Armand D'Angour (born 23 November 1958) is a British classical scholar and classical musician, Associate Professor of Classics at Oxford University and Fellow and Tutor in Classics at Jesus College, Oxford. His research embraces a wide range of areas across ancient Greek culture, and has resulted in publications that contribute to scholarship on ancient Greek music and metre, the Greek alphabet, innovation in ancient Greece, and Latin and Greek lyric poetry. He has written poetry in ancient Greek and Latin, and was commissioned to compose odes in ancient Greek for the 2004 and 2012 Olympic Games. His research into the sounds of ancient Greek music (2013 to date) has been widely publicised., and his book Socrates in Love (published in March 2019) presented evidence for a radically revisionist thesis regarding the role of Aspasia of Miletus in the development of Socrates' thought.
|Born||23 November 1958|
|Thesis||The dynamics of innovation : newness and novelty in the Athens of Aristophanes (1998)|
|Doctoral advisor||Peter Lunt|
D'Angour was born in London and educated at Sussex House School and as a King's Scholar at Eton College. While at Eton he won the Newcastle Scholarship in 1976, the last year in which the original twelve exams in Classics and Divinity were set, and was awarded a Postmastership (academic scholarship) to Merton College, Oxford to read Classics. From 1976 to 1979 he studied piano with Angus Morrison and cello with Anna Shuttleworth and Joan Dickson at the Royal College of Music, London. At Oxford (1979–83) he won the Gaisford Greek Prose Prize, the Chancellor's Latin Verse Prize, the Hertford Scholarship and the Ireland and Craven Scholarship, and graduated with a Double First (BA Hons, Literae Humaniores). In 1983, he sat for a Prize Fellowship by Examination at All Souls College, but was unsuccessful. He then studied cello in the Netherlands with cellist Anner Bylsma, and now performs as cellist with the London Brahms Trio. From 1987 to 1994 he worked in and managed a family business. In 1994-8 he researched for a PhD at University College London on the dynamics of innovation in ancient Athens, a topic inspired by both his classical background and his experience of innovation in business. During this period he co-authored a book with Steven Shaw on swimming in relation to the principles of the Alexander Technique.
In 2000 D'Angour was appointed to a Fellowship in Classics at Jesus College, Oxford. He extended the chronological scope of this doctoral research to produce The Greeks and the New (published by Cambridge University Press in 2011), a wide-ranging academic study of novelty and innovation in ancient Greece; he has applied the findings of his research to business and to other domains, including music and psychoanalytic theory.
Reconstructing Ancient Greek MusicEdit
In 2013-15 D'Angour conducted a Research Fellowship awarded by the British Academy to investigate the way music interacted with poetic texts in ancient Greece, which resulted in a widely acclaimed scholarly breakthrough in the subject. In 2013 he published a conjectural verse reconstruction of the lost portion of Sappho's famous fragment 31. In May 2015 he appeared in a BBC Four documentary entitled 'Sappho', for which he used scholarly evidence to recompose the music for two stanzas of an ancient Sapphic song; in July 2016 he organised and presented the first ever research-driven in the Nereids Gallery of the British Museum. In January 2017 he was interviewed about his research into ancient Greek music by Labis Tsirigotakis as part of the programme 'To the Sound of Big Ben' on Greek TV's ERT1 Channel; and in July 2017 the first public performance of his musical reconstructions of the chorus preserved on papyrus from Euripides Orestes (408 BC) and the Delphic Paean of Athenaeus (127 BC) was given at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. His investigations have been claimed as a breakthrough, principally in demonstrating the affective symbolism and tonal basis of Greek music of the Classical period, and thereby affirming its connection to later European musical traditions. His numerous public talks, media interviews, and online presentations on the topic led to the award in 2017 by the Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University of a prize for public engagement with research.
At the request of Dame Mary Glen-Haig, senior member of the International Olympic Committee, D'Angour composed an Ode to Athens in 2004, in the appropriate Pindaric style, Doric dialect and metre (dactylo-epitrite) of ancient Greek, together with an English verse translation. The ode was recited at the 116th Closing Session of the IOC in 2004 and gained wide media coverage, including a full page spread in the Times headed up by veteran journalist and classicist Philip Howard. In 2010 Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, commissioned him to write an ode in English and Ancient Greek for the London Olympics 2012, and declaimed it at the IOC Opening Gala. The 2012 ode is engraved on a bronze plaque in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
- The Greeks and the New: Novelty in Greek imagination and experience (Cambridge, 2011). Reviewed, Bryn Mawr Classical Review, Jan. 2013, etc.
- Music, Text, and Culture in Ancient Greece, co-edited with Tom Phillips (Oxford, 2018).
- Socrates in Love: The Making of a Philosopher' (Bloomsbury, 2019).
- 'How the Dithyramb Got its Shape', Classical Quarterly 47 (1997) 331–351.
- 'Ad unguem', American Journal of Philology vol.120, no. 3 (1999) 411–427.
- 'Archinus, Eucleides, and the reform of the Athenian alphabet', Bulletin of the Institute of Classical Studies 43 (1999), 109–130.
- 'Catullus 107: a Callimachean reading', Classical Quarterly 50 (2000) 615–618.
- 'Drowning by Numbers: Pythagoreanism & Poetry in Horace Odes 1.28’, Greece and Rome 50 (2003) 206–219.
- ‘Conquering Love: Sappho 31 and Catullus 51’, Classical Quarterly 56 (2006) 297–300.
- ‘Plato and Play: Taking education seriously in ancient Greece’, American Journal of Play Vol. 5 no. 3 (Spring 2013) 293–307.
- ‘Sense and Sensation in music’, in A Companion to Ancient Aesthetics, ed. Paul Destrée and Penelope Murray (Wiley-Blackwell: New Jersey, 2014), 188-203.
- 'Vocables and microtones in ancient Greek music’, in Greek and Roman Musical Studies 4.2 (2016) 273-285.
- ‘Euripides and the sound of music’, in A Companion to Euripides, ed. L. McClure (John Wiley 2017), 428-443.
- ‘The musical setting of ancient Greek texts’, in Music, Texts, and Culture in ancient Greece, co-edited with T. Phillips (OUP, 2018)
- "Index entry". FreeBMD. ONS. Retrieved on 21 August 2012.
- "Eton College." Times [London, England] 24 March 1976: 18. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 20 August 2013.
- "University news." Times [London, England] 31 May 1980: 14. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 20 August 2013.
- . Retrieved on 13 August 2012.
- "Failing at All Souls » Armand D'Angour". Armand-dangour.com. Retrieved 26 October 2016.
- M. Campbell The Great Cellists (London, 2011) p. 208.
- "Concerts » Armand D'Angour". Armand-dangour.com. Retrieved 9 June 2018.
- PDF of PhD diss. from UCL Library, p5. Retrieved on 22 August 2013.
- Abstract of PhD diss. from UCL Library. Retrieved on 21 August 2013.
- The Art of Swimming: in a new direction with the Alexander Technique (London, 1996).
- Announcement of appointment to Jesus College in Oxford Gazette, 1999. Retrieved on 13 August 2012.
- Review of The Greeks and the New, John Hesk, Times Literary Supplement London, 6 July 2012.
- 'What's new? Some answers from ancient Greece'. OECD Observer No 221-222 (Summer 2000).
- Isis Innovation 40 (2003) 4–5. Archived 1 February 2014 at the Wayback Machine
- Interview in Greek Reporter, 10 June 2012. Greece.greekreporter.com, Retrieved on 13 August 2012.
- "Mid-Career Fellowship Competition 2013 Awards - British Academy". British Academy. Retrieved 9 June 2018.
- D'Angour, Armand (23 October 2013). "How did ancient Greek music really sound?". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 9 June 2018.
- "What did ancient Greek music sound like? THIS". Dailymail.co.uk. Retrieved 9 June 2018.
- "Ancient Greek music: hearing long lost sounds again wins university public engagement award". University of Oxford. Retrieved 26 November 2017.
- Text and translation of Armand D'Angour. "Ode to Athens." Times [London, England] 31 July 2004: 9. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 20 August 2013
- Philip Howard and Alan Hamilton. "Olympics ring to sound of winning British ode." Times [London, England] 31 July 2004: 9. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 1 September 2013.
- Olympic Ode lends touch of classics Archived 1 August 2013 at the Wayback Machine. Text of the ode, University of Oxford Website. Retrieved on 13 August 2012.
- BBC News Story about Boris Johnson declaiming Olympic Ode, 23 July 2012. Bbc.co.uk Retrieved on 13 August 2012.
- Boris Johnson to recite new poem for the Olympics in Ancient Greek, The Guardian, 23 July 2012. Guardian, Retrieved on 13 August 2012.
- Oxonian's Olympic Ode a success, Cherwell Magazine, 30 July 2012. Cherwell.org, Retrieved on 19 August 2012.