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David Wright appointed to a Personal Chair in the Social History of Music

Tuesday 21 December 2021

Professor David Wright has been appointed to a Personal Chair in the Social History of Music by the Royal College of Music. In addition to his role as a Research Fellow, he also gains the title of Professor of the Social History of Music in recognition of his outstanding contribution to research.

Professor Wright’s association with the RCM commenced in 1997 when he joined the College, first as Head of Postgraduate Studies, later becoming Reader in the Social History of Music. His emphasis on the social, economic and cultural aspects of British music history was strongly influenced by the late Cyril Ehrlich. Professor Wright was a convener of the ‘Music in Britain: A Social History Seminar’ at London’s Institute of Historical Research. He has published several books including a history of the Royal College of Music (The Royal College of Music and its Contexts: An Artistic and Social History, Cambridge University Press); a history of the ABRSM (The Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music: A Social and Cultural History, The Boydell Press); and, with Nicholas Kenyon and Jenny Doctor, he co-edited The Proms: a new history (Thames & Hudson), writing the chapter about the Prom seasons of William Glock and Robert Ponsonby. His other publications cover a broad range of late nineteenth and twentieth century subjects, spanning from the culture and economics of John Stainer and Victorian music publishing, to the funding and repertoire identities of the London Sinfonietta.

Professor Colin Lawson, Director of the Royal College of Music, comments: 'I am delighted that David Wright has been appointed to a Personal Chair. He is one of the world’s foremost authorities on the social history of music and continues to make a distinctive contribution to the work of the RCM.'

The principal criterion for appointment to a Personal Chair at the RCM is distinguished achievement across artistic and scholarly endeavours. Artistically, candidates should have a record of international-level performance, composition or recordings and a strong record of peer and public engagement. Moreover, Personal Chairs are usually active researchers, with an international reputation, who have made a significant contribution to the furtherance of knowledge or its application, creativity, or artistic insight both within and beyond academia.