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MUSICON Concert Series returns with 2015/2016 programme

MUSICON is Durham University's concert series for professional musicians.

After its most successful season to date in 2014/2015, the series returns with a packed programme of events throughout the coming year. Celebrated musicians from around the world descend on Durham bringing with them the best in early and world music, alongside unmissable performances of classical, romantic and contemporary repertoire.

The season begins with a mini festival marrying grand literature and new music. Quintessential twentieth-century composers are joined by actors and speakers from the North East over three evenings of concerts, 6-8 November.

For details of these events and the full 2015/2016 programme visit the MUSICON Concert Series 2015/2016 page.

(4 Nov 2015)

'Research Forum' seminar series begins

The Research Forum is a seminar series bringing the latest research from across the discipline to the Music Department.

This year the programme features an outstanding range of events covering key topics in musicology, analysis, composition, education, performance and ethnomusicology. Seminars are delivered by prominent figures from across the country and beyond, and also feature opportunities to engage with research involving staff in Durham.

The series begins with a discussion of new work from the department's own Professor Jeremy Dibble. Professor Dibble leads a seminar entitled 'Delius's Opera A Village Romeo and Juliet: A Problem of Genre' on Tuesday 3 November at 2pm.

For more information about this seminar and all of the details of this year's programme please visit the Research Seminars 2015/2016 page.

(30 Oct 2015)

Performance of Dr Eric Egan's 'Through the Embers'

1 November 2015, Ingensteds, Oslo, Norway

The première of the string quartet version of 'Through the Embers' with the London Contemporary Orchestra Soloists in Oslo. The concert is produced jointly by the organisations nu:nord and nyMusikk.

'Through the Embers' was originally commissioned by MUSICON and the Ives Ensemble with the support of the Arts Council Norway. It was first performed in Durham and London in December 2013 and has since been programmed at various events including the Darmstadt Ferienkurse in August 2014.

(29 Oct 2015)

Success for two final-year students at The Undergraduate Awards

Benjamin Williams and Bethan Winter have been Highly Commended at The Undergraduate Awards for the quality of their coursework.

The Undergraduate Awards is “the world’s largest academic awards programme,” with thousands of entrants from universities throughout world. Benjamin and Bethan are among fifteen students from across Durham University departments to receive awards.

More information about their achievement can be found at

(21 Oct 2015)

Professor Jeremy Dibble involved in new recording projects

Professor Jeremy Dibble has been advisor and editor to the following recently-released recording of Sir Hubert Parry's choral works:
Professor Dibble has also been advisor and/or editor to the following recording projects:
1) Recording of English partsongs by John Ireland and E. J. Moeran for Naxos with the Carice Singers (release March 2016) (several members of this choir were or are Durham students)
2) Recording of Vol. 1 of the Complete English Lyrics of Hubert Parry for SOMM (release November 2015) with Susan Gritton, James Gilchrist and Roderick Williams
3) Recording of English Nineteenth-Century Madrigals with Lumina and Rupert Gough for Hyperion (release 2016)
4) Recording of Vol. 3 of the Complete Organ Worjks by Charles Villiers Stanford (Priory) with Daniel Cook (Assistant Organist, Westminster Abbey) (release 2016)

(16 Oct 2015)

Performances of Dr Trevor Wishart's 'Supernova' in Mexico and Argentina

Music Department Composer in Residence Trevor Wishart's eight-channel electro-acoustic work 'The Secret Resonance of Things' explores the musical potential of scientific data.

The work's first movement is to be performed in two Latin-American locations as part of the MUSLAB 2015 International Festival of Electro-Acoustic Music.

Following a performance at the Concierto Fonoteca Nacional de Mexico in Coyoacan, Mexico City on 23 October 2015 at 8pm, it will also be played at the Laboratorio de Investigacion y Produccion Musical in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on 5 November.


(8 Oct 2015)

New book by Professor David Greer

A new book by David Greer (Professor Emeritus) has just been published: Manuscript Inscriptions in Early English Printed Music (Ashgate).

It is a study of the ways in which early owners used and kept their music, through an examination of the marginalia and other markings that they put into their copies.

For more information go to

(2 Oct 2015)

Professor Julian Horton to join the Council of the Royal Musical Association

Professor Horton, Head of the Music Department, is one of three successful candidates elected to the Council of the Royal Musical Association, following the RMA’s plenary conference at the University of Birmingham, 9-11 September 2015.

He will take up the position from January 2016.

(24 Sep 2015)

Dr Trevor Wishart leads workshops and performances in Newfoundland

Dr Trevor Wishart, Music Department Composer in Residence, ran a workshop/seminar on working with the voice at Memorial University, St John's, Newfoundland on 4 September 2015.

Dr Wishart also led a performance of 'Vocalise' and new pieces for improvising vocal ensemble with the St Johns Vocal Exploration Choir at the Cape St Mary's Performance Series and at the Rocket Room, St John's

(19 Sep 2015)

International conference on 'Musical Legacies of State Socialism' invites Dr Patrick Zuk

Dr Patrick Zuk has been invited to present at the forthcoming international conference 'Musical Legacies of State Socialism: Revisiting narratives about post-World War II Europe', which is being hosted in Belgrade by the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts on 24-26 September 2015.

His presentation is entitled 'In search of Socialist Realism: Some reflections of the current state of scholarship on Soviet music', and reflects on the potential implications of recent research on Soviet literary and visual culture for our understanding of musical life of the Stalinist and post-Stalinist periods.

(18 Sep 2015)

Performance of Dr Eric Egan's 'Hidden Name'

Eirik Fosstveit premiered the solo piano version of Dr Eric Egan's 'Hidden Name' at Oslo Central Station on 11 September 2015, as part of Oslo Culture Night and the Ultima Festival.

The performance was linked to the 'Parked Piano' series of events in Oslo. 'Hidden Name' was written for Trondheim Sinfonietta in 2013, commissioned by the Ingerid Fegersten Foundation.

(17 Sep 2015)

World première 'fuoco e fumo' by Richard RIJNVOS (25 May 2015)

On 12 June 2015 the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra will give the world première of Richard RIJNVOS’ orchestral work fuoco e fumo.The composer is currently involved in a long-term residency with Amsterdam’s world-famous symphony orchestra. The newly commissioned piece is part of an ongoing cycle dedicated to the city of Venice and its lesser-known, often dark sides. Perhaps this time the qualification ‘sinister’ is even more appropriate, as the central theme of the new work is the horrific disaster that happened on the evening of 29 January 1996.

(27 May 2015) » More about World première 'fuoco e fumo' by Richard RIJNVOS (25 May 2015)

PhD Student, Lara Pearson, wins best student paper award

The Department is delighted to announce that Lara Pearson has been awarded the 2014 Martin Hatch Prize given by the Society for Asian Music for most distinguished student paper on Asian music presented at the Society for Ethnomusicology annual meeting. The Society for Ethnomusicology is the largest ethnomusicological organisation in the world, and its 2014 meeting, held in Pittsburgh USA, saw approximately 400 papers presented by scholars from over 180 universities in 18 countries. 

(5 May 2015)

PhD Composition Student, Marc Estibeiro, Wins Composition Prize

The Department is delighted to announce that Marc Estibeiro, part-time PhD by composition student, has won first prize in the William Mathias Composition Prize at the Bangor Music Festival at Bangor University on Sunday. The prize includes a £1000 commission for next year's festival. 

(10 Mar 2015)

Durham ranked in top three departments in REF 2014

(19 Dec 2014) » More about Durham ranked in top three departments in REF 2014

Richard RIJNVOS' orchestration of 'Rudepoêma' receives Brazil première

On 4, 5 and 6 December 2014 the Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo (OSESP) will give the Brazil première of Richard RIJNVOS' orchestral arrangement of Rudepoêma (1926), the legendary solo piano work by Heitor Villa-Lobos. Commissioned by Dutch Radio (ZaterdagMatinee), Rijnvos' orchestration was originally premièred by the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra in 2011 under James Gaffigan. The orchestral arrangement underwent a revision and the final version will now be performed in the native country of Heitor Villa-Lobos, in the Sala São Paulo, with Durham University's Head of Performance John Snijders on piano. Considered to be the foremost symphony orchestra of Brazil, the OSESP will be conducted by Wagner Polistchuk.

(27 Nov 2014)

New Publications from Professor Horton

Professor Julian Horton has recently published the following:

1) Irish Musical Studies Vol. 11: Irish Musical Analysis (Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2014), ed. Gareth Cox and Julian Horton. Includes a chapter by Professor Horton entitled 'Bruckner, Brahms and the Concept of Thematic Process', pp. 79-106.

2) 'Dialectics and Musical Analysis', in Steven Downes, ed., Aesthetics of Music: Musicological Perspectives (New York: Routledge, 2014), pp. 111-143

(4 Jul 2014)