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Norbert Meyn

Research project exploring migration and music wins AHRC grant

Wednesday 18 September 2019

A Royal College of Music research project into the effects of migration on music has been awarded an Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) grant of £900,000.

‘Music, Migration and Mobility: The Legacy of Migrant Musicians from Nazi-Europe in Britain’ will be led by RCM researcher and vocal coach Norbert Meyn. The major interdisciplinary project will run for three years and study the creative output of musicians who came to Britain from Nazi-ruled Europe in the 1930s and 1940s, shedding new light on the experiences of migrant musicians in post war Britain.

Lead researcher Norbert Meyn will work in collaboration with two co-investigators, Peter Adey, Professor of Human Geography at Royal Holloway, University of London, and Nils Grosch, Professor of Musicology at Salzburg University. Together they will probe the challenges of performing and mediating a largely unknown body of work by migrant composers for today’s audiences.

Norbert commented: ‘I am hugely excited about this opportunity to work with an international and multi-disciplinary team in a project that puts the music of migrants at centre stage. I hope it will enable us to understand better the significance of migration and mobility for music and contribute to wider debates about the impact of migration on British life.’

The outcomes of ‘Music, Migration and Mobility’ will include a series of open rehearsal workshops, public performances and recordings, along with an ambitious programme of archival research in the UK, Germany, Austria and the Isle of Man. Online resources and public performances will tell the musicians’ newly-uncovered stories and reveal the roles they played in forming some of Britain’s most important classical music institutions, such as Glyndebourne, the BBC and the Royal Opera House.

Find out more about research at the Royal College of Music.