Wednesday 14 May 2014 (video is below)
Six of RNCM's Post Graduate Research Students giving presentations on their recent work:
Anna Zabuska Music-related well-being among performance students
This paper reports a questionnaire study of facets of well-being: engagement with performance and potential burnout among music performance students at conservatoires. The aims of the study reported were to establish and compare the levels of engagement and potential burnout in music students in the UK and Australia, and to explore their possible social-environmental determinants, and health- and performance-related consequences. In line with the literature in sport and dance settings, Basic Need Satisfaction Theory (Deci & Ryan, 2002) that focuses on the role of satisfaction of autonomy, competence and relatedness in well-being was used as the theoretical lens to guide the study of the determinants of engagement and potential burnout.
Shedding light on the correlates of well-being in music education setting, the study contributes to the better understanding of healthy careers in music.
Geoff Thomason “My own artistic status is guaranteed” : Adolph Brodsky’s concert career in New York, 1891-1893
In November 1891, having built a successful career in Europe, the violinist Adolph Brodsky took up the leadership of the New York Symphony Orchestra at the invitation of its conductor Walter Damrosch. His realisation of the extent to which the city’s musical life privileged financial profit over artistic integrity quickly led him to doubt the wisdom of the move and to seek a means of escape. Using contemporary accounts and documents, this paper examines such factors as Brodsky’s promotion of a consciously Eurocentric repertoire in his New York chamber concerts, his views on the artistic standards he encountered, and the circumstances of his eventual break with Damrosch, to position him as one ready to risk his career rather than compromise his own artistic standards. In addition it engages with issues of cultural superiority and self-perception, and argues that Brodsky’s decision to come to Manchester so soon after his departure from New York was influenced by a desire to return to familiar cultural roots.
David Curington Inhibited Tendencies: composing with Meyer’s theory of emotion
The central thesis of Leonard Meyer’s 1956 book entitled Emotion and Meaning in Music details emotional affect as “an inhibition of a tendency to respond”, where a “tendency” is an expectation set up during the musical discourse. Much musical discourse since has since focussed on expectancy-related emotional affect, including in Sweet Anticipation by David Huron which reviews many studies from music psychology. In this presentation, I will describe how a basic template of an expectation set up dynamically, followed by a contrast, followed by a realisation (or not) of the same expectation has been used extensively in my solo oboe piece Inhibited Tendencies. An analysis focussing on dynamic expectations will be followed by a live performance given by myself.
Kerry Baldwin Distinctive Trombone Techniques
The trombone has a repertoire of techniques that could be considered distinctive and presents a range of possibilities to composers wanting to explore these areas.
The second half of the twentieth century in particular saw a period of change in the trends of instrumental technique. New approaches by composers and performers saw the rise in extended instrumental techniques facilitated by instrument modifications and performance skills.
My research is based around this pivotal time in trombone history and how Berio’s Sequenza V (1966) was a turning point. How did ‘extended techniques’ demonstrated in this work become ‘standard techniques’ and which were adopted into new works for trombone?
For this presentation I will be exploring and demonstrating three prominent characteristics of the trombone (slide mechanism, voice & articulation) and looking at the integration of these techniques into contemporary and mainstream trombone repertoire over the course of the twentieth century.
Rachel Johnson The Hargreaves Choral Society, 1841-49
The archives of the Hargreaves Choral Society are a particularly rich resource for the study of musical networks in Manchester. Surviving records include minute books, programme collections, a detailed membership register and assorted press clippings. They provide an opportunity to explore the inner workings of an early-Victorian provincial music society, revealing a number of unexpected and important details. The Hargreaves Society was formed in 1841 at the bequest of Hamer Hargreaves, a Manchester-based surveyor of taxes and keen amateur musician. It was established for the high-quality performance of choral music with orchestral accompaniment and gave six successful concerts each year until disbanding in 1849. Highlights of their seasons include a performance in April 1847 of Elijah conducted by Mendelssohn. Particular themes this paper will address include the management and payment of performers, details of the membership uncovered through the subscription lists and the notably early provision of programme notes.
Rosamund Cole Isolde as Wagner envisioned her?
In this talk I will describe the results of a comparative analysis of two different interpretations of Isolde by great early performers of the role. This is based on a close analytical reading of books by Anna Bahr-Mildenburg and Lilli Lehmann which describe in detail the singers’ interpretations of the role, (and other roles), in the opera. Both Bahr-Mildenburg and Lehmann claimed that they were describing an interpretation that closely represented what Wagner himself would have wished. Lehmann wrote a descriptive guide to interpreting the roles in the opera based on her intense study of the rehearsals with Wagner for the 1876 production of Tristan in Berlin. Bahr-Mildenburg belonged to the next generation of singers and unlike Lehmann, had never met Wagner and instead derived her interpretation of the drama from the composer’s writings and her experiences of working with Cosima Wagner in Bayreuth and with Mahler as a member of his ensemble in Vienna.