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Contemporary music as creative practice

Engaging in critical, cultural and analytical perspectives on post-1900 creative musical practice.

Current areas of research in this strand include the attitudes and compositional processes of post-war British composers, emerging trends in twenty-first century music, music for screen and film, and composers in twentieth-century France.

Practical research also includes critically acclaimed recordings of new, previously unrecorded piano repertoire, and international premieres of compositions by our staff.

Our composition staff regularly collaborate with key institutions in Cardiff, including the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and Welsh National Opera.


Current ongoing projects related to this strand include Professor Arlene Sierra’s Leverhulme Research Fellowship in support of her compositional project “Orchestral Ecologies”.

Recent projects have included Bhekizizwe, an opera by Dr Robert Fokkens exploring the concepts of race, identity & more through the life of a young South African Zulu Man, and The Oxford Handbook of Cinematic Listening, edited by Dr Carlo Cenciarelli.

The Music of Peter Maxwell Davies by Dr Nicholas Jones, published in 2020, provides a global view of Peter Maxwell Davies’ music, focusing on both major works and other selected works.

Professor Kenneth Hamilton’s work in this area includes Kenneth Hamilton Plays Ronald Stevenson Volume 1 and Volume 2a set of recordings of Stevenson’s music, published by Prima Facie records.

Other past projects in this strand include works by Dr Caroline Rae on Messiaen and André Jolivet, and The Routledge Research Companion to Modernism in Musicedited by Dr Charles Wilson.