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Music and poetry of the Troubadours at the Latin Kingdom of Thessalonica after 1204

King's Building, Strand Campus, London

22 Oct Poetry And main Part of CHS Late Antique & Byzantine Seminar Series (Autumn)

Dimitris Kountouras (Athens)

The 4th Crusade and the capture of Constantinople by the crusaders in 1204 have been generally well studied. On the contrary little is known about the activity of the Troubadours that followed the leaders of the crusaders to Byzantium. The cultural life in the newly formed Latin Empire of Constantinople after the fall of the Byzantine empire is also obscured. The Troubadours Raimbaut de Vaqueiras and Elias Cairel and the Trouvère Conon de Béthune stayed in the Latin Empire and spent some of their creative years there. The two Troubadours followed Boniface of Monferrat, the new King at the Kingdom of Thessalonica, and resided in the city for some years. They left music and poetry of high quality and rich on historical references. The present lecture will analyse the short life of the Kingdom of Thessalonica and some of the pieces of Raimbaut and Elias that refer to that period and give important information about the historical context in the kingdom of Thessalonica between 1204 and 1209.

Dimitris Kountouras specializes on Early Music history and interpretation, and on historical flutes. He is active as a musical director and soloist and he is lecturer at the Athens Conservatoire, at the University of Macedonia and guest at the Conservatoire of Geneva. His interests include music and text relations in the early modern era and the humanistic influences on music. He performed at venues and festivals in Europe and Asia and recorded CDs with his ensemble Ex Silentio for Carpe Diem and Talanton. He performed with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, with Armonia Atenea and the Harmony of Nations Baroque Orchestra. Dimitris studied Early Music performance practice and music history in Utrecht, Milan, Vienna, Athens and Trossingen. He was a post-doctoral scholar for the Centre of Humanistic Studies, Athens. He is the author of the monograph Music of the Troubadours at the Kingdom of Thessalonica (Nefeli/Fairead 2017) and of several articles on medieval and renaissance music.

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