Back to top      

Professor Robert Adlington

Professor Robert Adlington is Head of Research & Professor of Musicology.

A musicologist specialising in modernist, avant-garde and experimental music since 1960, Professor Robert Adlington, Head of Research & Professor of Musicology recently joined London’s Royal College of Music. He is the author of books on Harrison Birtwistle, Louis Andriessen, and avant-garde music in 1960s Amsterdam, and editor of volumes on new music theatre, music and communism, and music and democracy. His journal articles and book chapters include studies of Luigi Nono, Luciano Berio, British experimental music theatre of the early 1960s, musical modernism, and musical temporality.

Robert’s recent research explores the relationship of music and democracy. A new monograph, Musical Models of Democracy (OUP, 2023), examines the different ways in which musicians have sought to embody democratic principles within their practice. Following the lead of recent theorists of democracy, emphasis is given to the heterogeneity of democracy as a concept, and to the tendency for individual models of democracy to reflect particular, situated interests.

Robert is a senior researcher on the ERC-funded digital humanities project ‘Interactive Research in Music as Sound’ (IRiMaS). He has served in editorial roles for the journals Music Analysis, Twentieth-Century Music, and the Tijdschrift voor de Koninklijke Vereniging voor Nederlandse Muziekgeschiedenis.

From 2018 to 2022 he acted as Deputy Chair of Sub-panel 33 (Music, Drama, Dance, the Performing Arts, Film and Screen Studies) for the Research Excellence Framework (REF2021).

He previously worked at the University of Huddersfield, where he held the Queen’s Anniversary Prize Chair in Contemporary Music, and the University of Nottingham, where he was at various times Director of Research, Director of Postgraduate Studies, Admissions Officer and Head of Department.

Selected publications

Adlington R and Buch E (eds.) (2020), Finding Democracy in Music, Routledge [DOI]. 

Adlington R (ed.) (2019), New Music Theatre in Europe: Transformations Between 1955-1975, Routledge [DOI]. 

Adlington R (2018), Politics and the popular in British music theatre of the Vietnam era, Journal of the Royal Musical Association, 143 (2), 433-71 [DOI].  

Adlington R (2018), Modernism: the people’s music? in B Heile and C Wilson (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Musical Modernism, (pp. 216-38), Routledge [DOI]. 

Adlington R (2016), The crises of sense: listening to Berio’s Un re in ascolto, in G Ferrari (ed.), Le Théâtre Musical de Luciano Berio, (pp. 53-78), L’Harmattan [LINK]. 

Adlington R (2016), Whose voices? The fate of Luigi Nono’s Voci destroying muros, Journal of the American Musicological Society, 69 (1), 179-236 [DOI]. 

Adlington R (2013), Composing Dissent: Avant-garde Music in 1960s Amsterdam, Oxford University Press [DOI]. 

Adlington R (ed.) (2013), Red Strains: Music and Communism Outside the Communist Bloc, British Academy/Oxford University Press [DOI].  

Faculties / departments: Research

Research

Research areas

Musicology

 

Latest Publications

Adlington, R. (2020) Curating difference. In: Finding Democracy in Music. Musical Cultures of the Twentieth Century . Routledge. ISBN 9780367486921 (hardback) 9780367499457 (paperback) 9780367486938 (e-book)

Adlington, R. (2019) Introduction: why ‘new music theatre’ now? In: New Music Theatre in Europe: Transformations between 1955-1975. Musical Cultures of the Twentieth Century . Routledge. ISBN 9781138323018 (hardback) 9780367730949 (paperback) 9780429451669 (e-book)

Adlington, R. (2019) Music together, music apart: on democratic communities. Journal of the Royal Musical Association, 144 (1). pp. 191-204. ISSN 0269-0403 (print), 1471-6933 (online)

Adlington, R. (2018) Modernism: the people’s music? In: The Routledge Research Companion to Modernism in Music. Routledge Music Companions . Routledge. ISBN 9781472470409 (hardback) 9780367733032 (paperback) 9781315613291 (e-book)

Adlington, R. (2018) Politics and the popular in British music theatre of the Vietnam era. Journal of the Royal Musical Association, 143 (2). pp. 433-471. ISSN 0269-0403 (print), 1471-6933 (online)

Adlington, R. (2016) The crises of sense: listening to Berio’s Un re in ascolto. In: Le Théâtre Musical de Luciano Berio. L'Harmattan, Paris, pp. 53-78. ISBN 9782336303871

Adlington, R. (2016) Whose voices? The fate of Luigi Nono’s Voci destroying muros. Journal of the American Musicological Society, 69 (1). pp. 179-236. ISSN 0003-0139 (print) 1547-3848 (online)

Adlington, R. and Johnson, J. (2014) Editorial: twentieth-century music – ten years on. Twentieth-Century Music, 11 (1). pp. 3-5. ISSN 1478-5722 (print) 1478-5730 (online)

Adlington, R. (2013) Composing dissent: avant-garde music in 1960s Amsterdam. Oxford University Press, Oxford. ISBN 9780199981014 (hardback) 9780199346202 (e-book)

Adlington, R. (2013) Communisms, communist musics. In: Red Strains: Music and Communism Outside the Communist Bloc. British Academy/Oxford University Press, London, pp. 1-20. ISBN 9780197265390 (hardback) 9780191760440 (e-book)

Adlington, R. (2013) Expressive revolutions: '1968' and music in the Netherlands. In: Music and Protest in 1968. Music since 1900 . Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 12-28. ISBN 9781107007321 (hardback) 9781107504318 (paperback) 9781107240001 (e-book)

Adlington, R. (2009) Introduction: avant-garde music and the sixties. In: Sound Commitments: Avant-garde Music and the Sixties. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp. 3-14. ISBN 9780195336658 (paperback) 9780199868551 (e-book)

Adlington, R. (2009) Forms of opposition at the “Politiek‐Demonstratief Experimenteel” concert. In: Sound Commitments: Avant-garde Music and the Sixties. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp. 56-77. ISBN 9780195336658 (paperback) 9780199868551 (e-book)

Adlington, R. (2009) Tuning in and dropping out: the disturbance of the Dutch premiere of Stockhausen's Stimmung. Music & Letters, 90 (1). pp. 94-112. ISSN 0027-4224 (print) 1477-4631 (online)

Adlington, R. (2008) Book review: 'Music of the twentieth century: a study of its elements and structure' by Ton de Leeuw. Music & Letters, 89 (3). pp. 460-462. ISSN 0027-4224 (print) 1477-4631 (online)

Adlington, R. (2008) 1968 and new music in the Netherlands. In: Musikkulturen in der Revolte: Studien zu Rock, Avantgarde und Klassik im Umfeld von "1968" [Music Cultures in the Revolt: Studies on Rock, Avant-garde and Classical in the Context of "1968"]. Franz Steiner Verlag, Stuttgart, pp. 103-114. ISBN 978-3-515-09461-0

Adlington, R. (2007) ‘A sort of guerrilla’: Che at the opera. Cambridge Opera Journal, 19 (2). pp. 167-193. ISSN 0954-5867 (print) 1474-0621 (online)

Adlington, R. (2007) Organizing labor: composers, performers, and “the renewal of musical practice” in the Netherlands, 1969–72. The Musical Quarterly, 90 (3-4). pp. 539-577. ISSN 0027-4631 (print) 1741-8399 (online)

Adlington, R. (2005) Music theatre since the 1960s. In: The Cambridge Companion to Twentieth-Century Opera. Cambridge Companions to Music . Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 223-243. ISBN 9780521780094 (hardback) 9780521783934 (paperback) 9781139797207 (e-book)

Adlington, R. and Fuller, S. (2005) Editorial. Twentieth-Century Music, 2 (1). pp. 3-5. ISSN 1478-5722 (print) 1478-5730 (online)

Adlington, R. (2005) Louis Andriessen, Hanns Eisler, and the Lehrstück. Journal of Musicology, 21 (3). pp. 381-417. ISSN 0277-9269 (print) 1533-8347 (online)

Adlington, R. (2004) Louis Andriessen: De Staat. Routledge. ISBN 9781138400566 (hardback) 9780754609254 (paperback) 9781351218863 (e-book)

Adlington, R. (2003) In the shadows of song: Birtwistle’s Nine Movements for String Quartet. In: Aspects of British Music of the 1990s. Routledge. ISBN 9780754630418 (hardback) 9781138258419 (paperback) 9781315096803 (e-book)

Adlington, R. (2003) A conversation with Harrison Birtwistle. In: Aspects of British Music of the 1990s. Routledge, pp. 111-118. ISBN 9780754630418 (hardback) 9781138258419 (paperback) 9781315096803 (e-book)

Adlington, R. (2003) Moving beyond motion: metaphors for changing sound. Journal of the Royal Musical Association, 128 (2). pp. 297-318. ISSN 0269-0403 (print) 1471-6933 (online)

Adlington, R. (2002) 'Good lodging': Harrison Birtwistle's reception of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. In: King Arthur in Music. Arthurian Studies . Boydell & Brewer, Martlesham, pp. 127-143. ISBN 9780859917674 (hardback) 9781846150968 (e-book)

Adlington, R. (2002) Book review: 'Revealing masks: exotic influences and ritualized performance in modernist music theater' by W. Anthony Sheppard. Music & Letters, 83 (2). pp. 319-321. ISSN 0027-4224 (print) 1477-4631 (online)

Adlington, R. (2001) Book review: Singing Archaeology: Philip Glass's 'Akhnaten' by J Richardson; Four Musical Minimalists: La Monte Young, Terry Riley, Steve Reich, Philip Glass by K Potter; Jonathan Harvey by A Whittall. Music & Letters, 82 (3). pp. 487-491. ISSN 0027-4224 (print) 1477-4631 (online)

Adlington, R. (2001) Counting time, countering time: Louis Andriessen’s De Tijd. Indiana Theory Review, 22 (1). pp. 1-35. ISSN 0271-8022 (print) 2474-7777 (online)

Adlington, R. (2001) Taking soundings: music, non-music and Slave Pianos. In: Slave Pianos: A Diagnosis, 1998-2001. Revolver, Frankfurt, pp. 7-15. ISBN 978-3-934823-17-4

Adlington, R. (2000) The music of Harrison Birtwistle. Music in the Twentieth Century . Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. ISBN 9780521630825 (hardback) 9780521027809 (paperback)

Adlington, R. (1999) The music of Rebecca Saunders: into the sensuous world. The Musical Times, 140 (1868). pp. 48-56. ISSN 0027-4666 (print) 2397-5318 (online)

Adlington, R. (1997) Book review: 'Shaping time: music, the brain, and performance' by David Epstein. Music Analysis, 16 (1). pp. 155-171. ISSN 0262-5245 (print) 1468-2249 (online)

Adlington, R. (1996) Harrison Birtwistle's recent music. Tempo (196). pp. 2-8. ISSN 0040-2982 (print) 1478-2286 (online)

Adlington, R. (1995) Arnold Whittall: a bibliography. Music Analysis, 14 (2/3). pp. 141-160. ISSN 0262-5245 (print) 1468-2249 (online)

Adlington, R. (1994) Review: Brian Ferneyhough: Carceri d'Invenzione III, Terrain. The Musical Times, 135 (1817). pp. 450-451. ISSN 0027-4666 (print) 2397-5318 (online)

Contact

For enquiries please contact:

Professor Robert Adlington

Head of Research

0207 591 4312

research@rcm.ac.uk

Robert.Adlington@rcm.ac.uk