Professor Max Paddison, PhD (Exeter), MA (Exeter), GRSM (Manchester), ARMCM
Max Paddison is Professor of Music Aesthetics at Durham University. He studied piano and composition at the Royal Manchester College of Music (where he was awarded the Royal Philharmonic Society Prize), musicology at Exeter University, and philosophy and sociology at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main (on a DAAD Scholarship). Before coming to Durham he taught at Dartington College of Arts and Exeter University, and had previously worked with performance art groups in London, with tours in Germany, Italy and the Netherlands. He teaches courses in aesthetics, nineteenth- and twentieth-century music, contemporary music and popular music.
Well known for his work on critical theory and Adorno, Max Paddison has written two books in this area: Adorno's Aesthetics of Music (Cambridge, 1993,1997), and Adorno, Modernism and Mass Culture (London, 1996, rev. ed. 2004). He is joint editor of a volume of essays with Irène Deliège, Contemporary Music: Theoretical and Philosophical Perspectives (Ashgate, 2010), which has also appeared in French, and has contributed to a multi-authored volume, Order and Disorder: Music-Theoretical Strategies in Twentieth-Century Music, with Jonathan Dunsby, Joseph N. Straus, et al. (Leuven, 2004). Other recent publications include essays in Adorno: A Critical Reader (Oxford, 2002); The Cambridge History of Nineteenth-Century Music (Cambridge, 2002); The Cambridge Companion to Stravinsky (Cambridge, 2003); The Cambridge Companion to Adorno, (Cambridge, 2004); and articles in the journals Musicae Scientiae (Liège, 2004), Cultura Tedesca (Rome, 2005), and Filigrane (Paris, 2006).
In the period since 2001 Max Paddison has supervised over twenty research postgraduates in the following areas: Adorno's Aesthetic Theory; Boulez’s aesthetics of music; Messiaen and early Darmstadt; Deleuze, Lyotard, Adorno, Ferneyhough and Francis Bacon; Helmut Lachenmann, Adorno, Deleuze, Lyotard; American Minimalism and the Concept of Time; Professionalisation of Music Therapy; Music Festivals and National Identity; National Identity and Tradition in Chinese Music; Folk Music in the North East; Wittgenstein’s Philosophy of Culture (with the Philosophy Department); Scriabin and the Erotic; The Aesthetics of Improvisation; Adorno, Beckett and Feldman; Adorno, Translation and Marginality.
- Adorno and Critical Theory
- Aesthetics and sociology of music
- Concepts of the avant-garde, modernism and postmodernism
- Contemporary music
- Interdisciplinary interests in philosophy, cultural studies, popular music studies, film music, music and theatre (especially Brecht)
- Marxism and music
- Nineteenth- and twentieth-century music
- Theories of musical performance and reproduction