Following conservatoire 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 Jack Westrup Prize in 2006 for an article on 'Musicology and Critical Theory' and the Weston 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. 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:
BBC Radio 3 - Record Review, Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin with Andrew McGregor and Nicholas Baragwanath
BBC Radio 3 - Record Review, Andrew McGregor with Nicholas Baragwanath and Sarah Walker
BBC Radio 3 - Record Review, Andrew McGregor with Iain Burnside and Nicholas Baragwanath
BBC Radio 3 - Record Review, Summer Record Review, Andrew McGregor with Harriet Smith and Nicholas Baragwanath
Nick enjoys teaching courses on many aspects of music history and theory c.1600-1945, as well as philosophical approaches. Recent modules include: 'The Art of 18th-Century Performance-Improvisation',… read more
Nick is currently working on a series of textbooks/critical editions which will bring the findings of his recent monograph, The Solfeggio Tradition (OUP 2020), to a broader readership, enabling music… read more
BARAGWANATH, N., 2011. The Italian Traditions and Puccini: Compositional Theory and Practice in Nineteenth-Century Opera Indiana University Press.
BARAGWANATH, N., 2012. Mozart's early chamber music with keyboard: traditions of performance, composition, and commodification. In: HARLOW, M., ed., Mozart's Chamber Music with Keyboard Cambridge University Press. 25-44
BARAGWANATH, N., 2008. Analytical approaches to melody in selected arias by Puccini Music Theory Online: A Journal of Criticism, Commentary, Research, and Scholarship. 14(2), n/a
Nick enjoys teaching courses on many aspects of music history and theory c.1600-1945, as well as philosophical approaches. Recent modules include: 'The Art of 18th-Century Performance-Improvisation', 'Learning History', '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', and 'Understanding 18th-century Music'.
He has supervised PhD researchers working on 19th-century Italian opera, Mediterranean musical traditions, 18th-century Neapolitan comic opera, philosophical approaches to contemporary performance ideologies, and semiotic interpretations of Pop-Core and Pop-Punk.
Nick is currently working on a series of textbooks/critical editions which will bring the findings of his recent monograph, The Solfeggio Tradition (OUP 2020), to a broader readership, enabling music learners and teachers to master for themselves the 18th-century art of melodic improvisation. The textbooks will make available some of the most significant collections of lessons to survive from the 18th century, together with detailed commentaries on how to use them to develop skills in improvisation, score-reading, performance, aural skills, and composition.
He shares updates on his research with the c.2,000 members of his Facebook Group, The Art of Solfeggio.
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. Some reviews:
'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), pp. 135-41
'[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), pp. 119-29
'Baragwanath calls upon a vast range of sources … [his] study has greater ambition than simply filling in gaps in our knowledge of the nineteenth-century opera tradition … Baragwanath has comprehensively achieved what he set out to do: create a framework for further study.' Chloe Valenti, Music&Letters 94/4 (2013), pp. 689-90
'this book is an invaluable contribution to the history of Italian music theory.' Deborah Burton, Music Theory Spectrum 35/2 (2013), pp. 256-60