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Event Concerts from the Library of Congress

Boccaccio Project

The Boccaccio Project

A Series of Musical Responses to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

In the mid-14th century Giovanni Boccaccio (1313-1375) wrote the Decameron, a collection of 100 stories shared between a group of 10 acquaintances who had removed themselves from society during the darkest period of a plague. This early artistic response to an outbreak provided context and a means of expression, and the parallels to the quarantine and social distancing phenomena we experienced worldwide in the difficult early days of the pandemic resonated with us.

We drew on Boccaccio’s example to offer some musical responses. We asked 10 pairs of composers and performers to write and perform brief solo works, premiered over the course of 10 weekdays in June 2020. Below you can access all of the videos of The Boccaccio Project.