Keats 200th anniversary event at City of London Guildhall

Keats Anniversary Lecture and première of Keats songs – listen to the recordings!

This year has been special for Keatsians, being the 200th anniversary of John Keats’ death in Rome, 23 February 1821, aged 25. In recognition of this, Keats Foundation (which is partnered in the Keats 200 programme with Keats House in Hampstead and the Keats-Shelley Memorial Association) presented on 1st November three events at Guildhall, City of London. Keats Foundation is grateful to the City of London for its partnership in support of these events.

The first event was the Keats Anniversary Lecture, given by Professor Nicholas Roe, Chair of Keats Foundation and acclaimed biographer of Keats. His lecture, ‘John Keats and the London Cavalry’, can be watched through this link:

The second was the commissioning by Keats Foundation of four short Songs in which some well-known lines of John Keats have been set to music by Emily Hall, a talented young British composer. The première of these songs followed the Keats Anniversary Lecture; they were performed by three gifted singers, Ben Rowarth, Paul Bentley-Angell and Chris Lombard. The text is from:
Life is but a day,
A thing of beauty is a joy forever,
Keats’s Epitaph,
Shed no tear.

Four Keats Songs by Emily Hall

The songs were preceded by a reading of ‘Ode on a Grecian Urn’ by medical student, Fiyinfoluwa Oladipo.

Ode on a Grecian Urn read by Fiyinfoluwa Oladipo