The Foundation

Burgess Centenary

We celebrated the centenary of Anthony Burgess’s birth in 2017. Find out more here about our programme of activities and publications.

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Centenary Conference: Life, Work, Reputation (3-5 July 2017):

The International Anthony Burgess Foundation hosted three days of literature, music and discussion to mark the centenary of Anthony Burgess’s birth.

Anthony Burgess: Life, Work, Reputation took place at the Burgess Foundation in Manchester, and featured discussion by some of the leading Burgess experts on subjects such as Burgess’s early life, his wartime years in Gibraltar, his poetry, music and plays, and novels including The Malayan Trilogy (1956-1959), A Vision of Battlements (1965), The Pianoplayers (1986), Byrne (1995), his writings about Shakespeare and his futuristic dystopias.

Keynote speakers included Paul Phillips (author of A Clockwork Counterpoint), Jonathon Green (lexicographer and author of Green’s Dictionary of Slang), and Alexandra Spencer-Jones, director of the all-male stage production of A Clockwork Orange.

There were also opportunities to hear live performances of Burgess’s music and to visit the locations of his youth, including Xaverian College and Manchester University.

Highlights of the conference included:

On Sunday 2 July the first volumes of The Irwell Edition of the Work of Anthony Burgess were launched at the Burgess Foundation. The Irwell Edition will bring all of Burgess’s novels into print in critical editions with new introductions, extensive notes on the texts, and unpublished documents from the archives.

On Monday 3 July there was a curator-led tour of the Burgess exhibition at the Whitworth Art Gallery. This was followed by a tour of Burgess’s former school, Xaverian College, and a talk and reception at Manchester University.

On Tuesday 4 July the Bridgewater Hall hosted the first performance of Raymond Yiu’s new song cycle, The World Was Once All Miracle, inspired by the poetry of Anthony Burgess. This was performed by the BBC Philharmonic, alongside the European premiere of Burgess’s own Symphony in C.

The closing event of the conference, on Wednesday 5 July, was a concert at the Burgess Foundation by the No Dice Collective, who performed a programme of Burgess’s chamber music, including the world premiere of Concerto for Flute, Strings and Piano in D Minor (1951).

The full programme is available here.