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David Wright

B.Mus, M.Mus, GTCL, FTCL, ARCM

David Wright initially worked as an organist, training with Dr Philip Marshall at Lincoln Cathedral and with Harry Gabb at Trinity College of Music, before undergraduate and postgraduate (historical musicology) studies at the University of London, Goldsmiths’ College. He then taught at both TCM and Goldsmiths’ until he was appointed a member of Trinity’s senior management in 1994. He moved to the RCM in 1997, where he was Head of Postgraduate Studies and later Reader in the Social History of Music. He has returned to the RCM as a Research Fellow.

He was a convenor of the ‘Music in Britain’ seminar held at London University’s Institute of Historical Research while working informally with the economic and social historian, Cyril Ehrlich, a formative influence on his making the decision to concentrate on researching British music’s social history. Since 2002, he has written on a broad range of subjects, spanning from the culture and economics of John Stainer and Victorian music publishing, to the entity and repertoire identities of the London Sinfonietta. Recently, he completed a history of the RCM (The Royal College of Music and its Contexts: An Artistic and Social History, Cambridge University Press). His account of the ABRSM, (The Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music: A Social and Cultural History, Boydell Press) was supported by a British Academy award, and investigated the ways that grade music exams established and helped to define British musical taste. With Nick 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.

Selected publications

Wright D C H (2020), The Royal College of Music and its Contexts: An Artistic and Social History, Cambridge University Press [ISBN: 9781-1-107-16338-6].

Wright D C H (2018), Mechanized music and the new market for musical journalism, in M A Colin (ed.) French Renaissance Music and Beyond: Studies in Memory of Frank Dobbins (pp. 677–687), Brepols Publishers [ISBN: 978-2-503-57960-3].

Wright D C H (2016), Novello, John Stainer and commercial opportunities in the nineteenth-century British amateur music market, in C Bashford & R Montemorra Marvin (eds.), The Idea of Art Music in a Commercial World, 1800–1930 (pp. 60-84), Boydell Press [ISBN: 978-1-78327-065-1].

Wright D C H (2013), The Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music: A Social and Cultural History, Boydell Press [ISBN: 978-1-84383-734-3].

Wright D C H (2012), Music and musical performance: histories in disjunction? In C Lawson and R Stowell (eds.) The Cambridge History of Musical Performance (pp. 169-206) [ISBN 9780521896115].

Doctor J, Wright D C H, & Kenyon N (eds.) (2007), The Proms: A New History, Thames and Hudson ISBN: 978-0-500-51352-1. Includes the authored chapter ‘Reinventing the Proms: The Glock and Ponsonby Eras, 1959-85.’

Wright D C H (2005), The London Sinfonietta 1968-2004: a perspective, Twentieth-Century Music 2 (1), 109-136 [DOI].

Wright D C H (2005), The South Kensington music schools and the development of the British conservatoire in the late nineteenth century, Journal of the Royal Musical Association 130 (2), 236-282 [DOI].

Faculties / departments: Research

Research

Latest Publications

Wright, D. C. H. (2020) Book review: 'Music in their time: the memoirs and letters of Dora and Hubert Foss' ed. Stephen Lloyd, Diana Sparkes, & Brian Sparkes. The Musical Times. ISSN 0027-4666 (print) 2397-5318 (online) (In Press)

Wright, D. C. H. (2020) Review article: Inventing how we sing it now: Oxbridge choirs and the ‘tradition’ of modern Cathedral music. Journal of the Royal College of Organists. ISSN 0969-1642 (In Press)

Wright, D. C. H. (2019) Canterbury males: review of ‘The Canterbury Catch Club 1826: music in the frame’ by Chris Price. The Musical Times, 160 (1948). pp. 117-120. ISSN 0027-4666 (print) 2397-5318 (online)

Wright, D. C. H. (2019) The Royal College of Music and its contexts: an artistic and social history. Music since 1900 . Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. ISBN 9781107163386 (hardback) 9781316730294 (e-book)

Wright, D. C. H. (2018) Mechanized music and the new market for musical journalism. In: French Renaissance Music and Beyond: Studies in Memory of Frank Dobbins. Brepols, Turnhout, pp. 677-687. ISBN 978-2-503-57960-3

Wright, D. C. H. (2018) Review of 'Players’ work time: a history of the British Musicians’ Union, 1893–2013' by John Williamson and Martin Cloonan. Popular Music, 37 (1). pp. 134-136. ISSN 0261-1430 (print) 1474-0095 (online)

Wright, D. C. H. (2017) Mancunian mods: review of ‘British musical modernism: the Manchester Group and their contemporaries’ by Philip Rupprecht. The Musical Times, 158 (1939). pp. 109-114. ISSN 0027-4666 (print) 2397-5318 (online)

Wright, D. C. H. (2017) Hailing Hurlstone: review of ‘William Hurlstone: Croydon’s forgotten musical genius’ by Christopher Redwood. The Musical Times, 158 (1938). pp. 112-113. ISSN 0027-4666 (print) 2397-5318 (online)

Wright, D. C. H. (2016) Novello, John Stainer and commercial opportunities in the nineteenth-century British amateur music market. In: The Idea of Art Music in a Commercial World, 1800-1930. Boydell & Brewer, Martlesham, Suffolk. ISBN 9781783270651

Wright, D. C. H. (2015) Business studies: review of 'Michael Costa: England's first conductor: the revolution in musical performance in England, 1830–1880' by John Goulden. The Musical Times, 156 (1932). pp. 107-109. ISSN 0027-4666 (print) 2397-5318 (online)

Wright, D. C. H. (2014) Covalent bond: review of 'Sir George Dyson: his life and music' by Paul Spicer. The Musical Times, 155 (1929). pp. 91-97. ISSN 0027-4666 (print) 2397-5318 (online)

Wright, D. C. H. (2014) Book review: 'Music and performance culture in nineteenth-century Britain: essays in honour of Nicholas Temperley' by Bennett Zon; 'Music and theology in nineteenth-century Britain' by Martin V. Clarke. Victorian Studies, 57 (1). pp. 173-176. ISSN 0042-5222 (print) 1527-2052 (online)

Wright, D. C. H. (2014) 'Middle-classing' the music profession in Victorian Britain. Journal of the Royal College of Organists, 8. pp. 31-39. ISSN 0969-1642

Wright, D. C. H. (2013) Pay check: review of 'Elgar's earnings' by John Drysdale. The Musical Times, 154 (1925). pp. 91-99. ISSN 0027-4666 (print) 2397-5318 (online)

Wright, D. C. H. (2013) Minding the gap: review of 'Music and Soviet power 1917–1932' by Marina Frolova-Walker, Jonathan Walker. The Musical Times, 154 (1923). pp. 119-120. ISSN 0027-4666 (print) 2397-5318 (online)

Wright, D. C. H. (2013) The Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music: a social and cultural history. Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, London. ISBN 9781848495791

Wright, D. C. H. (2012) The music exams of the Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, 1859–1919. In: Music and Institutions in Nineteenth-Century Britain. Music in Nineteenth-Century Britain . Routledge, Abingdon, pp. 161-180. ISBN 9781409405832 (hardback) 9781138268234 (paperback) 9781315596624 (e-book)

Wright, D. C. H. (2012) Music and musical performance: histories in disjunction? In: The Cambridge History of Musical Performance. The Cambridge History of Music . Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 169-206. ISBN 9780521896115 (hardback) 9781316183229 (e-book)

Wright, D. C. H. (2010) Book review: 'Music and the making of middle-class culture: a comparative history of nineteenth-century Leipzig and Birmingham' by Antje Pieper; 'Thomas Tallis and his music in Victorian England' by Suzanne Cole. Victorian Studies, 52 (2). pp. 329-332. ISSN 0042-5222 (print) 1527-2052 (online)

Wright, D. C. H. (2009) Catalyst for change: review of 'The triumph of music: composers, musicians and their audiences, 1700 to the present' by Tim Blanning. The Musical Times, 150 (1909). pp. 103-107. ISSN 0027-4666 (print) 2397-5318 (online)

Wright, D. C. H. (2009) Reaping Tom: review of 'Thomas Beecham: an obsession with music' by John Lucas. The Musical Times, 150 (1907). pp. 119-120. ISSN 0027-4666 (print) 2397-5318 (online)

Wright, D. C. H. (2008) Sacred and profane: review of 'Edmund Rubbra: symphonist' by Leo Black and 'The innumerable dance: the life and work of William Alwyn' by Adrian Wright. The Musical Times, 149 (1905). pp. 103-106. ISSN 0027-4666 (print) 2397-5318 (online)

Wright, D. C. H. (2008) Concerts for coteries, or music for all? Glock's Proms reconsidered. The Musical Times, 149 (1904). pp. 3-34. ISSN 0027-4666 (print) 2397-5318 (online)

Wright, D. C. H. (2008) Situating Stainer: review of 'John Stainer: a life in music' by Jeremy Dibble. The Musical Times, 149 (1903). pp. 95-103. ISSN 0027-4666 (print) 2397-5318 (online)

Wright, D. C. H. and Kenyon, N. and Doctor, J. (2007) Pre-Prom talk. In: BBC Promenade Concerts, 26 July 2007, London. (Unpublished)

Wright, D. C. H. (2007) Reinventing the Proms: the Glock and Ponsonby eras, 1959-85. In: The Proms: a new history. Thames & Hudson, London, pp. 168-209. ISBN 9780500513521

Wright, D. C. H. (2006) Sir Frederick Bridge and the musical furtherance of the 1902 imperial project. In: Europe, Empire, and Spectacle in Nineteenth-Century British Music. Music in Nineteenth-Century Britain . Routledge, Abingdon, pp. 115-130. ISBN 9780754652083 (hardback) 9781315094281 (e-book)

Wright, D. C. H. (2006) Post factum: review of 'The collected letters of Peter Warlock (Philip Heseltine)' edited by Barry Smith. The Musical Times, 147 (1895). pp. 103-107. ISSN 0027-4666 (print) 2397-5318 (online)

Wright, D. C. H. (2005) The London Sinfonietta 1968–2004: a perspective. Twentieth-Century Music, 2 (1). pp. 109-136. ISSN 1478-5722 (print) 1478-5730 (online)

Wright, D. C. H. (2005) The South Kensington music schools and the development of the British conservatoire in the late nineteenth century. Journal of the Royal Musical Association, 130 (2). pp. 236-282. ISSN 0269-0403 (print) 1471-6933 (online)

Wright, D. C. H. (2005) In memoriam: Susan Bradshaw. The Musical Times, 146 (1890). pp. 2-3. ISSN 0027-4666 (print) 2397-5318 (online)

Wright, D. C. H. (2004) Take two: review of 'Performing music in the age of recording' by Robert Philip. The Musical Times, 145 (1889). pp. 98-100. ISSN 0027-4666 (print) 2397-5318 (online)

Wright, D. C. H. and Day, T. and Pryer, A. (2004) Music appreciation: how not to listen to classical music. In: Saul Seminar, 2 November 2004, British Library, London. (Unpublished)

Wright, D. C. H. and Kenyon, N. and Deathridge, J. and Langley, L. (2004) The Proms and London concert life. In: Saul Seminar, 20 April 2004, British Library, London. (Unpublished)

Wright, D. C. H. (2003) Book review: 'The art of stealing time' by Louis Andriessen, ed. Mirjam Zegers, trans. Clare Yates, and 'The music of Louis Andriessen' ed. Maja Trochimczyk. Tempo, 57 (225). pp. 60-61. ISSN 0040-2982 (print) 1478-2286 (online)

Wright, D. C. H. (2003) Networking: review article. The Musical Times, 144 (1883). pp. 67-69. ISSN 0027-4666 (print) 2397-5318 (online)

Wright, D. C. H. (2003) Death's bright angels: review article. The Musical Times, 144 (1882). pp. 44-47. ISSN 0027-4666 (print) 2397-5318 (online)

Wright, D. C. H. (2003) Grove's role in the founding of the RCM. In: George Grove, Music and Victorian Culture. Palgrave Macmillan, London, pp. 219-244. ISBN 978-0-333-94804-0 (hardback)

Wright, D. C. H. (2002) Uttered music: review of 'Britten's musical language' by Philip Rupprecht. The Musical Times, 143 (1880). pp. 66-67. ISSN 0027-4666 (print) 2397-5318 (online)

Wright, D. C. H. (2002) Going for green: review of 'The English musical Renaissance 1840-1940: constructing a national music' by Merion Hughes and Robert Stradling. The Musical Times, 143 (1879). pp. 47-50. ISSN 0027-4666 (print) 2397-5318 (online)

Wright, D. C. H. (2001) Altered states: review of 'Making music modern: New York in the 1920s' by Carol J. Oja; 'America's musical life: a history' by Richard Crawford. The Musical Times, 142 (1877). pp. 62-63. ISSN 0027-4666 (print) 2397-5318 (online)

Wright, D. C. H. (2001) In the doll's house: review of 'Sviatoslav Richter: notebooks and conversations' by Bruno Monsaingeon, translated by Stewart Spencer. The Musical Times, 142 (1875). pp. 77-78. ISSN 0027-4666 (print) 2397-5318 (online)

Wright, D. C. H. (2001) Dead and gone? Review of 'The music of John Ireland' by Fiona Richards. The Musical Times, 142 (1874). pp. 58-59. ISSN 0027-4666 (print) 2397-5318 (online)

Wright, D. C. H. (2001) Grove Music Online article: London (i) VII: Musical life since 1945: 1. Introduction; 3. Concert life: (i) Postwar consolidation 1945–60, (ii) New repertories, 1960–mid-1980s, (iii) Diversity and marketing initiatives from the mid-1980s; 4: Contemporary music. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Wright, D. C. H. (2001) Grove Music Online article: Matthews, Colin. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Wright, D. C. H. (2001) Grove Music Online article: Saxton, Robert. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Wright, D. C. H. (2001) Grove Music Online article: Weir, Judith. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Wright, D. C. H. (2001) Grove Music Online article: Woolrich, John. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Wright, D. C. H. (2001) Robert Saxton in the 1990s. Tempo (215). pp. 2-6. ISSN 0040-2982 (print) 1478-2286 (online)

Hirst, L. and Wright, D. C. H. (2000) Alternative voices: contemporary vocal techniques. In: The Cambridge Companion to Singing. Cambridge Companions to Music (26). Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 192-203. ISBN 9780521627092 (paperback) 9781139796972 (e-book)

Wright, D. C. H. (2000) Proms: Louis Andriessen's 'Trilogy of the Last Day'. Tempo (211). pp. 30-31. ISSN 0040-2982 (print) 1478-2286 (online)

Wright, D. C. H. (1997) Praxis makes perfect: review of 'Analytical strategies and musical interpretation' ed. Craig Ayrey and Mark Everist. The Musical Times, 138 (1853). p. 35. ISSN 0027-4666 (print) 2397-5318 (online)

Wright, D. C. H. (1996) Unscrambling myths: review of 'Shostakovitch studies' ed. David Fanning. The Musical Times, 137 (1846). p. 29. ISSN 0027-4666 (print) 2397-5318 (online)

Wright, D. C. H. (1995) CD reviews: music by Colin Matthews and John Lambert. The Musical Times, 136 (1833). p. 607. ISSN 0027-4666 (print) 2397-5318 (online)

Wright, D. C. H. (1995) Book review: 'Max: the life and music of Peter Maxwell Davies' by Mike Seabrook. The Musical Times, 136 (1824). pp. 97-99. ISSN 0027-4666 (print) 2397-5318 (online)

Wright, D. C. H. and Ritterman, J. (1994) Degrees of choice. The Musical Times, 135 (1818). pp. 522-525. ISSN 0027-4666 (print) 2397-5318 (online)

Wright, D. C. H. (1994) Clicks, clocks & claques. The Musical Times, 135 (1817). pp. 426-431. ISSN 0027-4666 (print) 2397-5318 (online)

Wright, D. C. H. (1994) Book review: 'Francis Poulenc' by Wilfrid Mellers. Tempo (189). pp. 33-35. ISSN 0040-2982 (print) 1478-2286 (online)

Wright, D. C. H. (1994) Coups de tête: review article. The Musical Times, 135 (1813). pp. 153-155. ISSN 0027-4666 (print) 2397-5318 (online)

Wright, D. C. H. (1993) Louis Andriessen: polity, time, speed, substance. Tempo (187). pp. 7-14. ISSN 0040-2982 (print) 1478-2286 (online)

Wright, D. C. H. (1993) Maxims past and present (music review). The Musical Times, 134 (1810). pp. 693-695. ISSN 0027-4666 (print) 2397-5318 (online)

Wright, D. C. H. (1993) Weir to now? The Musical Times, 134 (1806). pp. 432-437. ISSN 0027-4666 (print) 2397-5318 (online)

Wright, D. C. H. (1993) Book review: 'Creative sources for the music of Toru Takemitsu' by Noriko Ohtake. The Musical Times, 134 (1805). p. 399. ISSN 0027-4666 (print) 2397-5318 (online)

Wright, D. C. H. (1993) Book review: 'Sorabji: a critical celebration' ed. Paul Rapoport. The Musical Times, 134 (1805). p. 397. ISSN 0027-4666 (print) 2397-5318 (online)

Wright, D. C. H. (1993) Book review: 'Harvard composers: Walter Piston and his students, from Elliott Carter to Frederic Rzewski' by Howard Pollack. The Musical Times, 134 (1804). p. 340. ISSN 0027-4666 (print) 2397-5318 (online)

Wright, D. C. H. (1993) Book reviews: 'New tonality' ed. Paul Moravec and 'What's the matter with today's experimental music? Organized sound too rarely heard' by Leigh Landy. Tempo (185). pp. 36-37. ISSN 0040-2982 (print) 1478-2286 (online)

Wright, D. C. H. (1993) Book review: 'Charles Seeger: a life in American music' by Ann M. Pescatello. Musical Times, 134 (1803). p. 270. ISSN 0027-4666 (print) 2397-5318 (online)

Wright, D. C. H. (1993) A style too far? (Recording review). The Musical Times, 134 (1802). pp. 215-217. ISSN 0027-4666 (print) 2397-5318 (online)

Wright, D. C. H. (1993) Ferneyhough at fifty. The Musical Times, 134 (1801). pp. 125-128. ISSN 0027-4666 (print) 2397-5318 (online)

Wright, D. C. H. (1993) Book review: 'Samuel Barber: the composer and his music' by Barbara B. Heyman. The Musical Times, 134 (1800). p. 91. ISSN 0027-4666 (print) 2397-5318 (online)

Wright, D. C. H. (1993) Looking for Barbara Kolb. The Musical Times, 134 (1799). pp. 9-12. ISSN 0027-4666 (print) 2397-5318 (online)

Wright, D. C. H. (1992) 1992 Prom premières. Tempo (183). pp. 33-34. ISSN 0040-2982 (print) 1478-2286 (online)

Wright, D. C. H. (1992) Book review: 'Charles Ives: my father's song' by Stuart Feder. The Musical Times, 133 (1798). p. 628. ISSN 0027-4666 (print) 2397-5318 (online)

Wright, D. C. H. (1992) Book review: 'The correspondence of Roger Sessions' ed. Andrea Olmstead. The Musical Times, 133 (1798). p. 635. ISSN 0027-4666 (print) 2397-5318 (online)

Wright, D. C. H. (1992) Critical challenge: review of 'Stocktakings from an apprenticeship' by Pierre Boulez, translated by Stephen Walsh. The Musical Times, 133 (1795). pp. 464-465. ISSN 0027-4666 (print) 2397-5318 (online)

Wright, D. C. H. (1992) Expanding covers. The Musical Times, 133 (1795). pp. 452-453. ISSN 0027-4666 (print) 2397-5318 (online)

Wright, D. C. H. (1992) Turgid encounters: review of 'American composers: dialogues on contemporary music' by Edward Strickland. The Musical Times, 133 (1795). p. 462. ISSN 0027-4666 (print) 2397-5318 (online)

Wright, D. C. H. (1992) Cry of the earth. The Musical Times, 133 (1793). pp. 339-341. ISSN 0027-4666 (print) 2397-5318 (online)

Wright, D. C. H. (1992) Individually enterprising. The Musical Times, 133 (1790). pp. 162-165. ISSN 0027-4666 (print) 2397-5318 (online)

Wright, D. C. H. (1992) Opening windows: review of 'American experimental music, 1890-1940' by David Nicholls. The Musical Times, 133 (1789). p. 130. ISSN 0027-4666 (print) 2397-5318 (online)

Wright, D. C. H. (1991) Proms 2: Peter Paul Nash. Tempo (179). pp. 55-56. ISSN 0040-2982 (print) 1478-2286 (online)

Wright, D. C. H. (1991) Russian spring. Tempo (177). pp. 45-46. ISSN 0040-2982 (print) 1478-2286 (online)

Wright, D. C. H. (1990) Autonomy: review of 'Stravinsky: the music box and the nightingale' by Daniel Albright. The Musical Times, 131 (1773). p. 601. ISSN 0027-4666 (print) 2397-5318 (online)

Wright, D. C. H. (1990) John Woolrich: expanding continuities. The Musical Times, 131 (1772). pp. 540-541. ISSN 0027-4666 (print) 2397-5318 (online)

Wright, D. C. H. (1990) Virgin music: review of 'New sounds: the Virgin guide to new music' by John Schaefer. The Musical Times, 131 (1772). pp. 547-548. ISSN 0027-4666 (print) 2397-5318 (online)

Wright, D. C. H. (1990) Portraits (review article). The Musical Times, 131 (1771). pp. 485-486. ISSN 0027-4666 (print) 2397-5318 (online)

Wright, D. C. H. (1990) At the threshold of eternity: Robert Saxton on disc. The Musical Times, 131 (1769). pp. 363-364. ISSN 0027-4666 (print) 2397-5318 (online)

Wright, D. C. H. (1990) Book review: 'New music 89' ed. Michael Finnissy and Roger Wright. The Musical Times, 131 (1789). p. 367. ISSN 0027-4666 (print) 2397-5318 (online)

Wright, D. C. H. (1988) New British. The Musical Times, 129 (1750). p. 671. ISSN 0027-4666 (print) 2397-5318 (online)

Contact

For enquires please contact:

David Wright

Research Fellow

research@rcm.ac.uk

david.wright@rcm.ac.uk