Alfred University News

Alfred University Beckett scholar Professor Robert Reginio to present paper on Beckett at Rollins College conference

Professor of English Robert Reginio
Professor of English Robert Reginio

Alfred University Professor of English Robert Reginio will present a paper at the 44th Annual Comparative Drama Conference exploring the interplay of Irish dramatist Samuel Beckett with musical compositions by English pianist and composer John Tilbury.


Alfred University Professor of English Robert Reginio will present a paper at the 44th Annual Comparative Drama Conference exploring the interplay of Irish dramatist Samuel Beckett with musical compositions by English pianist and composer John Tilbury. The conference will be held this fall at Rollins College, in Winter Park, Fla.

“Beckett’s Voice(s) & Tilbury’s Beckett(s)” will examine Tilbury’s adaptations of Beckett’s texts for piano and orchestra, a project which Tilbury has been pursuing for 25 years, Reginio says.

“I’m arguing these pieces show the most perdurable fidelity to the unique ‘voice’ that haunts, drives, and sounds through all Beckett’s work for performance.”

Now 85 years old, Tilbury is considered one of the foremost interpreters of the music of American composer Morton Feldman. He has been engaged in a friendly, years-long correspondence with Reginio.

Reginio’s work on Becket includes his essay “Nothing Doing: Reflections on Samuel Beckett and American Conceptual Art,” which appeared in the journal Samuel Beckett Today/Aujourd’hui. He also served as one of three editors of the 2017 essay collection Samuel Beckett and Contemporary Art.

Reginio says his youthful introduction to Beckett’s work involved initially a combination of confusion and immediate attraction. "Like many, I met Beckett's work with baffled admiration for his formal daring. Ever since, I’ve come to learn that he is the unique artist who will never lie to you; he offers no easy answers, but faithful companionship."

In addition to his interest in Beckett, Reginio also is pursuing his scholarly interest in the American singer and composer (and Nobel Prize winner) Bob Dylan. He recently organized the panel "The Persistence of Bob Dylan: Damaged Life, Endurance, and History" as part of the Modern Language Association's annual conference in January 2021.