Following studies as a pianist, Nick completed postgraduate degrees at the University of Sussex. From 1998 he was Lecturer in Music at the University of Wellington, New Zealand, moving in 2001 to the Royal Northern College of Music, where he was Head of Postgraduate Studies and subsequently Dean of Research and Enterprise, overseeing the establishment of a new Graduate School and the introduction of PhD programmes. He joined the University of Nottingham in 2010.
Nick's research covers a wide range of areas from the Baroque to the present day. His publications have dealt with music theory and history from 1600, especially Italian; nineteenth-century opera; Haydn; Mozart; Wagner; Berg; Puccini; music analysis; and critical theory. He received the Westrup Prize in 2006 for an article on 'Musicology and Critical Theory' and the Emerson Prize in 2014 for a chapter on Mozart's early sonatas.
He is an experienced broadcaster and regularly writes and presents material for BBC Radio 3, Radio 4, and World Service. Recent programmes include a documentary on the 18th-century Neapolitan conservatoires ('Educating Isaac'), First Night of the Proms, live opera from Covent Garden, and the 50th anniversary episode of Record Review (on Beethoven's Fifth). They can be accessed free on iPlayer or iTunes:
I enjoy teaching courses on many aspects of music history and theory c.1600-1945, as well as philosophical approaches. Recent modules include: 'The Romantic Piano', 'Music in 19th-century Russia',… read more
As recipient of an AHRC Research Leadership Fellowship, Nick recently completed an 18-month project entitled 'Haydn, Solfeggio, and the Art of Melody: A New Approach to the Classical Style'. The… read more
I enjoy teaching courses on many aspects of music history and theory c.1600-1945, as well as philosophical approaches. Recent modules include: 'The Romantic Piano', 'Music in 19th-century Russia', 'Elements of Music', 'Approaches to Music Analysis', Haydn's String Quartets', 'Introduction to the Philosophy and Aesthetics of Music', 'Understanding 18th-century Music', and 'Research Techniques'.
I currently supervise PhD researchers working on 19th-century Italian opera, Mediterranean musical traditions, 18th-century Neapolitan comic opera, and philosophical approaches to contemporary performance ideologies. Completed PhDs have included one on Pop-Core and Pop-Punk.
As recipient of an AHRC Research Leadership Fellowship, Nick recently completed an 18-month project entitled 'Haydn, Solfeggio, and the Art of Melody: A New Approach to the Classical Style'. The first book-length study of The Solfeggio Tradition: A Forgotten Art of Melody in the Long Eighteenth Century is scheduled to appear in 2018. He is also leading an international network of scholars on historical music pedagogy, and producing a variety of online and media outputs. He runs a jiscmail list and website for anyone interested in Historical Music Pedagogy:
Nick has also recently completed a brief account of melodic accent in Italy for Music & Letters , a critique of current approaches to teaching music theory, an article on satire in Haydn, and an edited volume of essays (with Rosa Cafiero) on the castrato Luigi Marchesi.
Nick recently wrote and presented the 50th anniversary episode of 'CD Review' - renamed 'Record Review' on the day - for BBC Radio 3. You can hear which was his favourite recording of Beethoven's Fifth here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b06tgsyd
Nick is the convenor of the HapMAC conference (History, Analysis, Pedagogy: Music Analysis Conference) at the University of Nottingham, 13-15 July 2016.
In January 2017, he gave an invited lecture on music pedagogy in eighteenth-century Naples at a conference in Milan, jointly promoted by the Centro Studi Pergolesi (Università degli Studi di Milano) and theHochschule der Künste Bern.
The Italian Traditions and Puccini, a major study of compositional theory and practice in 19th-century Italy, was published in 2011 by Indiana University Press. It surveys the once commonplace fundamentals, methods, and formulas that were taught at Italian music conservatories, and explores their significance for composition through case studies from Rossini, Bellini, and Donizetti to Verdi, Boito, and Puccini.
"Baragwanath has made a major contribution - one of the most major to date, in any language - not only to Puccini studies but also to the study of nineteenth-century Italian opera in general. […] a deep, wide-ranging study the influence of which will surely be felt in the field for years to come." Andrew Davis, Nineteenth-Century Music Review (2014)
"[The book] seeks to rebalance the scales of history through no less than a thorough reappraisal of how composition was learned by those who would actually become composers." Robert Gjerdingen, Journal of Music Theory (2013)
The Solfeggio book is due to appear in 2018.