Willkommen bei der
Deutsch-Britischen Gesellschaft München e.V.

"Fostering and strengthening German-British relations in the cultural, political, scientific and economic fields"

Nächste Veranstaltungen:
Dienstag, 17 Januar 2017
19.30 Uhr

Tom Irvine
"Wie mir diese Melodie in die Seele geht:
From London to China and back with Karl Friedrich Neumann, 1829-1831"

Amalienstrasse 38
80799 München

Die einführenden Worte übernimmt: Dr. Hartmut Zelinsky, Philologe und Sinologe

Karl Friedrich Neumann was the first professor of Chinese at the University of  Munich – a fact that is fairly unknown. This talk follows the young scholar Karl Friedrich Neumann’s journey to Canton in China via London in 1829. His goal was to learn Chinese and acquire an adequate library for Chinese studies in Germany. At the time Europeans in China were forbidden to learn the language, and to export books. Neumann’s journey was an adventure from the start. The British East India company refused to take him as a passenger, so he signed on to one of their ships as a common seaman. His experience of China just before the First Opium War—whose storm clouds were already gathering—is unique in the early nineteenth-century travel literature.

In his lecture Thomas Irvine draws on an unpublished memoire held in the Bavarian State Library, which includes fascinating descriptions of contemporaries such as Nathan Rothschild, Wilhelm Humboldt, Friedrich Schelling and King Ludwig I. Of particular interest are Neumann’s vivid descriptions of the sounds of the China Trade, including street music, Canton opera and informal music-making on a typical British ship.

Thomas Irvine is Associate Professor of Music at the University of Southampton. His lecture draws on his current research project "Listening to China: Soundscapes of the Sino-Western Encounter 1770-1839". He has published widely on Anglo-German music history, eighteenth century music and Mozart. Born in Munich to American parents, he was educated in the United States, worked in Germany for more than a decade first as an orchestral musician and then as an academic and moved to Britain in 2006.

Would be a pleasure to see you in great numbers and with a lot of friends

Christa and Ellinor  (programme directors)