Press Release

12 April 2011

Professor John Irving, an internationally acclaimed expert on Mozart, will join Canterbury Christ Church University in August as the new Head of Music and Professor of Music History and Performance Practice.

Professor John Irving
Professor John Irving

He has over 25 years experience in teaching and music research in Higher Education and has published five books, including his international best-selling biography, ‘The Treasures of Mozart,’ and scholarly texts on Mozart’s Piano Sonatas and Concerti.

Currently the Director of The Institute of Musical Research (IMR), based in the School of Advanced Study, University of London, Professor Irving is on secondment on from the University of Bristol, where he has taught since 1988 and was Head of Department from 2004 to 2009. The IMR is the UK’s national research forum in music and has a remit to promote and facilitate research in music across the whole of the Higher Education spectrum, and beyond.

Professor Irving said: “I am thrilled to be joining Canterbury Christ Church University at a time when its Department of Music is making a significant impact within British musicology.

“Its developing research thrust, the acknowledged quality of its very diverse programmes, superb facilities and opportunities on offer to its students, the employability of its graduates, and the sheer creative energy of the people working across three sites in Canterbury, Broadstairs and Folkestone make my new role an exciting one.

“Music scores highly in terms of public engagement, and I hope my profile as a performer-researcher will further develop the links between the University and the communities it serves, regionally and nationally.”

Professor Roderick Watkins, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at Canterbury Christ Church, said: ”I am absolutely delighted that John will be joining us at Christ Church, and leading the Music Department into a new and very exciting stage in its highly successful history of growth and development. 

“John’s experience and expertise will be a huge asset to the Music Department and to the University more generally. He is a musician and academic of the very highest order, and we look forward enormously to working with him.”

Professor Irving’s career has also included many management positions in national music organisations, including his present appointments as Vice President of The Royal Musical Association and Trustee of the Horniman Museum, as well as being a member on various advisory boards, such as Répertoire Internationale d’Iconographie Musicale and the British Library Journal.

He has worked closely with players from the celebrated Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, a partner in the University’s St. Gregory’s project. 

Professor Irving is a performer, specialising in 18th-century historical performance practice as a fortepianist, clavichordist and harpsichordist. His recent performances include appearances at The Guildhall School of Music and Drama and King’s Place, London; the North York Moors Music Festival; Petersham Festival and at the Greenwich Early Music Festival.


Notes to Editor

  • Professor Irving has just released (with his wife, the clarinettist, Jane Booth) a CD on the sfz label, Clarinets by Arrangement, exploring the early 19th-century vogue for duo arrangements of contemporary chamber works  (including Mozart’s clarinet quintet), and in April 2011 he will be recording a CD of Mozart’s solo keyboard works on a historic clavichord dating from 1763 in the Russell Collection, University of Edinburgh. His new book, ‘Understanding Mozart’s Piano Sonatas is now published by Ashgate:
  •  You can follow Professor Irving’s work on Academia at

 Canterbury Christ Church University

Canterbury Christ Church University is a modern university with a particular strength in higher education for the public services.

With nearly 18,000 students, and five campuses across Kent, its courses span a wide range of academic and professional expertise.

  • In 2010 the Faculty of Education received top grades in its Ofsted report for primary, secondary and post-compulsory programmes, together with its employment-based routes into teaching. The University’s primary provision has the unique record of having been awarded the highest Ofsted grades in all inspections since 1996.
  • Over 90 per cent of our graduates gain employment or are in further study in the first six months after graduating.
  • Along with over a thousand undergraduate, postgraduate and professional training courses on offer, we are also home to world-leading and internationally recognised research in Education, History, Music and Sports Related Studies.
  • Canterbury Christ Church University was founded in 1962 by the Church of England as a teacher training college.



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Last edited: 14/12/2018 22:14:00