Shakespeare vs. Mozart: A Library Debate

Event Details

For four hundred years, western culture has continuously looked to Shakespeare to share the truth of the human condition. On the other hand, the music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart miraculously captures the sublime and expresses the inexpressible. As the Library presents concurrent exhibitions celebrating the work of Shakespeare and of Mozart, the question must be answered - who is the greatest genius? In one corner: Shakespeare experts from The Shakespeare Society and the New Yorker magazine. In the other corner: Mozart defenders from the Mostly Mozart Festival and the Mozart Society of America. Each side will battle with competing evidence, utilizing live performances and historic materials from The Library’s archives. Q2 Music’s Brothers Balliett moderate this epic clash of titans. One night only.  Who will win? This is not a joke!

Presented in collaboration with Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival. 

Team Shakespeare: 

  • Adam Gopnik - essayist and lecturer

  • Tanya Pollard - Shakespeare scholar and professor at Brroklyn College and CUNY Graduate Center

  • Michael Sexton - artistic director of the Shakespeare Society

Team Mozart: 

  • Michael Beckerman - Mostly Mozart program annotator, NYU professor

  • Peter A. Hoyt - Mostly Mozart program annotator, University of South Carolina professor

  • Orli Shaham - pianist



Brad Balliett and Doug Balliett

 Reserve your seat HERE starting March 1 (If you need assistance with online reservations, please visit the welcome desk at the Library for the Performing Arts' Lincoln Center Plaza entrance, where volunteers will make a reservation for you, even if you do not use email. All registered seats are released 15 minutes before start time, so we recommend that you arrive early.)