Music & Shakespeare | Newberry

Music & Shakespeare

Led by Dr. Brian Oberlander
Saturday, July 10, 2021
Four sessions, Saturdays, July 10 - July 31

1 - 3 pm (Central Time)


Newberry Adult Education Seminars will meet virtually via Zoom. For more information about the Newberry’s virtual seminars, including a Zoom tutorial, please see our Virtual Seminars FAQ page. If you have questions about online learning, please reach out to

Seminar Description

Rediscover Shakespeare's plays by exploring the ballads, fanfares, marches, dances, and ingenious musical imagery that abound in his texts. From Ophelia's ill-timed musical outbursts in Hamlet to actor Will Kempe's raucous jigs, music resounded in Shakespeare's theater: developing characters, nuancing dramatic situations, and enthralling spectators. This seminar will conclude with classical compositions by Henry Purcell (1692), Felix Mendelssohn (1842), and Benjamin Britten (1960), all three reimagining Shakespeare's otherworldly masterpiece, A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Four sessions. Registration – $195

Brian Oberlander holds a PhD in musicology from Northwestern University. He has taught courses in music history at Northwestern, National Louis University, Columbia College Chicago, and the Newberry.

Materials List


  • A selection of shorter materials distributed by the instructor.

First Reading:

  • For the first session, please listen to episode 11 of the Shakespeare Unlimited podcast, "Music in Shakespeare."

Registration Information

Registration opens at 9 am (CST) on Wednesday, May 19th. Newberry Associates members at the Literati level and above will have access to early registration beginning May 12th at 10am. Learn more about membership benefits and becoming a Newberry Associate.

Please note: For more information about registration, including a guide to online registration, see our Registration Information page. Questions? Please contact seminars program staff via email at

We offer a 10% discount to members, seniors, and students.

This seminar is part of the Newberry’s Adult Education Seminars Program. Learn more about registering for a seminar, program policies, or teaching a seminar.