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Dr David Beard awarded Leverhulme Research Fellowship

1 November 2021

Dr David Beard smiling

Reader at the School of Music, Dr David Beard has been awarded a Leverhulme Research Fellowship to support work on a monograph The Music of Judith Weir.

The 18-month Fellowship, beginning this semester, will culminate in the book’s publication in Cambridge University Press’s ‘Music Since 1900’ series.

This will be the first substantial study of Weir’s music, spanning her career from early works in the mid-1970s to the present, incorporating an overview of her contribution as the first female Master of the Queen’s Music (2014-2024).

The book will draw on the author’s extensive conversations and interviews with the composer over the last 15 years, discussion of unpublished and withdrawn pieces, and analyses of musical sketches.

In particular, it will examine Weir’s music through the lenses of gender and identity, nature and community, opera, story-telling and music drama, alongside her engagement with modernism, Romanticism, folk music and other more distant historical traditions, situating her music in relation to her British contemporaries and other female composers more generally.

Dr David Beard said of the award: “I am honoured to have received a Research Fellowship from the Leverhulme Trust to work on the music of Judith Weir. Despite her estimable positions as Master of the Queen’s Music and President of the Royal Society of Musicians of Great Britain, Weir’s music has received inadequate attention in music scholarship. My research redresses this and contributes to a wider movement seeking increased representation of female artists and their achievements.’’

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