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Saint Cecilia – from Roman Martyr to patron Saint of Music

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St Cecilia was a third-century Roman Christian martyr, but how did she come to be patron saint of music and something of a mysterious icon? Her story may have developed by pure accident – misread texts and wishful thinking, but although Cecilia may be a strange mixture of the real and unreal, she has had an important influence on musical history, inspiring great composers and poets – especially in England where she became a symbol of divine harmony. We celebrate November 22nd, the feast day of Saint Cecilia, with a presentation by composer Andrew Baker on her life and significance for musical history.

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, the composer Antonin Kammell, and to the philosopher Floyer Sydenham. In his compositions Andrew explores the language of music, and he explores the Spirit of Place in films with music.

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