Department of Music

Academic Profiles

Find out more about some of the staff in the Department of Music. If you'd like to meet some of us in person, sign up to our open day

Disclaimer: The modules we offer are inspired by the research interests of our staff and as a result may change for reasons of, for example, research developments or legislative changes. The modules mentioned on this page are examples of typical modules that we offer but are not guaranteed to be available in any particular year.


Meet... Nick Baragwanath 

Associate Professor 


If you could attend any musical concert in history, which would it be and why?

Woodstock 1969, obviously, but I’d also like to have heard Arcangelo Corelli play. He was the greatest violinist of the early 1700s and used to go completely wild on stage. An English tourist who saw him play in 1709 said that “his Eyes will sometimes turn as red as fire: his Countenance will be distorted, his Eye-Balls roll as in an Agony, and he gives in so much to what he is doing that he doth not look like the same Man.”

What's the first piece of music you fell in love with?

Dvorak’s New World Symphony. Although I don’t often admit it nowadays. Oddly enough, I was also into Blondie at the same time.

What is your favourite module to teach and why?

Eighteenth-century music. We get to make music from scratch, by copying the methods of choirboy apprentices, lady dilettantes, and castrated virtuoso singers. Students learn that it is much easier to compose than you think!

What inspired you to teach your subject?

I once heard the Head of Music at my school boast that he had reached the ‘top’ of the subject and could survey it entire, from above. I thought this was rubbish and wanted to prove it.

Is classical music elitist?

When George Gershwin asked the ultra-modernist composer Alban Berg how he could like jazz when he wrote such complex atonal pieces, Berg replied: ‘music is music’. There is no such thing as classical music, just music you like and music you don’t. 

Find out more about Nick here

Meet... Xenia Pestova

Director of Performance


Who's your favourite composer/musician and why?

There are just so many, where do I start? I love the great masters: Bach of course, Scarlatti, Beethoven, Liszt, Debussy, Ravel, Messiaen – the list goes on! I also absolutely adore contemporary music by living composers, and often work with composers on premieres. It’s so exciting! 

If you could attend any musical concert in history, which would it be and why? 

I am very happy and excited to be right here, right now, in the present. As a professional performing pianist, I live every concert I give very deeply, and I am grateful for every experience. Music is a wonderful gift. Amazing concerts take place all the time with innovative and exciting new works being performed as well as radical reinterpretations of the masterworks of the past. We just have to be open. Let’s live it up! Nottingham Forum for Artistic Research presents some great concerts every year. Perhaps we will see you there! 

What is your favourite module to teach and why?

It would have to be a tie between Creativity and Collaboration for Professional Musicians, and Music and Health (although I love all my modules!). Creativity and Collaboration is a very interesting module. Students get to devise their own project, and present it in an unusual location. Last year we had performances in the caves behind the Museum of Nottingham Life! Music and Health is a very important topic, and one that is still often ignored. As musicians, we really need to learn to take care of ourselves, and in this class we explore issues such as injury prevention and performance anxiety. I am very happy that we can offer these topics at the University of Nottingham. 

What inspired you to teach your subject?

I was really fortunate to study with some amazing and inspiring teachers: in Russia, New Zealand, UK, Holland, France, Canada… So now I feel it’s my turn to share my knowledge and experience with the younger generation!

Find out more about Xenia here

See Xenia's website here



Department of Music

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

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