Dr Uri Smilansky

Postdoctoral Research Fellow on the ECR-funded "Music and Late Medieval European Courtly Cultures" research project (MALMECC)

PhD (University of Exeter)

Research

Uri is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow on the ERC-funded ‘Music and Late Medieval European Courtly Cultures’ research project (MALMECC), focusing on music as cultural artefacts within fourteenth century courtly culture, be they physically manifest in luxury books, experienced in performance or demonstrated through mediating visuality or the displays of economic or intellectual power. In particular, he is interested in the presentation of individual musical identity as they interact with a wide range of stakeholders, from scribes and performers to both primary and secondary patrons. In this, he concentrates on the figure of Guillaume de Machaut as he was perceived throughout Europe, as well as composers now usually placed under the umbrella term Ars Subtilior.

PROFILE

Having completed his PhD at the University of Exeter under Yolanda Plumley and Giuliano Di Bacco (‘Rethinking Ars Subtilior: Context, Language, Study and Performance’, 2010), Uri continued his research there, joining the project ‘The Works of Guillaume de Machaut: Music, Image, Text in the Middle Ages’ as a postdoctoral researcher. This was followed by stints of teaching at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, the educational arm of Shakespeare’s Globe, and a three-year Teaching Fellowship at King’s College London.

Uri is also an active Medieval Fiddle, Renaissance Viol and Recorder player, performing, touring and recording with a number of leading Early Music ensembles including the Taverner Consort & Players, Hathor Consort, English Cornett & Sackbut Ensemble, inEcho, Leones, Le Miroir de Musique, La Morra, The Earle His Viols, Perlaro, Dulce Melos, Mediva and The Phoenix Ensemble. Leading also his own ensembles (Le Basile, dedicated to Medieval music and A Garden of Eloquence for later repertoires), he also teaches performance, performance practice and historical musicianship skills.

RECENT PUBLICATIONS

With R. Barton Palmer and Domenic Leo, The Boethian Poems, in R. Barton Palmer and Yolanda Plumley (eds), Guillaume de Machaut: The Complete Poetry & Music vol. 2 (TEAMS, Medieval Institute Publications: Michigan, 2019).

The entries ‘Fulda, Adam von’, ‘Gerle, Hans’, ‘Machaut, Guillaume de’, ‘Monachus, Guilielmus’, ‘Proportions, the system of’, ‘Text underlay’ and ‘Vaillant, Johannes’ in Colin Lawson and Robin Stowell (eds), The Cambridge Encyclopaedia of Historical Performance in Music (Cambridge University Press, 2018), pp. 251, 265, 380, 411, 514, 610-1, and 664 respectively.

‘Machaut and Prague: A Rare New Sighting?’ Early Music, xlvi no. 2 (July, 2018), pp. 211-223.

Review: ‘Instrumentalists and Renaissance Culture, 1420-1600: Players of Function and Fantasy. By Victor Coelho and Keith Polk’, in Music & Letters. xcviii (3, 1) (2017), pp. 468-70.

‘The Ars Subtilior as an International Style’ in Stefan Morent, Silke Leopold and Joachim Steinheuer (eds), Europäische Musikkultur im Kontext des Konstanzer Konzils (Thorbecke: Memmingen, 2017), pp. 225-49.

With R. Barton Palmer and Domenic Leo, The Debate Poems: Le Jugement dou Roy de Behaigne, Le Jugement dou Roy de Navarre, Le Lay de Plour, in R. Barton Palmer and Yolanda Plumley (eds), Guillaume de Machaut: The Complete Poetry & Music vol. 1 (TEAMS, Medieval Institute Publications: Michigan, 2016).

‘Broadening the contratenor horizon—commentary on Singe Rotter-Broman, ‘Contratenor parts in polyphonic songs from the later Trecento (Italy, ca. 1400): Challenges for concepts of polyphony and improvisation’’, Journal of Interdisciplinary Music Studies, viii, special issue: ‘Cognition of Early Polyphony’ (2014-16), pp. 82-3.

With Yolanda Plumley, ‘Béarn’, in David Wallace (ed.), Europe: A Literary History, 1348-1418 (Oxford University Press, 2016) vol. 1, pp. 156-71.

Review: ‘Douglas Kelly, Machaut and the Medieval Apprenticeship Tradition: Truth, Fiction and Poetic Craft’, Mediavistik, xxviii (2015), pp. 587-90.

‘L’essor du compositeur-célébrité: stratégies et techniques de l’auto-définition musicale au 14e siècle’, Revue Analyse Musicale, lxxviii (2015), pp. 13-21.