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Music and Performing Arts

In the Research Excellence Framework 2014, 84% of our research was internationally recognised overall, with 19.4% of our outputs rated as world-leading. 

Our staff have developed a vibrant international network for their research, with recent conference proceedings, performances, installations, high-profile recordings, TV and radio broadcasts across the UK and Europe, but also in Africa, Asia, Australasia and the USA. In addition, our staff have been recruited as leaders in their fields, working for the Research Excellence Framework 2014, the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the Royal Musical Association, amongst many other professional bodies.

Link to our Research Blog here.

The School has close links with arts festivals and organisations such as the Canterbury Festival, the Sounds New Festival and the Free Range series, through which many of our staff have developed projects with The London Sinfonietta, The Brodsky Quartet, Turner Contemporary, Ensemble Klang, BBC Radio 3 and the ABC Network (Australia). In addition our staff have won prestigious prizes such as the international Kranichstein Music Prize 2014 (Dr Sam Salem as part of the Distractfold ensemble) and The Royal Society for Public Health’s ‘Arts and Health Award’. ( Dr Maria Varvarigou , as part of the ‘Music for Life’ Project)

Our Visiting Professors of Composition are Sir Peter Maxwell Davies (former Master of the Queen's Music) and Paul Patterson, whilst world-leading performers Martin Outram (violist with the Maggini Quartet) and John Harle (saxophone) complete an impressive profile in contemporary classical composition and performance. A growing dynamism in Commercial Music and Sonic Art has resulted in our staff and students working alongside such high-profile artists as Matthew Herbert (internationally renowned composer and producer), Janek Schaefer (Sonic Artist of the Year, 2008), Evan Parker (world-leading saxophonist) and David Toop (leading author in the field of contemporary music and sound). 

In recent years our diverse Composition/Improvisation staff ( James Dean , Dr Panos Ghikas , Ethan Maltby , Dr Lauren Redhead , Dr Sam Salem, Robert Stillman , Dr Matthew Wright ) has developed rapidly to keep pace with changes in the field, and as a collective of composer/researchers, their work has been presented across the globe at venues such as The Sydney Opera House, Le Poisson Rouge (New York), Abbey Road Studios, Tate Modern, The Southbank Centre, Channel 4 and The FA Cup Final.

Our leading Dance, Drama, Theatre and Technical Theatre researchers cover specialisms in:

African and African diaspora theatre; the Feldenkrais method ( Dr Kene Igweonu ) Ballet; Bodies as Culture and Practice ( Dr Anglela Pickard ) Dance and Improvisation ( Tina Krasevec )

Polish, Irish, American Theatre; Multilingual Storytelling ( Dr Kasia Lech ) Contemporary British and European Theatre; Theatre and Cultural Politics; Feminist Theatre ( Dr Marissia Fragkou ) and Innovative Control Systems for Live Performance Technology ( Andy Hurst ). Many dynamic connections between these disciplines have fuelled the development of new postgraduate and PhD opportunities in these areas.

In the areas of Musicology, Music Pyschology, Music, Arts and Health and Performance, our leading researchers include Dr Nicholas McKay (Stravinsky; Music Semiotics; Music Analysis; Opera and Music Theatre), Dr Robert Rawson (Czech Musical Culture and Style; Performance Practices of the 17 th and 18 th Centuries) Dr David Allinson (Choral Conducting and Performance), Dr Vanessa Hawes (Music and Scientific Thought; Ethnomusicology; the analysis of ‘Commercial’ and ‘Art’ Music), Dr Maria Varvarigou (Music Education; Choral Conducting Education; Music and Health) Chris Price (Church Music; The Canterbury Catch Club) and Dr Erica Buurman (Beethoven; The Viennese Musical Culture of the early 19 th Century).

In 2013-14 our staff were internationally active with conference organization and participation, including:


Dr Lauren Redhead and Dr. Vanessa Hawes hosted the 2nd Annual Conference of the Music and/as Process Study Group ( ), bringing a distinguished field of scholars to Canterbury Christ Church, including the keynote speaker, the School’s HoD, Dr Nicholas McKay.

At the Univerity of Warwick in July/August Dr Kene Igweonu chaired a panel focussing on ‘Theatre and Stratification’ at the IFTR ( )


Dr Angela Pickard presented a paper on ‘Bodies in Physical Culture’ at the University of Gothenberg, Sweden (December 2013), as well as chairing the panel at the World Dance Alliance Global Summit in Angers, France (July 2014) and the International Documentation of Contemporary Dance Education Symposium in Vienna (August 2014)

Dr Robert Rawson presented and panel chaired at the 16 th Biennial International Conference on Baroque Music at the University of Music and Dramatic Arts, Salzburg (July 2014)


Dr Kene Igweonu disseminated his research at the conference of the African Theatre Association, University of Ghana and exhibited and talked about his work at the University of Lagos and Nnamdi Azikiwe University (July 2014)

North America:

Dr Erica Buurman delivered a paper entitled ‘Beethoven’s Waltzes in England: Dissemination and Reception in the Early 19 th Century’ at the 18 th Biennial Conference on 19 th Century Music, Toronto (June 2014)

Dr Maria Varvarigou, delivered a presentation on ‘Intergenerational Music Making for Children and Young People’ at the International Conference of Music and Medicine, in Toronto. (June 2014)

The School’s extensive research into Music and Health is based in the Sidney de Haan Research Centre for Arts and Health led by Professor Stephen Clift and has almost a dozen active researchers.

For further information about these projects and more, please visit the School’s web pages.

Telephone: +44 (0)1227 767700 Prospectus: +44 (0)1227 782900
© 2014 Canterbury Christ Church University

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