Professor Robin Stowell
Telephone: +44(0)29 208 74171
Fax: +44(0)29 208 74379
Location: 33 Corbett Road (Annexe), Room 1.04
Robin Stowell was educated at the University of Cambridge (MA, PhD) and at the Royal Academy of Music, London (Recital Diploma, Marjorie Hayward Prize). He made his London solo debut as a violinist at the Purcell Room in 1974 and has performed throughout the UK as a soloist and chamber musician. He was also for many years a member of The Academy of Ancient Music, The English Concert and other period-instrument ensembles, and he has participated in numerous radio and television broadcasts, as well as commercial recordings. He was appointed an ARAM in 1990. He came to Cardiff as Lecturer in Music in 1976, becoming Senior Lecturer in 1984 and Professor in 1988. He was Head of School 2000-2008. He has served as an assessor and consultant both within the university sector and for grant-awarding bodies such as the AHRC, British Academy and Leverhulme Trust. He has also been a consultant to the NYO of Great Britain and has been on the juries for various competitions, including BBC Young Musician, Live Music Now and Young Musician of the Gulf (Bahrain). He has been a performance adviser for several ‘period’ ensembles and, in 2005-06, for the English Symphony Orchestra's Beethoven Symphony cycle. He is co-editor of the Cambridge Handbooks to the Historical Performance of Music, a member of the Advisory Committee for the forthcoming publication of the Complete Works of Francesco Geminiani (2012), and he has been appointed to the editorial committee of the Henryk Wieniawski Collected Edition. He is currently involved in two major projects funded by the AHRC. In 2004 he established at Cardiff University the Centre for Research in Historically Informed Performance (CRHIP).
Professor Stowell contributes to modules in organology, notation and editing, performance practice and ensemble performance for the undergraduate curriculum, teaches for the MA in Performance Studies programme, and supervises PhD candidates in musicology and performance.
(ed. with Colin Lawson) The Cambridge History of Musical Performance (Cambridge: CUP, 2012)
(ed.) The Cambridge Companion to the String Quartet (Cambridge: CUP, 2003)
The Early Violin and Viola (Cambridge: CUP, 2001)
(ed.) The Cambridge Companion to the Cello (Cambridge: CUP, 1999; Chinese trans., Beijing: People’s Music Publishing House, 2008)
(ed.) The Violin Book (London and San Francisco: Outline Press and Miller Freeman, 1999)
(with Colin Lawson) The Historical Performance of Music: An Introduction (Cambridge: CUP, 1999; Spanish trans., Madrid: Alianza Editorial, 2005)
Beethoven: Violin Concerto (Cambridge: CUP, 1998)
(ed.) Performing Beethoven (Cambridge: CUP, 1994)
(ed.) The Cambridge Companion to the Violin (Cambridge: CUP, 1992; Chinese trans., Taipei: Mercury Publishing House, 1996)
Violin Technique and Performance Practice in the Late Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth Centuries (Cambridge: CUP, 1985)
Book Chapters, Journal Articles and Published Papers
'Case study: Richard Wagner, Tristan and Isolde', in C. Lawson and R. Stowell (eds.), The Cambridge History of Musical Performance, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2012, pp. 696-722
(with C Lawson) 'The Future?' in C. Lawson and R. Stowell (eds.), The Cambridge History of Musical Performance, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2012, pp. 817-33
'The Evidence', in C. Lawson and R. Stowell (eds.), The Cambridge History of Musical Performance, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2012, pp. 63-104
'Henryk Wieniawski (1835-80): the "true successor" of Nicolo Paganini? A comparative assessment of the two virtuosos with special references to their etudes/caprices', in C. Bacciagaluppi, Roman Brotbeck and Anselm Gerhard (eds.), Spielpraxis der Saiteninstruymente in der Romantik, Edition Argus, Schliengen, 2011, pp. 70-90
'Semblanzas de Compositores Espanoles: Pablo de Sarasate (1844-1908)'. Revista de la Fundacion Juan March, 401 (March 2011), pp.2-7
''The Diabolus in Musica and Paganini Redivivus phenomena, with some thoughts on their relevance to the "German Paganini", in A. Barizza and F. Morabito (eds.), Nicolo Paganini: Diabolus in Musica, Brepols, Turnhout, 2010, pp.3-22
'Henryk Wieniawski (1835-80): Polish, French, Franco-Belgian, German, Russian, Italian or Hungarian?', in M. Jablonski and D. Jasinska (eds.), Henryk Wieniawski and the 19th-Century Violin Schools, Rhytmos Publishing House, Poznan, 2006, pp.9-28
'The Viotti School of Violin Playing - Style and Influence', in Massimiliano Sala (ed.), Giovanni Battista Viotti: A Composer Between the Two Revolutions (Bologna: Ut Orpheus Edizioni, 2006), 219-49
'Performance Practice in the Eighteenth-Century Concerto', in Simon P. Keefe (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to the Concerto (Cambridge: CUP, 2005), 192-226
'Developments in Instruments, Bows and Accessories', 'Extending the Technical and Expressive Frontiers' and 'Traditional and Progressive Nineteenth-Century Trends: France, Italy, Great Britain and America', in Robin Stowell (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to the String Quartet (Cambridge: CUP, 2003), 19-37, 149-74 and 250-65
'Strings', in Anthony Burton (ed.), A Performer's Guide to Music of the Romantic Period (London: ABRSM, 2002), 45-55
'Viotti's "London Concertos (Nos. 20-29)": Progressive or Retrospective?', in David Wyn Jones (ed.), Music in Eighteenth-Century England (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2000), 282-98
'Breaking with Tradition', 'Violin Teaching in History', 'Performers of the Romantic Period' and 'Vioilin Music of the 20th Century', in Robin Stowell (ed.), The Violin Book (London and San Francisco: Outline Press and Miller Freeman, 1999), 40-1, 64-7, 80-5 and 110-17
'The Sonata', 'Other Solo Repertory' and (with David Wyn Jones) 'The Concerto', in Robin Stowell (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to the Cello (Cambridge: CUP, 1999), 116-36, 137-59 and 92-115
'Paganini, the Violin Virtuoso in excelsis?', Basler Jahrbuch für Historische Musikpraxis, 20 (1996), 73-93
'The Violin Concerto op.61: Text and Editions', in Robin Stowell (ed.), Performing Beethoven (Cambridge: CUP, 1994), 150-94
'The Nineteenth-Century Bravura Tradition', 'Technique and Performance Practice', 'The Concerto', 'The Sonata', 'Other Solo Repertory' and 'The Pedagogical Literature', in Robin Stowell (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to the Violin (Cambridge: CUP, 1992), 61-78, 122-42, 148-67, 168-93, 194-209 and 224-33
'Leopold Mozart Revised: Articulation in Violin Playing during the Second Half of the Eighteenth Century', in Peter Williams and R. Larry Todd (eds), Perspectives on Mozart Performance (Cambridge: CUP, 1991), 126-57
'The Classical Era - Strings' and 'The 19th Century - Strings', in Howard M. Brown and Stanley Sadie (eds), Performance Practice, vol.2 of Music after 1600 (London: Macmillan, 1989), 239-51 and 394-408
'Good Execution and other Necessary Skills - the Role of the Concertmaster in the Late 18th Century', Early Music, 16 (1988), 21-33
'Building a Library: Bach's Sonatas and Partitas for Violin Solo', The Musical Times, 128 (1987), 250-6
'Violin Bowing in Transition - a Survey of Technique as Related in Instruction Books c.1760-c.1830', Early Music, 12 (1984), 317-27
- Contributions to Oxford Composer Companion: Haydn (2002), The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, Second Edition (2001), Oxford Composer Companion: J. S. Bach (1999), The Mozart Compendium (1990)
- Reviews of books, music and recordings for Eighteenth-century Music, Early Music, The Strad, Double Bassist, Early Music Today, Music & Letters, Piano International. Ad Parnassum, Haydn Society Newsletter, Haydn Yearbook and Vlaanderen
- Lecture-recitals (e.g., Exeter Cathedral), pre-concert talks (e.g. Queen Elizabeth Hall), radio broadcasts, CD booklet essays, programme notes (Edinburgh International Festival, Wigmore Hall and other major venues)
Professor Stowell is currently writing a monograph, The Violin, for Yale University Press. His research interests include Historically Informed Performance; Music of the 'long eighteenth century'; Performance Studies; Violins, violinists and violin playing through history; and Editions of music for stringed instruments.
Recent Research Papers, Public Lectures and Seminars
Annual Crees Lecture, Royal College of Music, London Thursday 21 February, 2013 5.15pm
‘Chaconne à son goût’- performing J. S. Bach’s Ciaccona (from Partita no.2 in D minor for solo violin, BWV1004)
CHASE 2012 Conference, Authorship and Authenticity in Composition, Editing and Performance, University of Leeds, 4-5 April 2012
BBC Radio 3 interview with Julian Lloyd Webber for 'The Cellists that Time Forgot', 28 January 2012
Workshop in historical performance for members of the Welsh Sinfonia, Cardiff, 12 January 2012
Workshop in historical performance for pupils from the William Mathias Music Service, Bangor, 16 December 2011
‘Mozart’s "Viennese" Keyboard/Violin Sonatas according to Ferdinand David’, conference ‘Music for Stringed Instruments: Music Archives and the Materials of Musicological Research in the 19th and Early 20th Centuries’ (AHRC), Cardiff University, 24 June 2010
‘Early 20th-century recordings and their significance as evidence for the study of issues of performance practice and style’, Jagiellonian University, Krakow, 17 May 2010
'Performance Practice in Beethoven', Study Day on Beethoven's Symphonies, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Purcell Room, London, 28 February 2010
‘Fantasizing on Faust’, conference ‘Henryk Wieniawski and the Bravura Tradition. Issues of Style, Technique and Performing Practice’, Poznan, 20 October 2009
‘The Diabolus in Musica and Paganini Redivivus phenomena, with some thoughts on their relevance to the ‘German Paganini’ [August Wilhelmj (1845-1908)]’, keynote paper, ‘Nicolò Paganini Diabolus in Musica’, La Spezia, 16 July 2009
'The Influence of Organological Developments on the String Quartet in the Late 18th Century: Technique, Style, Interpretation and Repertoire', Centre Européen de Musique de Chambre, Cité des Arts, Paris, 6 March 2007
‘Beethoven’s Violin Concerto Op. 61: A Franco-Austrian patchwork?’, Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester, 29 April 2005
‘Henryk Wieniawski: Polish, French, Franco-Belgian, German, Russian, Italian or Hungarian?’, Henryk Wieniawski Musical Society 2nd International Conference, Academy of Music, Poznan, 10 March 2005
‘Whither the String Quartet?’, Carnegie-Mellon University, Pittsburgh, 21 October 2004
‘The Significance of Early Recordings in 19th-century Performance-Practice Studies’, Queen’s College/CUNY, New York, 19 October, 2004
‘Beethoven's Violin Concerto Op. 61 and Joseph Joachim - a Case Study in Performance Practice’, Harvard University, Boston, 15 October 2004; Mannes College, New York, 18 October 2004
Current PhD Candidates
Owen Cox (PhD, Performance): ‘The Changing Aesthetics of String Quartet Performance in the Age of Recording’.
Magda Kostka (PhD, Thesis): ‘Sonatas for violin and continuo by British composers c.1700-c.1750’.
Nicola Loten (PhD, Performance): ‘The Flute/Recorder Sonatas of George Frideric Handel’.
Jeremy Huw Williams (PhD, Performance): ‘Alun Hoddinott – Writing for the baritone voice, 1994-2007’
Successful PhD Candidates
Keith Griffiths: ‘Hans Swarowsky's legacy to the art of conducting : the Swarowsky System, a manual of restraint’, 2009.
Eduardo Fargas: ‘The violoncello school of André Navarra’, 2008.
John Parsons: ‘Stylistic change in violin performance 1900-1960: with special reference to recordings of the Hungarian Violin School’, 2005.