Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures

School of Music

Celebrating the Centennials of Bernard Herrmann and Nino Rota

Film Music Conference

School of Music, University of Leeds

In this section:

About: About the Conference

2011 marks the centennials of the births of two of the world’s most significant and influential film-score composers, Bernard Herrmann and Nino Rota. Between them they scored around 250 films over a period of nearly 50 years, and worked with a number of leading film directors.

Bernard Herrmann is perhaps best known for his collaboration with director Alfred Hitchcock, though he began as a composer and conductor of music for radio, producing a large amount of music for radio dramas throughout the 1930s. It was in this industry that Herrmann developed his distinctive approach to orchestration, alongside an understanding of the relationship between music and the spoken word. It was also through the world of radio that he met Orson Welles, for whom he undertook some of his first film-scoring projects.

Nino Rota is, likewise, perhaps best-known for his partnership with director Federico Fellini. Rota trained in Philadelphia and Milan, and from the 1940s he was an active composer of opera, ballet and works for the concert hall alongside his film-music career. Rota worked with most of the leading directors of the time contributing scores for films by Visconti, Zeffirelli and Monicelli (among others), and winning an Academy Award for his score to Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather: Part II (1974).

There will be two keynote presentations, one on each of the celebrated composers:

  • Discussions are ongoing with Dr Franco Sciannameo (Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh), who has published several texts on Rota’s film scores, including a recent Film Score Guide on The Godfather Trilogy (Scarecrow Press).
  • Professor David Cooper (University of Leeds) is the author of monographs on Herrmann’s scores for Vertigo (Ashgate) and The Ghost and Mrs Muir (Scarecrow Press).

In addition to sessions and keynotes devoted to these two key figures, the conference will feature a live musical performance of some of the concert music they composed, including excerpts from Herrmann’s rarely-heard opera “Wuthering Heights”, which has strong links to several of his film scores, and some of Rota’s extensive operatic output.

The event will also provide film-music scholars, and those with a more general interest in film, with the opportunity to discuss the most recent research and understanding in a range of film-music areas, and there will also be paper presentations on a broad range of film-music topics, and screenings of short films with original scores.

Conference Programme

Tuesday 6 September 2011

12.00-2.00pm: Conference registration

2.00-3.00pm: Conference opening, drinks reception and welcome

3.00-4.00pm: Keynote Session 1

Bernard Herrmann

4.00-4.30pm: Tea and Coffee

4.30-5.30pm: Paper Session 1:

Nino Rota 1

5.30-6.00pm: Tea and Coffee


Excerpts from Operatic Works by Herrmann and Rota

  • Excerpts from the opera The Florentine Straw Hat (Rota)
  • Act 1 scene 1 of Wuthering Heights (Herrmann)
  • Chamber music (Rota)

Wednesday 7 September 2011

9.00-9.30am: Conference registration

9.30-11.00am: Paper Session 2

Bernard Herrmann

11.00-11.30am: Tea and Coffee

11.30am-12.30pm: Paper Session 3

Nino Rota 2

12.30-2.00pm: Lunch (delegates should make their own arrangements. Information on places to eat can be found here.)

2.00-3.30pm: Paper Session 4

Film Music Processes and Technologies

3.30-4.00pm: Tea and Coffee

4.00-5.30pm: Film-Score Session

Original Scores for Silent Films Old and New

7.00pm: Conference Dinner (must be pre-booked). Click here to book.

Thursday 8 September 2011

9.00-9.30am: Conference registration

9.30-11.00am: Paper Sessions 5a & 5b (parallel sessions)

Signification, Significance, and Subjectivity

Identity and the Popular Soundtrack

11.00-11.30am: Tea and Coffee

11.30am-1.00pm: Paper Session 6

Introduction, Interpretation and Incongruence

1.00-2.30pm: Lunch (delegates should make their own arrangements. Information on places to eat can be found here.)

2.30-3.30pm: Keynote Presentation 2

Nino Rota

  • Dr Franco Sciannameo (Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh)
    Nino Rota at the Heart of the Novecento: A Problem Solved

3.30-4.00pm: Closing Plenary

4.00pm: Conference Close

Booking & Fees

Conference Fees

Full conference fee: £30
Student conference fee: £10
Day pass: £15 (single day: Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday)

Royal Musical Association members are entitled to a 10% discount on all of the above prices.

Delegates can book for the conference online via the University’s webshop, or by downloading a booking form from here. Please send downloaded booking forms together with full payment to:

Dr Ian Sapiro
Leeds Film Music Conference Booking
School of Music
University of Leeds

Cheques must be made payable to ‘The University of Leeds’.

The conference fee includes access to all paper session, film screenings and keynote presentations on days for which the pass is valid. Tea and coffee between sessions is also included, but not meals or accommodation. Details of local cafes and restaurants can be found here. For further information on local hotels please click here.

Conference Dinner

There will be a conference dinner on the evening of Wednesday 7 September, held in the School of Music. The event will be a buffet-style three-course meal with wine, and must be booked in advance. The meal can be booked online (please state any special dietary requirements in the space provided – vegetarians will be catered for as a matter of course), or booking and payment may be included on the main conference booking Form. In order to give final numbers to the caterer, all bookings for the conference dinner must be paid in full by Wednesday 31 August.

If you have any difficulties using the online booking system, please email Ian Sapiro.

Getting here: How to get here

Please click here for a map of the campus


Leeds is well served with good rail links up and down the east coast main line and via the Transpennine Express. The Leeds Citybus Service from the station (formerly the ‘Free Bus’, now charging a flat rate of 50p) stops at the southern edge of the University (stop 9 is best). From stop 9 head round the multi-storey car park on the left and along Calverley Street to the campus South Entrance at Willow Terrace Road.


From the west: Take the M62 motorway to junction 27 and exit onto the M621 motorway. Continue with the instructions below.

From the north, east or south: Take the M1 motorway to junction 43 and continue onto the M621 motorway. Exit the M621 at junction 2 and take the 1st exit from the roundabout. Get into the middle lane when it appears and follow it three-quarters of the way round the next roundabout, exiting towards the A58(M) Inner Ring Road. Exit the A58(M) up the sliproad just after the underpasses (signed towards the Universities and Otley), and go up to the traffic lights. Turn left at the lights and right at the next set  to head uphill along Woodhouse Lane. Turn left into the University main entrance just after the churches and before you reach the large white Parkinson building. Parking on campus must be booked in advance along with conference registration and costs £5 per day. For more parking options please see parkopedia.


Leeds/Bradford Airport is around seven miles from the University to the north of Leeds. A taxi booking office is located in the airport car park, and a taxi to the University main entrance should cost £15-£25 and take up to 45 minutes depending on traffic.

The School of Music Building

From the University main entrance head through the security barrier and follow the road down the hill into the campus. Where the road bends left continue straight down the hill to the bottom. The School of Music is on the right here, attached to the gold-domed Clothworkers Centenary Concert Hall.

From the South Entrance continue along Willow Terrace Road, and turn right along the second side road, opposite The Edge sports centre. Walk under the E.C. Stoner building and turn left up the hill. The School of Music building is ahead of you on the right, attached to the gold-domed Clothworkers Centenary Concert Hall. Walk along the front of the concert hall and the entrance to the School is at the far end of the building.



Prices may only be available for a limited time, some include breakfast and others do not; please see individual hotel websites for full details. The University postcode is LS2 9JT should you wish to see how far away each hotel is using Google maps or similar. The list below is indicative; more hotels are available here.

  • Travelodge Vicar Lane
    97 Vicar Lane, Leeds, LS1 6PJ
    Night of Tuesday 6 September: £29.00
    Night of Wednesday 7 September: £32.50
    Both Nights: £65.00
  • Ibis Hotel Leeds
    23 Marlborough Street, Leeds, LS1 4PB
    Night of Tuesday 6 September: £39.00
    Night of Wednesday 7 September: £39.00
    Both Nights: £78.00
  • Holiday Inn Express Leeds City Centre
    Cavendish St/Kirkstall Road, Leeds, LS3 1LY
    Night of Tuesday 6 September: £56.00
    Night of Wednesday 7 September: £56.00
    Both Nights: £112.00
  • Premier Inn Leeds City Centre
    Citygate, Wellington Street, Leeds, LS3 1LW
    Night of Tuesday 6 September: £73.00
    Night of Wednesday 7 September: £73.00
    Both Nights: £146.00
  • Crowne Plaza Leeds
    Wellington St, Leeds, LS1 4DL
    Night of Tuesday 6 September: £91.00
    Night of Wednesday 7 September: £91.00
    Both Nights: £182.00
  • Radisson SAS Hotel Leeds
    No. 1 The Light, The Headrow, Leeds, LS1 8TL
    Night of Tuesday 6 September: £109.00
    Night of Wednesday 7 September: £109.00
    Both Nights: £218.00
  • Marriott Hotel Leeds
    4 Trevelyan Square, Boar Lane, Leeds, LS1 6ET
    Night of Tuesday 6 September: £115.00
    Night of Wednesday 7 September: £115.00
    Both Nights: £230.00

Places to Eat

The following lists are by no means exhaustive, but offer an indication of places to eat in the local area. Establishments are displayed in order of approximate distance from the School of Music in each section below, and links are provided where websites exist.

Cafes and Sandwich Shops (ideal for lunch):

  • Opposite Cafe (coffee, sandwiches, soup)
    26 Blenheim Terrace, opposite the University main entrance
  • Miro (coffee, sandwiches)
    29 Blenheim Terrace, opposite the University main entrance
  • The Smoothie Company (smoothies, coffee, toasted sandwiches, soup)
    10 Blenheim Walk, on a back road opposite the University main entrance
  • Bakery 164 (sandwiches, coffee)
    164 Woodhouse Lane, opposite the University main entrance
  • University of Leeds Refectory (range of hot and cold food and drink)
    On the main campus (open 9am-3pm)


  • University of Leeds Refectory
    On the main campus
    Open 9am-3pm, serving a selection of hot and cold food and drink.
  • La Besi, Tel: +44 (0)113 244 1177
    211 Clarendon Road, Leeds, LS2 9DT
    Open 11.30am-3pm and 5pm-10.30pm, serving Italian food.
  • Balti King, Tel: +44 (0)113 245 3128
    69 Raglan Road, Leeds, LS2 9DZ
    Open 5pm-1am, serving Indian food.
  • Akmal’s Tandoori Bistro, Tel: +44 (0)113 242 4600
    235 Woodhouse Lane, Leeds, LS2 3AP (just off the main road, in Hyde Park)
    Open 5.30pm-1.30am, serving Indian food.
  • Thai Edge, Tel: +44 (0)113 243 6333
    7 Calverley Street, Leeds, LS1 3DY
    Open 12pm-2.30pm (lunch) and 5.30pm-11.30pm (dinner), serving Thai cuisine.
  • Brio Pizza, Tel: +44 (0)113 2435533
    Unit C6 – C7, The Light, St. Anne’s Gardens, Leeds, LS1 8TL
    Open 11am-11pm, serving Italian food.

There is a conference dinner on Wednesday 7 September.

The conference is affiliated to the Royal Musical Association (RMA), and is presented in association with Dare, a collaborative partnership between the University of Leeds and Opera North.

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