchell Library between the 13th and the 31st January, and will illustrate little-known aspects of the Musicians’ Union history, such as their opposition to the arrival of the “talkies” in the early 1930s because of the threat they posed to musicians playing along to silent films in cinemas. Other events to mark the conclusion of the project include a conference on musical labour and employment will take place at the Mitchell Library on 14th and 15th January, and a concert on 15th January curated by activist Rab Noakes as part of the festival Celtic Connections.

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