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Professor Stephen Walsh

Emeritus Professor

School of Music


Professor Walsh was educated at Kingston Grammar School, St Paul’s School and Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. From 1963, he worked as a music journalist in London, at first freelance, writing for The Times, Daily Telegraph, and Financial Times, then from 1966 as deputy music critic of The Observer. He has broadcast regularly on musical topics for the BBC; a major feature of BBC Radio 3 programming in 1995 was his six two-hour broadcasts 'Conversations with Craft', in which he talked to Stravinsky's close associate, Robert Craft. Professor Walsh joined Cardiff University as a Senior Lecturer in Music in 1976, and now holds a personal chair in the School. He still contributes music criticism to The Independent and has since published a series of books and long papers on Bartok, Stravinsky, Kurtág and Panufnik, among others. The first volume of his major biography of Stravinsky — Stravinsky: A Creative Spring (Knopf, 1999) — won the Royal Philharmonic Society Prize for the best music book published in the UK in the year 2000. Volume Two — Stravinsky: The Second Exile (also Knopf) — was published in 2006.













Stephen Walsh’s recent research has been mainly in connection with his two-volume Stravinsky biography. He is currently working on a study of composers’ working methods as revealed by their sketches and revisions, and also on a biography of the Russian kuchka, with particular emphasis on Mussorgsky.

Research Papers and Public Lectures 


  • US lecture tour to East Coast campuses (including an invited seminar at Juilliard School, New York, and invited paper at Stravinsky conference, Chapel Hill, North Carolina), October/November 2012
  • 'Proms Intro' on Stravinsky's Agon, Royal College of Music, BBC Proms, London, 28 August 2009
  • 'Stravinsky and Les Noces', Bowdoin College, Maine, 7 May 2007
  • 'Stravinsky and the Seasonal Cycle: Rituals of Renunciation and Renewal', 'Movimento et Volumina' Symposium, University of Salzburg, 28 April 2007
  • 'Kurtag and Beckett: in the Beginning the Word', Institute of Musical Research, London University, 1 June 2006
  • 'Stravinsky's Oedipus Rex, Enescu's Oedipe, and the Parisian stage of the 1920s', Oxford University, 26 October 2005
  • Invited paper at 'Stravinsky/Cocteau/Oedipus: Myth, Music and Modernism' colloquium, Bristol University, 7 July 2004
  • Pre-concert talks for St David's Hall, Cardiff, Aspen Festival, Colorado and Wye Valley Festival (2007)