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Andrew Baker

The Vision of Floyer Sydenham

‘Musical Sounds, uttered by Human Voices, or issued from any Musical Instrument of Man’s Contrivance, proceed from what is of Divine Origin within him; and the Force of them is felt only by what is of the same Origin in Others, namely Harmony and Mind.’

The 18th-century philosopher Floyer Sydenham is usually remembered as an old penniless scholar whose translations of Plato Thomas Taylor absorbed into his complete edition. But our speaker Andrew Baker has discovered previously unnoticed biographical material and now tells the true story of Sydenham as a Platonic visionary in his own right. For Sydenham was part of a small group of friends who revived Platonism as an antidote to the materialism of the age and who supply the philosophical background to the Greek Revival in art, architecture and landscape – fifty years before Thomas Taylor.

Moreover, Music and Harmony are at the centre of this vision – with intriguing connections to the world of George Frideric Handel.

Andrew Baker

Andrew Baker is a retired librarian, a composer and historical researcher. He has spent many years investigating Thomas Anson of Shugborough Hall, Staffordshire, and his influence on the 18th century Greek Revival in the Arts. This has led him the rediscovery of Anson’s friend, Floyer Sydenham and to the composer Antonin Kammell. In his compositions Andrew explores the language of music, and he explores the Spirit of Place in films with music.

Tickets: £12 for an invitation on Zoom



Tuesday 22 November 2022


6:30 pm - 7:45 pm





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