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Durham University



Dr Katherine Hambridge

Assistant Professor of Musicology in the Department of Music
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 43161
Room number: Room 210, 48-49 North Bailey

(email at

Katherine Hambridge is an Assistant Professor in Musicology at Durham University. Her research focuses on French and German musical life in the first half of the nineteenth century.

Katherine gained her undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in Music at the University of Cambridge, during which time she held the organ scholarship at Girton College. In her doctoral research on Berlin, 1800-1815 (completed 2013), she examined how music articulated and shaped Berliners’ relationships with the past and with political identities during turbulent Napoleonic period. After her PhD, Katherine spent time in Berlin on a Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst research grant, working on a project on the city's first Volkstheater, the Königsstädtisches Theater, before taking up a post as research fellow in the School of Modern Languages and Cultures at the University of Warwick, on the interdisciplinary AHRC-funded project on ‘French Theatre of the Napoleonic Era’. She joined the department at Durham in 2016.

Her research has been published in the Annales de la Révolution française, the Cambridge Opera Journal and the Journal of the American Musicological Society; her article for the latter, “Staging Singing in the Theater of War (Berlin, 1805)”, won the Royal Musical Association’s 2016 Jerome Roche Prize. Together with Dr Jonathan Hicks, she edited the volume The Melodramatic Moment: Music and Theatrical Culture, 1790-1820, which appeared with the University of Chicago Press in 2018. She is currently completing a monograph drawn from her PhD, which offers new ways to think about musical modernity (‘um 1800’) through the case study of Berlin’s theatres.

Katherine’s new research project concerns the transfer and circulation of ‘popular’ music theatre repertoire (such as melodramas and vaudevilles) and personnel between Paris, London, Vienna and Berlin, 1789-1848: the assertion and reception of genre and of boundaries between ‘high’ and ‘low’ art; the different relationships between words, music and stagecraft associated with the different genres; and the extent to which these categories were meaningful for audiences. More broadly she is interested in music and politics, musical experiences of temporality, song and subjectivity and the emergence of Romanticism in music culture during the 'age of revolutions' in central Europe (1789-1848).

Katherine is committed to the wider communication of her research. Together with colleagues at Warwick University, she was responsible for curating and editing the online exhibition ‘The Last Stand: Napoleon’s 100 Days in 100 Objects’ (, which attempted to provide some historical balance and nuance to the commemoratory activities surrounding the 200-year anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. She has organised a number of lecture concerts on the theme of music and politics, most recently at the Bowes Museum, County Durham, to coincide with their exhibition on ‘The Allure of Napoleon’.

Selected Publications

Edited book

Chapter in book

  • Hambridge, Katherine & Hicks, Jonathan (2018). The Melodramatic Moment. In The Melodramatic Moment: Music and Theatrical Culture, 1790-1820. Hambridge, Katherine & Hicks, Jonathan Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
  • Hambridge, K. G. & Andries, A. (2017). Music, Women and the Allure of Napoleon. In The Allure of Napoleon: Essays Inspired by the Collections of The Bowes Museum. Stammers, T. Barnard Castle, County Durham: Bowes Museum. 19-22.

Journal Article

Other (Digital/Visual Media)

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