Dr Leah Broad
Junior Research Fellow & Faculty Member, Christ Church
Twentieth century music; music and gender; incidental music; Nordic music; British music
I’m a historical musicologist, and all my work focuses on unfamiliar histories. I’m fascinated by the people and music who are at the margins of histories about Western Art Music. Currently, my research is focused on women composers in twentieth century Britain. I’m working particularly on four composers — Ethel Smyth, Rebecca Clarke, Dorothy Howell, and Doreen Carwithen. The project establishes their relative significance in their lifetimes, explores how this changes our narratives about British music of this period, and looks at how their music has been received since their death.
Previously I’ve worked on incidental music in the Nordic countries. I wrote my thesis on theatre productions for which music was written by Jean Sibelius, Ture Rangström, and Wilhelm Stenhammar. Viewing the music as an integral part of the production, I looked at how music was involved in the attempt to build a ‘people’s theatre’ in Sweden.
Research communication forms a huge part of my work. I’m currently writing a group biography of Smyth, Clarke, Howell and Carwithen for Faber & Faber, and was a BBC/AHRC New Generation Thinker and winner of the 2015 Observer/Anthony Burgess Prize for Arts Journalism.
I teach music history, music analysis, and musical thought and scholarship. Within these areas I focus particularly on music and gender, and musical multimedia.
More information about my work can be found on my website here, or you can follow me on Twitter here. I am always happy to talk to journalists and broadcasters, for anything from light-hearted classical music to in-depth programmes.
- Quartet (Faber & Faber, forthcoming)
- ‘Scaramouche, Scaramouche: Sibelius on Stage’, Journal of the Royal Musical Association 145/2 (2020), 417-456
- ‘Game of Thrones: Music in Complex TV’, Music and the Moving Image 13/1 (2020), 21-42
- ‘Clear, happy, and naïve: Wilhelm Stenhammar’s Music for As You Like It’, Music & Letters, Vol. 99/3 (2018), 352-385
- ‘Composing a Nordic Renaissance: Ture Rangström’s Music for Till Damaskus (III)’, Music’s Nordic Breakthrough: Aesthetics, Modernity, and Cultural Exchange, 1890-1930 Philip Bullock & Daniel M. Grimley (Woodbridge: The Boydell Press, 2021), 151-17
- ‘Karin Hellqvist: Flock (Bauckholt, Smørdal, Strindberg, Bång, Barrett)’, TEMPO 74/293 (2020), 92-94
- ‘Amanda Maier: Violin Concerto in D Minor, Piano Quartet in E Minor, Swedish Tunes and Dances; Sonata for Violin and Piano, Four Songs; Works for Piano’, 19th-Century Music Review (published online 7 May 2019), 1-5
- ‘BBC Proms 2015: Gary Carpenter, Anders Hillborg, Ørjan Matre, Alissa Firsova, B Tommy Andersson’, TEMPO, Vol. 70/275 (2016), 84-5
- ‘Harrison Birtwistle Responses: Sweet disorder and the carefully careless for piano and orchestra, Royal Festival Hall, London’, TEMPO, Vol. 69/272 (2015), 61-2
- Record Review, BBC Radio 3, 28 Nov. 2020 (Review of new recordings of works by Jean Sibelius, Kalevi Aho, Erkki-Sven Tüür)
- Ideas: Beethoven’s Scowl on CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation), 22 Sept. 2020 (Guest academic in discussion about Beethoven’s impact one music history)
- Radio 3 Time Travellers, regularly from 2019-2021 (Short segments on music history, mainly about women in music)
- Radio 3 in Concert interval talks, from 2018 (Discussions about music by composers including Sibelius and Nielsen)
- BBC Proms Talks, Aug. 2018 & 2019 (Broadcast pre-concert talks on works by Outi Tarkiainin, Shostakovich, Rachmaninoff, and Sibelius)
- BBC Radio Oxford, 29 Jan. & 1 Aug. 2019 (Introductions to classical music, comparing composers and biscuits)
- Radio 3 Music Matters, 9 Mar. 2019 (Discussion about representations of women composers in the media and on academic syllabi)
- BBC Arts, 2017 (Mini documentary on music in Shakespeare)
- Radio 3 Free Thinking, 23 Jun. 2016 (Discussion about Edvard Munch)