New York Philharmonic and John Jay College of Criminal Justice examine Handel’s investment in transatlantic slave trade

Posted on: December 2, 2021

On Friday, December 3 at 1:45 p.m., the New York Philharmonic and John Jay College of Criminal Justice will co-present The Unanswered Questions: Handel and the Royal African Company, a panel discussion exploring how audiences may or may not separate a work of art from the morality of its creator. The discussion focuses on George Frideric Handel and his involvement with the transatlantic slave trade through the Royal African Company. The discussion precedes the Philharmonic’s performances of Handel’s Messiah later in December. The conversation will be livestreamed on Facebook. The panelists are Handel scholar and professor emeritus at MIT Ellen Harris; ethnomusicologist and Juilliard professor Fredara Hadley; composer, vocalist, and experimental librettist Imani Uzuri; and Philharmonic Vice President of Artistic Planning Patrick Castillo. WQXR host Terrance McKnight will moderate. The Unanswered Questions is a new series created by the New York Philharmonic in partnership with John Jay, using Philharmonic artistic initiatives to examine broader social issues. The series was launched in October with a conversation on how and why artists and institutions raise awareness of issues in the criminal justice system, complementing performances of Anthony Davis’s You Have the Right To Remain Silent.