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Professor Colin Lawson edited The Cambridge Encyclopaedia of Historical Performance in Music

RCM Director, Professor Colin Lawson wins national award

Tuesday 13 April 2021

The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Historical Performance in Music was today awarded the C. B. Oldman Prize for an outstanding work of music reference. Edited by Royal College of Music Director Professor Colin Lawson CBE, alongside Professor Robin Stowell from Cardiff University, the book is the first comprehensive reference tool on historical performance. 

First published in 2019, the encyclopedia is a fully up-to-date, illuminating and accessible book which aims to assist readers in rediscovering and recreating early music. Focusing on performance, it features contributions from 112 international experts, including 17 Royal College of Music professors and staff. Professor Robin Stowell is Emeritus Professor in the School of Music at Cardiff University and a former RCM external examiner.

Professor Colin Lawson is Director of the Royal College of Music, and leads the College’s Research agenda. He enjoys an international profile as a period clarinettist and has played principal clarinet in most of Britain’s leading period orchestras. Described as ‘the doyen of period clarinettists’ by BBC Music Magazine, he has appeared as a soloist in many international venues. Professor Lawson has published widely on historical performance practice and the history of the clarinet, including the Cambridge Handbooks to Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto and Brahms’ Clarinet Quintet. 

On being awarded the C. B. Oldman Prize, Professor Lawson commented: ‘It is an honour for Robin and me to be recognised for a book which we hope will widen access to historical performance. Recent decades have seen a major increase of interest in historical performance practice, as evidenced by the RCM’s own dynamic Historical Performance faculty. I hope our encyclopedia will support this resurgence of interest for generations to come.'

The C. B. Oldman Prize is an annual award for an outstanding work of music bibliography, music reference of music librarianship by an author resident in the United Kingdom or Republic of Ireland.

The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Historical Performance in Music is out now in paperback; read more on the Cambridge University Press website. Find out more about Historical Performance at the RCM on the Faculty webpage