David Rizzio at the Scottish Court: Workshop 2

In brief

Title - David Rizzios artistic activity and its influence on music and literature

Venue - 50 George Square, Edinburgh

Research strand - David Rizzio at the Scottish Court

Book your free ticket

David Rizzio (1533-1566), musician and courtier, is a highly romanticised historical figure.

He has long been represented in the Scottish arts for his close relationship with Mary Queen of Scots, his murder at the hands of her husband and other Protestant lords, and his association with the religious conflicts that marked the Scottish Reformation.

Despite his fame, neither his political and cultural role nor his artistic influence have been studied in any scholarly detail.

Through a series of workshops, Dr Emanuela Patti is aiming to fill this gap, providing the first comprehensive account of Rizzio’s life, career and impact.

This project is funded by a Royal Society of Edinburgh Workshop Award.

Find out more about the project 


This is the second workshop in a series of three.

It analyses Rizzio's influence on Scottish music and literature, especially on Robert Burns.

It also explores aspects of material culture, such as the curious invention of the Rizzio Guitar”.


Time Speaker / performer Title and format
10.00am Emanuela Patti (University of Edinburgh) Welcome and introduction
10.15am John Reeve (former President of the Lute Society) The Rizzio Guitar: a little Scotch mist? - talk
11.00am James Cook (University of Edinburgh) Repertorial echoes of Rizzio - talk
11.30am Brianna E. Robertson-Kirkland (University of Glasgow) Mapping the musical archaeology of Scots songs: Rizzio, Ramsay and Burns - talk
12.00pm Almut Boehme (National Library of Scotland) Resources in the National Library of Scotland to aid research on David Rizzio - talk
12.30pm John Reeve (former President of the Lute Society) Musical period performance 
1.00pm All participants Discussion and lunch

Recording and follow-up

Please note that the workshop may be photographed and/or recorded and added to the project website afterwards. If you would prefer not to appear in any recordings, please contact us in advance or speak to us on the day. It's not a problem.

We would also like to contact participants in the future to invite you to the other workshops in the series and hear what you thought of the event and how you might use our research in your work or study. You can tell us at the time of booking if you are happy for us to do that.

Apr 07 2023 -

David Rizzio at the Scottish Court: Workshop 2

The second of three workshops on the life and legacy of David Rizzio, this event explores Rizzio’s artistic activity and its influence on Scottish music and literature.

Project Room 1.06
50 George Square