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CRHIP Director: Professor Robin StowellRobin

Throughout his career Robin Stowell has focused his research on issues surrounding performance practices from the baroque period to the present, with a particular emphasis on string techniques in the ‘long eighteenth century’. His methodology has involved experiment with ‘period instruments’ and interpretation of the wide range of raw evidence with which musicians must engage when creating historically informed performances (HIPs). He has collaborated in research and publication with various other prominent scholars in the field (notably Colin Lawson and Clive Brown) and acted as a consultant for numerous professional orchestras (e.g. the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, the Welsh Sinfonia), conductors (e.g. Sir Charles Mackerras), and violinists (e.g. Patricia Kopatchinskaja and Jacqueline Ross), who have espoused HIP, whether to offer solutions about individual performance problems, participate in education/outreach projects or give advice in the recording studio.

His publications have introduced the fundamental principles of HIP and demonstrated their practical application, focusing in particular on performance practice issues in Beethoven’s oeuvre. Other significant avenues of impact and dissemination have included pre-concert talks on HIP issues, open practice-based workshops, public study days, public lectures, performance and commercial recording consultancies, concerts (some as soloist/director and presenter), broadcasts, contributions to professional journals (notably The Strad), and programme notes for prestigious festivals/venues. He also acts as mentor for OAE violinist Claire Holden in her work on re-aligning period string performance in Beethoven’s symphonies and other orchestral works of that era with the corroborated practices of the time.

The outcomes of Stowell’s research have proved a vital catalyst in transforming performances of music of the ‘long eighteenth century’ worldwide, providing professional and amateur practitioners with the knowledge and tools to recreate a former sound world with optimum fidelity – and the listening public to understand both that sound world and the new insights revealed.

Full profile on School of Music website

Claire Holden

Claire Holden

Claire Holden was awarded an AHRC Fellowship in the Creative and Performing Arts and joined the School of Music in 2010 to spend five years researching early nineteenth century violin playing.

After studies on modern and baroque violin at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and the Royal College of Music, Claire spent a year touring with the European Union Baroque Orchestra before joining the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment (OAE).

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Dr Keith Chapin

Dr Keith Chapin is a violist with broad experience as a chamber musician. His research addresses issues of aesthetics and music analysis in Western music from the seventeenth to the twentieth century, including traditions of both composition and performance. He is particularly interested in the examination of the aesthetics that underpin compositional and performance styles, and has taught and supervised projects in this area.

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Professor Kenneth Hamilton

Concert pianist and scholar Kenneth Hamilton has been described as “an outstanding virtuoso- one of the finest players of his generation” (Kommersant Daily, Moscow), as a "formidable virtuoso" by the Singapore Straits Times, and as a  “pianist/author/lecturer and all-round virtuoso” (The Guardian,London).

He has researched and written extensively on the performance-practice of piano music from the late 18th-century to the modern era, with particular emphasis on Beethoven, Liszt, Chopin, Mendelssohn, Alkan and Busoni. His most recent book, After the Golden Age: Romantic Pianism and Modern Performance (Oxford University Press), was a Classical music bestseller in the US and the subject of numerous articles and reviews worldwide. Charles Rosen welcomed it as "full of wit and interest, and written with passion" (Times Literary Supplement), while Jonathan Bellman claimed that "it should be required reading for all piano literature classes, read by all serious students of the piano, and likewise by anyone interested in the ways performance styles and personalities intersect with the literature" (Journal of Musicological Research).  After the Golden Age was a 2008 Daily Telegraph Book of the Year in the UK, a recipient of an ARSC award in the US, and a CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title for 2009.

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Dr David PonsfordPonsford

David Ponsford is an organist, harpsichordist, conductor and musicologist, whose book 'French Organ Music in the Reign of Louis XIV was published by Cambridge University Press in 2011. An exhibitioner at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, he studied organ with Peter Hurford, Lionel Rogg and Piet Kee, and harpsichord with Kenneth Gilbert and Gustav Leonhardt. On graduating from Cambridge he was appointed Assistant Organist at Wells Cathedral. Later, he was awarded a PhD at Cardiff University where he is an Associate Lecturer as well as Conductor of the University Chamber Orchestra. He also teaches organ and harpsichord at Bristol University and lectures at Cambridge University. He has recorded for ASV, Gaudeamus, Hyperion, Riverrun, NPC and Guild, and in 2004 was awarded a Leverhulme Research Fellowship. His edition of Biber’s Mystery Sonatas was published by Ut Orpheus, Bologna, in 2007. During the last year he has given recitals in Germany, France, USA, Canada, Singapore as well as the UK. In 2012 he began a series of recordings on French historic organs for Nimbus Records, the first two of which were released earlier in 2013.

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Dr Caroline Rae

Caroline Rae studied at Somerville College, Oxford (MA, DPhil) and the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hanover (Dipl.Mus). After studying with the distinguished teacher Dame Fanny Waterman (ARCM perf), she won a French Government Scholarship to train with Yvonne Loriod-Messiaen in Paris. She now maintains her performance activities giving lecture-recitals relating to her research.

Caroline Rae's research focuses on French music since Debussy, notably the composers Ohana, Jolivet, Dutilleux and Messiaen, but she also has particular interests in the Hispanic aspects of music in France and cosmopolitanism in interwar France.

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Professor Alison WrayAlison Wray

Alison Wray advises professional soloists and ensembles on historically appropriate pronunciation for early vocal music. Applying theoretical principles and patterns of historical linguistic evidence, she has reconstructed appropriate pronunciation for texts in English, French and various national varieties of Latin between c.1050 and c.1650. The underpinning research for this work began during a three year postdoctoral Leverhulme research fellowship, the Singers’ Language Project, based in the Department of Music, University of York, in which she examined the linguistic challenges for singers when performing in languages other than their native language or variety.

To date she has advised on over 90 CDs, broadcasts and live performances, for, amongst others, the BBC Singers, Binchois Consort, Boys’ Choir New York, Burgundian Cadence, Cappella Nova, Christ Church Oxford, Dufay Collective, Finzi Singers, Gabrieli Consort, Gothic Voices, I Fagiolini, La Brigata, Linden Baroque Orchestra, Netherlands Kamerkoor, New London Chamber Choir, New London Consort, Nonesuch Consort of Voices, Orlando Consort, Rose Consort of Viols, Sospiri, Taverner Choir, The Sixteen, Virelai, Yorkshire Baroque Soloists, and the soloists Helena Ek, Catherine King, Linda Perillo and Sara Stowe.

Full profile on School of English, Communication and Philosophy website