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Alice in Classical Music and Opera

Irving Fine

Irving Fine (1914-1952) was an American composer whose work assimilated neo-classical, romantic, and, later, serial elements. “Three Choruses from Alice in Wonderland” (1942) was one of his first major works.  The three choruses use some of Carroll’s famous poem parodies: the Lobser Quadrille, the Duchess’ Lullaby (“Speak Roughly”) and Father William.

Read more about Irving Fine


Olivia and Wellesley Choir performing "Father William"

David Del Tredici

David Del Tredici (1937-present) is an American composer who has written four orchestral pieces which deal directly with chapters from Alice: An Alice Symphony (1969), Adventures Underground (1971), Vintage Alice (1972), and Final Alice (1976).  His works combine orchestral and “folk” instruments to create a piece “wildly unsymphonic" in character, and yet particularly suited to the childlike world of Alice.

Read Del Tredici's Forward

"Acrostic Song" from Final Alice;
Rutgers University Symphony Band

Carlo Forlivesi

Carlo Forlivesi (1971-present) is an Italian composer whose activity has mainly focused on new music in Europe, the United States, and Japan.  His version of Alice, called “Through the Looking Glass,” features electronic sounds.

Read more about Carlo Forlivesi

"Through the Looking Glass"

Unsuk Chin

Unsuk Chin (1961-present) is a Korean composer of classical music, based in Germany.  Her first opera,  Alice in Wonderland  (2007) features elements of both Wonderland and Looking Glass and emphasizes the “dreamworld.” Chin has tried to “to avoid providing rigid interpretations of the book” favoring letting “the story and its dialogues speak for themselves.”

Read an Interview with Unsuk Chin

Excerpts from the Opera


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