The Delphic Preview

Festival of the Muses

June 19-20, 2020

Schedule of Live Events | Garden of the Muses | Contributor Biographies

The Delphic Preview: Festival of the Muses celebrates contemporary re-imaginings of Greek culture as they pertain to the ancient and eternal tradition of the Festival of the Delphic Games. The online event invites the global community to engage with ancient Greek art, music, dance, poetry, song, myth, sport and theater in modern iterations through live-streamed performances and discussions, and through the Garden of the Muses, a collection of videos, audio recordings, and articles.

The Festival is presented by Harvard University’s Center for Hellenic Studies in collaboration with the Isadora Duncan International Institute, the Ecumenical Delphic Union, and the Committee for the Reinstatement of the Delphic Games. Sponsors include MOISA: The International Society for the Study of Greek and Roman Music and its Cultural Heritage. The Festival is part of a larger initiative to organize a Festival of the Delphic Games in Delphi in 2021.

Schedule of Live Events [back to top]

All times in Eastern. Live stream available at and on YouTube. Recordings will be available on YouTube.

Wednesday, June 17

10:00-11:30am — Reading Greek Tragedy Online: Euripides' Ion 

Prepare for the Delphic Preview with a reading and discussion of select scenes from Ion. Featured speakers include Joel Christensen (Brandeis University) and Michael Scott (University of Warwick). Reading Greek Tragedy Online is a weekly series presented by the Center for Hellenic Studies, the Kosmos Society, and Out of Chaos Theatre.

Friday, June 19

11:00am-12:30pm — Performing Pindar

Helen Eastman (writer/director), Alex Silverman (composer), and Nancy Felson (professor emerita of Classics), with actors Mairin O’ Hagan, Leon Scott, and Charlie Merriman (Live Canon Ensemble).

A sharing of work in progress from a research project at Oxford University’s APGRD, exploring Pindar through performance. With excerpts from Pythian 9, and a discussion about performative approaches to ancient poetry.

2:00pm-4:00pm — The Delphic Image

William Adair, Iris Brosch, Anna Gillespie, Artemis Herber, Judith Pratt, and Marc Robarge.

Image show with contemporary visual artists whose work explores the creative powers of the Muses as well as the Apollonian spirit of nature and the environment.

Saturday, June 20

11:00am-12:30pm — Magnetic Links

Carol Rumens and Reginald Gibbons (Northwestern University) with Natasha Bershadsky (Harvard University).

Poetry reading and discussion with two contemporary poets whose work finds inspiration in the ancient Greek world.

2:00pm-3:45pm — Epic, Hymns, and Invocations

Bettina Joy de Guzman with Armand D’Angour (Oxford University), Nikos Xanthoulis (Greek National Opera), Angelo Meriani (Università di Salerno; MOISA: The International Society for the Study of Greek and Roman Music and its Cultural Heritage), Andromache Karanika (University of California in Irvine), Maria G. Xanthou (Seeger Center for Hellenic Studies, Princeton University), Gregory Nagy (Harvard University), Theodore Koumartzis (Luthieros Music Instruments & Seikilo Museum of Ancient Music), and Sylvain Perrot (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, University of Strasbourg).

Live solo musical performance by Bettina Joy de Guzman, followed by a discussion about ancient Greek music.

4:00-4:30pm — Collaborative Reading of Pythian 8

The Festival concludes with a collaborative reading of Pindar's Pythian 8, hosted by Natasha Bershadsky (Harvard University).

Garden of the Muses [back to top]

Examples of creative expression inspired by ancient Greece and reflections on the arts in antiquity — videos, audio recordings, and articles are coming soon.

Contributor Biographies [back to top]

Information about participating contributors is coming soon.

The Reinstatement of the Delphic Games [back to top]

The Committee for the Reinstatement of the Delphic Games aims to revitalize the sacred and ancient tradition of the Delphic Games by celebrating art, music, dance, poetry, song, myth, sport, and theater.  Apollo, the Greek god of music and the “Leader of the Muses,” is associated with Delphi — the “navel” of the earth — a major religious center for the ancient Greeks and the location of the Pythian Games, which not unlike the Olympian Games, featured athletic and musical competitions. Taking inspiration from the humanistic values of the Amphictyonic Council, which managed the sanctuary of Apollo at Delphi, the Festival promotes the Delphic Ideal:  peace through cultural diplomacy, freedom of creative expression, and reverence for the environment.

Building on the previous festival reinstatements of 2005 and 2017, The Isadora Duncan International Institute and the Ecumenical Delphic Union, with support from the Center for Hellenic Studies, are leading the initiative to organize the next Festival of the Delphic Games in 2021. The Games will include five days of world-class lectures, intensive workshops, leadership initiatives, round-table discussions, and performances, held on Mount Parnassus in the sacred landscape of Delphi. Events will facilitate an international network of artists and researchers, and promote, in particular, practitioners and scholars working in Greece. This ‘Delphic’ impetus will offer opportunities for people of all ages to participate with platforms for researchers, artists, and the local Greek community to engage. 

The call for entries relevant to presenters and performers at the Festival of the Delphic Games 2021 will be available in Fall 2020.