Joanne Cormac is a Nottingham Research Fellow. From 2015-2021 she was a Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellow at the University of Nottingham. She has also held Visiting Scholarships at Wolfson College, University of Oxford (2017-18) and Georgetown University, Washington DC (2018). From 2013-15 she was a Lecturer in Music at Oxford Brookes University. She studied Music at the University of Nottingham (BA) and at the University of Birmingham (MMus and PhD).
Joanne's research interests include 19th-century music and culture, with particular interests in the symphony in the long 19th century, the music of Franz Liszt (especially the symphonic poems), biography, historiography, and reception issues.
Joanne's teaching interests include, romanticism, programme music, the symphony, opera, popular theatre, and biography. During the academic year 2017-18 she taught the module 19th-Century Composer… read more
My current project, entitled The Symphony: Transnationalism, Networks, and Cultural Exchange in the Long Nineteenth Century is funded by a Nottingham Research Fellowship. The project attempts a… read more
Joanne's teaching interests include, romanticism, programme music, the symphony, opera, popular theatre, and biography. During the academic year 2017-18 she taught the module 19th-Century Composer Biographies.
My current project, entitled The Symphony: Transnationalism, Networks, and Cultural Exchange in the Long Nineteenth Century is funded by a Nottingham Research Fellowship. The project attempts a transnational history of one of Europe's most politicized cultural exports: the symphony. It argues that travel, transnational exchange, and dissemination through networks, shaped the development of the symphony in ways not previously understood. Historical narratives of the symphony have long been organized around units of nations. However, musicians, conductors, and symphonies crossed geopolitical boundaries, as often as they reinforced them. My book unravels how meanings (both aesthetic and political), performance practices, and compositional styles changed as a result of travel and cultural exchange.
My Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship interrogated the role of biography in musicological scholarship and reception studies. The findings are available in journal articles in The Musical Quarterly, The Journal of Musicological Research and in a special issue I guest edited for 19th-Century Music.
My first monograph, Liszt and the Symphonic Poem (Cambridge University Press, 2017) was awarded the Alan Walker Triennial Prize 2020 of the American Liszt Society. It offered a long-overdue examination of Liszt's vastly influential, but misunderstood and much-maligned, genre. Using contextual, philosophical, and musical evidence, Joanne tackled the thorny question: what is a symphonic poem? I overturned the traditional view that positions the symphonic poems as alternatives to the symphony post-Beethoven. In contrast, I returned these influential pieces to their original performance context in the theatre, arguing that the symphonic poem is as much a dramatic as a symphonic genre.
'I believe Liszt and the Symphonic Poem is a game-changer for our understanding of Liszt as a dramatic composer … beautifully written and meticulously researched.' R. Larry Todd Source: Official citation for the 2020 Alan Walker Triennial Book Award, The American Liszt Society
'… a richly detailed interdisciplinary study'
Patrick Rucker Source: Gramophone Magazine