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Dr Christopher Wiley lead-edits new Palgrave book on researching and writing about contemporary art and artists

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Dr Christopher Wiley has edited, together with Dr Ian Pace, a new book entitled Researching and Writing on Contemporary Art and Artists: Challenges, Practices, and Complexities, published by Palgrave Macmillan and encompassing music, literature, dance, theatre and the visual arts.

Developed from a conference held at the University of Surrey in 2017, the volume includes contributions by Joel Baldwin, Richard Birchall, Jill Brown, Miriam Cabell and Phoebe Stubbs, Vered Engelhard, Christopher Leedham and Martin Scheuregger, Ian Pace, Andy W. Smith, Joanne ‘Bob’ Whalley, Christopher Wiley, Annie Yim, and Lorraine York.

Dr Wiley has co-authored two chapters in the collection: the editorial introduction, ‘Researching and Writing on Contemporary Art and Artists’, with Ian Pace; and the chapter MusicArt: Creating Dialogues Across the Arts’, in conversation with Dr Annie Yim.

For further information, and to purchase the book: https://www.palgrave.com/gb/book/9783030392321
https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/3030392325

Bibliographic citation 

Wiley, Christopher and Ian Pace (eds.). Researching and Writing on Contemporary Art and Artists: Challenges, Practices, and Complexities. Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan, 2020. ISBN 978-3-030-39232-1, 978-3-030-39233-8 (eBook). https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-39233-8

Full text

The full text of the editorial introduction is available for free download under licence from Surrey Research Insight Open Access: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/857053/

Dr Christopher Wiley guest-edits special issue of the Journal of Musicological Research on musical biography

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JMR 38 3-4

Dr Christopher Wiley has guest-edited a special double-issue of the Journal of Musicological Research together with co-editor Dr Paul Watt (Monash University, Melbourne).

Entitled ‘Musical Biography: Myth, Ideology, and Narrative’, the special issue comprises Vol. 38, Nos. 3–4 of the journal, and developed originally from a conference on musical biography co-organized by the editors in 2015.

The special issue includes articles by a wide range of international scholars: Kirsty Asmussen, Anna Maria Barry, Joanne Cormac, Uri Golomb and Ronit Seter, Markéta Kratochvílová, Emily MacGregor, Richard Parfitt, Paul Watt, and Christopher Wiley.

Dr Wiley’s contribution to the special issue includes his 10,000-word article, ‘Myth-Making and the Politics of Nationality in Narratives of J.S. Bach’s 1717 Contest with Louis Marchand’ (pp. 193–215), which examines the widely divergent writing on a single biographical episode across the countries and centuries (see abstract here).

Dr Wiley and Dr Watt also co-authored an introductory article, ‘Musical Biography in the Musicological Arena’ (pp. 187–92), in which they reflect on the current status of musical biography within the discipline of musicology.

The full table of contents for the special issue is available here: https://www.tandfonline.com/toc/gmur20/38/3-4

Bibliographic citations 

Wiley, Christopher and Watt, Paul (eds.). ‘Musical Biography: Myth, Ideology, and Narrative’, Journal of Musicological Research, Special Issue, Vol. 38, Nos. 3–4 (2019).

Wiley, Christopher and Watt, Paul. ‘Musical Biography in the Musicological Arena’, Journal of Musicological Research, Vol. 38, Nos. 3–4 (2019), pp. 187–92. doi: 10.1080/01411896.2019.1644140

Wiley, Christopher. ‘Myth-Making and the Politics of Nationality in Narratives of J.S. Bach’s 1717 Contest with Louis Marchand’, Journal of Musicological Research, Vol. 38, Nos. 3–4 (2019), pp. 193–215. doi: 10.1080/01411896.2019.1644141

Dr Christopher Wiley publishes entry in major Haydn encyclopedia

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9781107129016Dr Christopher Wiley has written the entry on ‘Contemporary Reception’ in the Cambridge Haydn Encyclopedia, edited by Caryl Clark and Sarah Day-O’Connell.

The Cambridge Haydn Encyclopedia features over 80 interlocking entries fanning out from seven extended essays at the heart of the volume, and includes a total of 67 contributors.

Dr Wiley’s 1500-word encyclopedia entry discusses Haydn’s reception during his lifetime and immediately afterwards, including the earliest biographies by Griesinger, Dies, and Carpani.

Dr Wiley previously contributed to Haydn scholarship in a major volume on the composer published in 2013.

Further information  on the volume may be found at the publisher’s website: https://www.cambridge.org/de/academic/subjects/music/eighteenth-century-music/cambridge-haydn-encyclopedia

Bibliographic citation 

Wiley, Christopher. ‘Reception, Contemporary’, in Caryl Clark and Sarah Day-O’Connell eds. Cambridge Haydn Encyclopedia. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019, pp. 321–5. ISBN 978-1-1071-2901-6.

Dr Christopher Wiley delivers paper at conference on biography at the University of Nottingham

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1200px-University_of_Nottingham_logo.svgDr Christopher Wiley has presented a paper at the multi-disciplinary conference ‘Biography and Public History: Constructing Historical Narratives through Life-Writing’, held in the Department of Music at the University of Nottingham on Wednesday 20 June 2018.

Dr Wiley’s paper, ‘Anecdote as a Genre in Musical Biography’, drew primarily on his recent research on Victorian life-writing, while also discussing the foundational role of anecdote within musical biography from its advent at the turn of the nineteenth century onwards.

Proposing that biographical anecdote warrants recognition as a genre in its own right given its extraordinary staying power and the sophisticated narratives that developed around specific examples, Dr Wiley demonstrated its potential to contribute to a greater understanding of associated culture through the recounting of stories of its most cherished figures.

The one-day conference was attended by some 50 international delegates. Dr Wiley also chaired the opening session, which featured papers on archaeology, buildings architecture, and literature.

Further information may be found at the conference webpage: https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/conference/fac-arts/humanities/music/biography-and-public-history/biography-and-public-history.aspx

The full conference programme is available online here: https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/humanities/departments/music/documents/2018/final-programme.pdf

Dr Christopher Wiley gives paper on musical biography at Edinburgh Napier University

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EdNapUni_redDr Christopher Wiley has delivered a paper on musical biography at the ‘Music and Literature: Innovations, Intersections, and Interpretations’ conference hosted at Merchiston CampusEdinburgh Napier University, Edinburgh, Scotland on 14-15 June 2018.

Entitled ‘Musical biography and the (non-)consonance of music and literature’, Dr Wiley’s paper revealed how biographical narratives might actually contradict the evidence of the music itself, or they may represent an appropriation of specific works for a given time and place, or function to promote them within wider reading communities who may otherwise be unfamiliar with that music.

Dr Wiley drew case studies from his wider research conducted over the years on musical biography, including the apocryphal story of Mozart’s Requiem, the earliest 12 volumes of the ‘Master Musicians’ series, and Ethel Smyth’s autobiographies. The two-day conference was attended by some 50 delegates.

Further information may be found at the conference website: https://musicandliteratureconference.wordpress.com/

The full programme for the event is available online here: https://musicandliteratureconference.wordpress.com/programme/

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Dr Christopher Wiley gives talk on Ethel Smyth for Surrey Local History Symposium at Surrey History Centre

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Surrey History CentreDr Christopher Wiley delivered a talk entitled Dame Ethel Smyth, Ground-breaking Composer, Writer, and Suffragette’ at the Annual Symposium of Surrey Local History Committee on Saturday 21 April 2018.

The one-day symposium, whose theme was The Changing Role of Women’, featured presentations from five speakers who work in areas of local history. Organized by a committee of Surrey Archaeological Society, the event was held at Surrey History Centre, Woking, and attracted around 40 audience members from across the county.

In addition to his internationally recognized academic research, Dr Wiley has previously spoken on Ethel Smyth at a range of local history events in the Surrey area, including talks at The Lightbox, Woking, The Guildford Institute, and at Smyth’s childhood home in Frimley Green.

The programme for the Surrey Local History Symposium is available at the following links:

Surrey History Centre – https://www.surreycc.gov.uk/heritage-culture-and-recreation/archives-and-history/surrey-history-centre/heritage-events

Surrey Archeological Society – https://www.surreyarchaeology.org.uk/content/changing-role-of-women-surrey-local-history-symposium

Celebrate Woking – https://www.celebratewoking.info/events/annual-symposium-changing-role-of-women

Dr Christopher Wiley delivers Keynote lecture at international conference at the University of Amsterdam

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Dr Christopher WJanuary 2018_Amsterdam_Poster 2018 Workshop Transnational Perspectives on Artistsiley gave a Keynote lecture at the two-day international workshop, ‘Transnational Perspectives on the Writing of Artists’ Lives, 19th-21st centuries’, held at the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands on 25–26 January 2018.

Dr Wiley’s 50-minute paper, entitled ‘Musical Biography as a National and Transnational Genre’, explored the extent to which composer life-writing reflects the preoccupations and concerns of its time and place of origin while simultaneously embodying pan-European values that remain strikingly robust across texts from different countries and centuries.

Addressed to an interdisciplinary audience primarily from The Netherlands, France, the UK, and US, Dr Wiley’s lecture developed research previously presented at the University of Oxford, and generated much productive discussion from delegates.

An internationally acknowledged expert in the field, Dr Wiley has given a number of previous keynotes at conferences on biography, including the four-day ‘(Auto)Biography as a Musicological Discourse’ held at the University of Arts, Belgrade in 2008.

The full schedule for the workshop may be viewed here: http://www.uva.nl/en/shared-content/subsites/amsterdam-institute-for-humanities-research/en/events/events/2018/01/transnational-perspectives-artists-lives.html

The programme is also available online as a PDF: https://www.huizingainstituut.nl/v02/wp-content/uploads/Programme-Workshop-Transnational-Perspectives-on-Artists-Lives-2-Jan-18.pdf

Dr Christopher Wiley co-organizes international multi-disciplinary conference on Writing About Contemporary Artists at the University of Surrey

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Keynote - Annie Yim, Christopher Le Brun, and Christopher WileyDr Christopher Wiley was Chair of the Conference Committee for an international, multi-disciplinary three-day conference entitled Writing About Contemporary Artists: Challenges, Practices, and Complexities’, held at the University of Surrey from 20-22 October 2017.

Hosted and sponsored by the University’s Institute of Advanced Studies, the conference brought together scholars and practitioners in fields including musicology, theatre studies, dance and choreography, literature, film, digital media, and the visual arts. Its 70 participants represented a strongly international delegation drawn from North and South America, Australia, South Africa, and across Europe and the UK.

Dr Wiley compèred and co-authored the event’s central Keynote Concert and Dialogue (pictured above) given by MusicArt London, featuring the distinguished painter Christopher Le Brun (President of the Royal Academy of Arts) and pianist Dr Annie Yim (St John’s Smith Square Young Artist in Residence 2016/17), with additional contributions by composer Richard Birchall.

Dr Wiley also acted as chair and panel member for the final conference session (pictured below), a roundtable on ‘Contemporary artists, contemporary writing: Internet and social media’, at which he spoke about his reviewing activity across the art disciplines for digital magazine Musical Theatre Review as well as his guest-blogging for sites such as the Association of National Teaching Fellows blog and Oxford University Press Blog.

Further information may be found at the conference website: http://www.ias.surrey.ac.uk/workshops/artistswriting/

The full programme (including abstracts) may be downloaded here: http://www.ias.surrey.ac.uk/workshops/artistswriting/papers/Writing%20About%20Contemporary%20Artists%20conference%20_%20Proggramme.pdf

Roundtable - Christopher Wiley, Björn Heile, Katie Beswick, and Ian Pace

Update: Online reports on the conference are available at the following links:

http://www.planethugill.com/2017/10/writing-about-contemporary-artists.html

http://annieyim.com/keynote-concert-and-dialogue-at-an-international-multi-disciplinary-conference-at-the-university-of-surrey-21-october-2017/

http://blogs.surrey.ac.uk/arts/2017/10/22/international-conference-in-pats-building-writing-about-contemporary-artists/

Dr Christopher Wiley delivers paper at Collaborating Couples conference at the University of Bristol

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Dr Christopher Wiley presented a paper at a two-day international conference entitled ‘Beyond Genius and Muse – Collaborating Couples in Twentieth-Century Arts’, held at the Victoria Rooms, University of Bristol on 18–19 April 2017.

Dr Wiley’s paper, Subject and Countersubject: The Prevalence of the Genius and the Muse in Musical Biography’, explored the pattern of collaborating couples that has emerged historically in musical biography, drawing on examples including Brahms and Clara Schumann, Ethel Smyth and Henry Brewster, Britten and Peter Pears, and Adele.

It built upon Dr Wiley’s previous scholarship conducted in this area across more than 10 years, of which the most recent output, his book chapter ‘Musical Biography and the Myth of the Muse’, was published in 2015.

The conference brought together some 50 academics from across Europe and the US, encompassing a range of topics in music, literature, and the visual arts.

Further information is available at the conference website: https://collaboratingcouples.wordpress.com/

Victoria Rooms

Dr Christopher Wiley gives talk on Ethel Smyth’s opera The Boatswain’s Mate for Guildford Hard of Hearing Support Group

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Ethel SmythDr Christopher Wiley delivered a talk entitled ‘Ethel Smyth’s (feminist?) opera, The Boatswain’s Mate at the Millmead Centre, Guildford on 27 February 2017, for Guildford Hard of Hearing Support Group.

The Boatswain’s Mate was the fourth of six operas composed by Smyth (who suffered from distorted hearing and deafness for the last several decades of her life), and was the most popular and most frequently performed during her own lifetime. It was recently released in its first complete modern recording by Retrospect Opera (of which Dr Wiley is a part).

An acknowledged expert on Smyth, Dr Wiley provided an outline of the circumstances of the composition of The Boatswain’s Mate, its plot, and interesting features of the music. He also discussed the extent to which the work constitutes a ‘feminist opera’, as has previously been suggested.

This is the second time that Dr Wiley has addressed Guildford Hard of Hearing Support Group, having delivered a presentation on Smyth’s life and works two years ago in January 2015. Dr Wiley has also recently given talks on Smyth at The Guildford Institute and at the composer’s childhood home in Frimley Green.

Dr Christopher Wiley delivers paper in the Music Research Colloquia series at the University of Oxford

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Dr Christopher Wiley presented his paper ‘National Trends in Musical Biography’ in the Music Research Colloquia series at the Faculty of Music, University of Oxford on 16 June 2015, to close the series for the 2014–15 academic year.

Speaking to some 25 academics and postgraduate students in the Faculty’s Denis Arnold Hall, Dr Wiley explored the relationship between musical biography and nationality, in terms of the status of the genre at particular times and places as well as its development over time.

Case studies upon which Dr Wiley drew included biographical retellings of the story of J.S. Bach’s keyboard contest with Louis Marchand, and the ideologies that emerge from the original volumes of the ‘Master Musicians’ series. Dr Wiley had presented earlier versions of this research at the Institute of Musical Research, University of London in 2015 and 2014.

The weekly colloquia are organized by graduate students and feature musicological research presented by a range of leading academics and younger researchers from universities around the world.

Details of Dr Wiley’s Research Colloquium may be found here: http://www.music.ox.ac.uk/event/research-colloquium-chris-wiley/

Faculty of Music, University of Oxford

Dr Christopher Wiley co-organizes and delivers paper at international conference on musical biography at the Institute of Musical Research, London

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Institute of Musical Research logoDr Christopher Wiley and Dr Paul Watt (Monash University, Melbourne) have co-organized a two-day international conference on musical biography held at the Institute of Musical Research, University of London, on 9-10 April 2015.

The conference, entitled ‘Musical Biography: National Ideology, Narrative Technique, and the Nature of Myth’, brought together a broad range of some 50 interdisciplinary scholars from the UK, US, Australia, and Continental Europe.

In addition to several panel sessions, the conference incorporated two invited roundtable discussions, whose speakers included Professors Simon Keefe (University of Sheffield), Mark Evan Bonds (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), Jonathan Cross (University of Oxford), and Rosamund Bartlett (Oxford).

In the course of the conference, Dr Wiley also chaired three of the panel sessions as well as presenting his paper ‘Myth-making and the Politics of Nationality in Narratives of J.S. Bach’s 1717 Contest with Louis Marchand’, which discussed the ideological significance of the variations in retellings of a single biographical story across different countries in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

The schedule for the event may be viewed at the conference website: http://events.sas.ac.uk/imr/events/view/17765/Music+Biography+Conference

The full conference programme may be downloaded here.

Dr Christopher Wiley contributes book chapter to new volume on music historiography

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Critical Music Historiography: Probing Canons, Ideologies and InstitutionsAn essay written by Dr Christopher Wiley, entitled ‘Musical Biography and the Myth of the Muse’, has appeared as the final chapter of a new anthology in which 17 international musicologists subject the writing of music history to groundbreaking scrutiny.

Critical Music Historiography: Probing Canons, Ideologies and Institutions is edited by Vesa Kurkela and Markus Mantere, and developed from the Radical Music History Symposium held at the Sibelius Academy, Finland (now part of the University of the Arts Helsinki) in December 2011, at which Dr Wiley presented a paper.

Dr Wiley’s essay explores the pattern in musical biography of specific female characters being cast in the role of ‘muse’ to a male genius, rising to prominence at specific points in that person’s life story as a signifier of their productivity and increasing artistic powers. Such women were thereby portrayed as having inspired their associated composer to greater heights, while implicitly denied the possibility of undertaking analogous creative activity themselves.

Further information

Listing of the volume on the publisher’s website: http://www.ashgate.com/default.aspx?page=637&title_id=19817&edition_id=1209349954&calcTitle=1

Listing of the volume on amazon.co.uk: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Critical-Music-Historiography-Ideologies-Institutions/dp/1472414195/

Bibliographic citation

Wiley, Christopher. ‘Musical Biography and the Myth of the Muse’, in Vesa Kurkela and Markus Mantere eds. Critical Music Historiography: Probing Canons, Ideologies and Institutions. Farnham: Ashgate, 2015, pp. 251–61.

Full text

The full text is available for free download under licence from Surrey Research Insight Open Access: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/803216/

 

Dr Christopher Wiley gives talk on Dame Ethel Smyth for Guildford Hard of Hearing Support Group

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Ethel SmythDr Christopher Wiley presented a talk entitled ‘The Composer Dame Ethel Smyth and her Deafness’ at the Millmead Centre, Guildford on 26 January 2015, for Guildford Hard of Hearing Support Group.

Smyth, who was active as composer, writer, and suffragette, was afflicted by distorted hearing and deafness for the last several decades of her life, particularly from the later 1910s until her death in 1944.

An acknowledged expert on Smyth, Dr Wiley has previously given public talks on the artist at the University of Surrey and The Women’s Library, London, as well as writing for the OUP Blog and organizing a recital of Smyth’s music to commemorate the 70th anniversary of her death last year.

Dr Christopher Wiley delivers paper at international conference at the Institute of Musical Research, London

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Institute of Musical Research logoDr Christopher Wiley presented his paper ‘Life and Works: The Master Musicians Series (1899–1906) as Victorian Period-Piece’ at the ‘Music Literature, Historiography, and Aesthetics’ Conference held at the Institute of Musical Research, University of London, on 17-18 July 2014.

Dr Wiley’s paper explored elements of Victorian ideology (including preoccupations with evolutionist theory and with ‘working partnerships’ between men and women) that emerge strongly from a close reading of the volumes of the original Master Musicians series. He then showed how these concerns yielded important consequences for the authors’ discussions of the musical works themselves.

The conference’s call for papers is available here: http://artsonline.monash.edu.au/news-events/call-for-papers-conference-on-music-literature-historiography-and-aesthetics/

The full conference programme may be downloaded here: http://music.sas.ac.uk/sites/default/files/files/Music%20Literature%20Historiography%20and%20Aesthetics%20programme%20(1).doc

Dr Wiley had previously presented a paper at a related conference held at Monash University, Melbourne earlier in the year.

Dr Christopher Wiley delivers paper on musical biography at Monash University, Melbourne

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Dr Christopher Wiley was among the speakers who presented at the ‘Words About Music’ conference held at Monash University, Melbourne, Australia on 12 April 2014.

Dr Wiley’s paper, ‘Music and (or?) Musical Biography’, examined aspects of the complex relationship between the life and the works in a range of composer biographies. Using case studies drawn from several different areas of his wider research – including the celebrated story of Mozart’s Requiem, the original volumes of the ‘Master Musicians’ series, and the autobiographical writings of Ethel Smyth – Dr Wiley illustrated how biographical narrative may shed much direct light on the music, or very little, or may even present a contradictory perspective from that evident from the score itself.

Held at Monash University Law Chambers, the international conference brought together scholars from across Australia and the UK, representing a range of disciplines including musicology, literature, history, and sociology.

Monash University logo

Ethel Smyth Symposium at the University of Surrey features Dr Christopher Wiley as speaker and performer

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Dr Christopher Wiley addresses Ethel Smyth SymposiumDr Christopher Wiley contributed to a Symposium dedicated to Ethel Smyth (1858-1944), the Surrey-based composer and writer also noted for her suffrage activity in the early 1910s, which was held in the Performing Arts Technology Studios at the University of Surrey on 19 February. This was the University’s first ever event for LGBT History Month, for which Smyth was named as one of the faces of the 2014 theme of Music.

Introduced by Professor Diane Watt, Head of the University’s School of English and Languages, the Symposium commenced with a talk by Dr Wiley entitled ‘Dame Ethel Smyth (1858-1944): In Search of a Lesbian Identity in Music and Literature’, in which he discussed possible ways of interpreting Smyth’s artistic output as reflecting her sexual identity and feminist sensibilities, with musical illustrations provided by Maureen Galea (piano) and the University Chamber Choir. 

A drinks reception followed the talk, during which audience members were able to view the ‘Musical Passions’ exhibition celebrating the life of Ethel Smyth, provided courtesy of Surrey History Centre.

Drinks Reception at Ethel Smyth Symposium

The Symposium closed with a concert of solo, chamber, and vocal works by Ethel Smyth, featuring staff and students of the University including pianists Maureen Galea and Margaret Roberts, Isabella Stocchetti (flute), and Christopher Wiley (oboe), as well as the University Chamber Choir. Highlights included a performance of Smyth’s Violin Sonata with guest artist Sophie Langdon and the Head of Performance, Professor Clive Williamson. The full programme was as follows:

  • Two Interlinked French Folk Melodies (1928, from the opera Entente cordiale) for flute, oboe, and piano (Isabella Stocchetti, flute; Christopher Wiley, oboe; Margaret Roberts, piano)
  • Aus der Jugendzeit!! E. v. H. (c.1878–80) (Maureen Galea, piano)
  • Ethel Smyth TrioNocturne (Kanon in Gegenbewegung) (c.1877–80) (Maureen Galea, piano)
  • Sonata for Violin and Piano in A minor, Op. 7 (1877) (Sophie Langdon, violin; Clive Williamson, piano)
  • Variations on Bonny Sweet Robin (Ophelia’s Song) (1928) (Isabella Stocchetti, flute; Christopher Wiley, oboe; Margaret Roberts, piano)
  • Overture to the opera The Boatswain’s Mate, Piano transcription (1913–14) (Maureen Galea, piano)
  • ‘Laggard Dawn’ and ‘The March of the Women’ (Nos. 1 & 3 from Songs of Sunrise, 1910) (University Chamber Choir, cond. Isabella Stocchetti, dir. Russell Keable; Maureen Galea, piano)

Audience at Ethel Smyth SymposiumThe Symposium was held in association with the University of Surrey Equality and Diversity, the School of Arts, the School of English and Languages, LGBT History Month, and Surrey History Centre. Both the talk and the concert were attended by around 50 people, including staff and students of the University and external visitors.

Further information

Event website: http://www.surrey.ac.uk/arts/music/events/ethel_smyth.htm
Poster: http://www.exploringsurreyspast.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/LGBT-History-Month-Final-2014-21-01-14.pdf
Surrey History Centre: http://www.exploringsurreyspast.org.uk/lgbt-2014/

Update

An academic response to Dr Wiley’s talk, ‘Musical Inversions: Ethel Smyth’ by Dr Heike Bauer (Birkbeck University of London), appeared on the blog A Violent World of Difference on 21 February 2014: http://violentworldofdifference.wordpress.com/2014/02/21/21-feb-2014-musical-inversions-ethel-smyth/

Dr Christopher Wiley presents research seminar at the University of Surrey

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Ethel Smyth and Virginia Woolf (R-L)Dr Christopher Wiley presented a research seminar based on his paper ‘Music and Literature: Ethel Smyth, Virginia Woolf, and “The First Woman to Write an Opera”’ at a research seminar hosted by the School of Arts at the University of Surrey on 20 November 2013.

Dr Wiley joined the University of Surrey in September 2013 following a nine-year tenure at City University London. One aspect of his research concerns the intellectual dialogue between Ethel Smyth and Virginia Woolf (pictured, R-L). The article on which his paper is based is being published in the refereed journal The Musical Quarterly.

Dr Christopher Wiley contributes book chapter to major new volume on Haydn

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The Land of Opportunity: Joseph Haydn and BritainA book chapter written by Dr Christopher Wiley, entitled Mythological Motifs in the Biographical Accounts of Haydns Later Life, has appeared in a recently-published anthology that represents a major new contribution to Haydn scholarship.

The volume, The Land of Opportunity: Joseph Haydn and Britain, is edited by Richard Chesser and David Wyn Jones and has its origins in a conference hosted by The British Library (who also published the book) in 2009, organized to commemorate the bicentenary of Haydn’s death.

Dr Wiley’s essay investigates three prominent stories in life-writing on Haydn’s later life: his visit of 1795 to the monument erected in his honour by Count Harrach at Rohrau; the performance of The Creation in March 1808; and the episode of his death the following year. It explores various revealing themes that emerge from their retellings in musical biographies over the decades, including the rising social status of the artist, Haydn’s reconciliation with Beethoven, and notions of The Creation as a harbinger of the composer’s death.

Bibliographic citation

Wiley, Christopher. ‘Mythological Motifs in the Biographical Accounts of Haydn’s Later Life’, in Richard Chesser and David Wyn Jones eds. The Land of Opportunity: Joseph Haydn in Britain. London: The British Library, 2013, pp. 195–211. ISBN 978-0-7123-5848-4.

Full text

The full text is available for free download under licence from Surrey Research Insight Open Access: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/800492/

Further information

Listing of the volume in the British Library Publishing catalogue:

Listing of the volume on amazon.co.uk: http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Land-Opportunity-Joseph-Britain/dp/071235848X/

Dr Christopher Wiley publishes major article in The Musical Quarterly

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The Musical Quarterly Volume 96 Issue 2A major article by Dr Christopher Wiley, ‘Music and Literature: Ethel Smyth, Virginia Woolf, and “The First Woman to Write an Opera”’ (doi: 10.1093/musqtl/gdt012), has been published in The Musical Quarterly, Vol. 96.

Dr Wiley’s article calls into question the impression of the extent of women’s contributions to music composition given by Smyth’s published literature. He examines the traces of revisionism evident between her earlier and later prose writings, asking whether Smyth may have sought to present herself as essentially unique given her status as a female composer. Dr Wiley also explores the differences between music and literature as professions to which creative women aspired in the early twentieth century, with reference to Smyth’s Female Pipings in Eden and Woolf’s Three Guineas.

Founded in 1915 and published by Oxford University Press, The Musical Quarterly has long been cited as the foremost scholarly musical journal in the United States.

Bibliographic citation

Wiley, Christopher. ‘Ethel Smyth, Virginia Woolf, and “The First Woman to Write an Opera”’, The Musical Quarterly, Vol. 96, No. 2 (Summer 2013), pp. 263–95. doi: 10.1093/musqtl/gdt012

Full text

The full text is available for free download under licence from Surrey Research Insight Open Access: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/800523/

Update: Dr Wiley’s article reached no.1 in The Musical Quarterly’s monthly ranking of most-read articles (based on full-text and PDF views) throughout the final quarter of 2014, and continued to hold the top spot at the start of 2015. http://mq.oxfordjournals.org/reports/most-read

Dr Christopher Wiley writes for The Conversation UK

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Anti-gay prejudice protestDr Christopher Wiley has contributed an article to The Conversation UK, reflecting on aspects of Stephen Fry’s open letter on Russia’s controversial new anti-gay laws (which called for a ban on the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi) from his own perspective as musicologist, scholar, and teacher.

One claim that Fry made in his letter about the potential consequences of exploring Tchaikovsky’s sexuality and its relationship to his life and work under Russia’s controversial new legislation prompted Dr Wiley to reconsider elements of his own research on musical biography, not just on Tchaikovsky but also on Britten and Ethel Smyth.

Published on 12 August 2013 shortly after Fry’s letter went viral, Dr Wiley’s article, ‘Academics should stand with Fry against anti-gay Russia’, broke new ground for The Conversation UK for its content. It soon received thousands of views, helped in part by a mention by Fry himself on Twitter three days after it originally appeared.

Stephen Fry - Twitter feed

The Conversation UK is an independent news and commentary website offering in-depth analysis, research, news, and ideas from academics and researchers, and has received over 300,000 visitors since its launch three months ago. Modelled on its successful Australian counterpart, its founding partners comprise 13 UK universities including City University London and the University of Surrey.

Dr Christopher Wiley publishes book chapter on Michael Jackson

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Michael Jackson Grasping the SpectacleAn interdisciplinary volume of essays on Michael Jackson published earlier this year, Michael Jackson: Grasping the Spectacle, includes a chapter on musicology written by Dr Christopher Wiley.

Informed by his participation in the international press coverage of Jackson’s death in 2009 and crystallizing around the iconic tracks ‘Thriller’ and ‘Black or White’, Dr Wiley’s essay, ‘Putting the Music Back into Michael Jackson Studies’, seeks to refocus attention on Jackson’s music in relation to discussion of his music videos and their sociocultural contexts.

It concludes by exposing the danger of over-interpreting the art through the lens of the biography of the originating artist, asking whether Jackson’s celebrity will ultimately rest on his contribution to the late twentieth-century entertainment industry or on the serious controversies with which he became associated.

Bibliographic citation

Wiley, Christopher. ‘Putting the Music Back into Michael Jackson Studies’, in Michael Jackson: Grasping the Spectacle, new essays ed. by Christopher R. Smit. Farnham: Ashgate, 2012, pp. 101–16.

Full text 

Dr Wiley’s essay is available for download from City Research Online, the University’s research repository, at the following link: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/1211/

 

Dr Christopher Wiley presents paper at the Sibelius Academy, Finland

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Sibelius Academy logoDr Christopher Wiley has presented a paper at the Radical Music History Symposium 2011 hosted by the Sibelius Academy, Helsinki on 8-9 December 2011. His paper was entitled ‘Musical Biography and the Myth of the Muse’, and discussed the portrayal of women in biographies of the Great Composers who, though silenced throughout much of the text, suddenly came into view at critical junctures in life-writing on their male associates as rhetorical signifiers of the increasing power of their creative genius. Chris argued that musical biography thereby became complicit in women’s historical effacement by casting them in the role of vessels for the stimulation of artistic creation in men, implicitly denying them the possibility of undertaking such activities themselves while simultaneously linking them inextricably to those of associated male composers. Chris concluded by demonstrating some ways in which this model, for its longevity and the robustness with which it has been perpetuated, yields profound consequences for more recent writing of the lives of women composers as well as for contemporary feminist musicology’s project to deconstruct and critique musical canon.

Sandi Toksvig, Dr Christopher Wiley, and Velvet Fist at The Women’s Library, London – Tuesday 27 September, 18:30-20.00

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Sandi Toksvig
Dr Christopher Wiley
appeared alongside writer and broadcaster Sandi Toksvig at The Women’s Library, London on Tuesday 27 September, providing an introduction to the life, works, and suffrage activity of Ethel Smyth.

Dr Wiley has been researching and writing on Ethel Smyth for over a decade, including a groundbreaking article on Smyth’s intellectual relationship with Virginia Woolf, published in one of the UK’s foremost journals of musicology, Music and Letters.

The event, entitled ‘Shout! Shout! Up With Your Song!’, commemorated the 100th anniversary of the first performance of Smyth’s celebrated suffragette anthem ‘March of the Women’, and also featured a recital by the acclaimed a capella feminist choir Velvet Fist.

The flier for the event is available for download here.