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Arianna Rigamonti

RCM researcher awarded prestigious LAHP scholarship

Tuesday 18 May 2021

Royal College of Music PhD student Arianna Rigamonti has been awarded a prestigious scholarship by the London Arts & Humanities Partnership (LAHP) to support her research into marvellous musical instruments from late Renaissance Italy.

Arianna joined the RCM in September 2020 to study for a PhD in Music and Material Culture under the supervision of RCM Museum Curator and Chair of Music & Material Culture, Professor Gabriele Rossi Rognoni. Also supported by external supervisor Dr Tim Shephard from the University of Sheffield, Arianna’s project is called ‘Sounding Marvels: Musical Instruments between Reality and Imagination in Sixteenth and Seventeenth Century Italy’.

The LAHP scholarship will fund the next two years of Arianna’s PhD programme from October 2021. Her research explores unique and precious musical instruments held in cabinets of curiosities, disguised instruments played on stage during theatrical performances and imaginary instruments depicted in visual representations, often played by divine creatures.

Through the study of surviving instruments, iconography and literary sources, Arianna’s research addresses the significance and aesthetic impact of marvellous musical instruments within late Renaissance Italian culture of wonder. 

On being awarded the scholarship, Arianna commented: ‘I am delighted to have been awarded this prestigious scholarship, which represents a wonderful opportunity to bring musical instrument studies into the international and multidisciplinary community of LAHP. Building connections with other students and cultural institutions is an incredibly stimulating aspect of my career as a researcher.’

Research at the RCM embraces the creative, cultural and scientific study of music. The College’s thriving community of researchers works on a diverse range of projects in musicology, performance science, music education, composition and performance. The new Royal College of Music Museum – opening to the public in autumn 2021 – offers researchers, students and members of the public alike the opportunity to experience unique and fascinating historical instruments first-hand. 

Find out more about Research at the RCM and the Royal College of Music Museum.