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Nicholas Baragwanath

Professor of Music, Faculty of Arts

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Biography

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.

Expertise Summary

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:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b041vg00

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/cd-review-building-a-library/id273489899?mt=2

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p0379z7b/p0379yyk

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b091w7fy

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p059zb8x

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p04wf7n2

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b088fnx8

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p03d91gp

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b07rkv08

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b06tgsyd

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02r6533

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02r6fsc

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02r65p0

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02r5d10

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02r4l9b

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02r6bd6

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02r5t9n

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02r585s

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02r72jv

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02r6psg

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02r4k1t

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02r52tz

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04f8tqb

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b05zgf6k

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b05vgxvp

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0375ql1

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01slkwx

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03kpb9c

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b093lhvf

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

Teaching Summary

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

Research Summary

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

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.

Current Research

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.

Past Research

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

Department of Music

The University of Nottingham
Lakeside Arts Centre
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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