Dan Grimley wins VC Public Engagement with Research Award

A project, led by Professor Daniel Grimley and his Research Assistant Dr Joanna Bullivant, has won a Project Award in this year’s Vice-Chancellor’s Public Engagement with Research Awards.

The announcement was made at an awards ceremony at Keble College, Oxford, on 10th July hosted by Vice-Chancellor Professor Louise Richardson.

The project explored the cosmopolitan connections of Delius and his creative affinity with the landscapes and cultures of other countries. The team created a catalogue of his works which demonstrated his painstaking compositional process and the multiple versions his pieces went through as he refined them.

We worked with the British Library, the Delius Trust and the Villiers Quartet to create a permanent digital exhibition of Delius’s manuscripts supported by a range of outreach activities,” says Professor Grimley.

The objectives of the project were to enable wider understanding and appreciation of musical sources, using Delius as a rich case study through access to the manuscripts, to show what they mean and to provide a holistic view of the whole life-cycle of a musical work.

Engagement activities included: a commercially released recording; a schools workshop with the Oxfordshire County Youth Orchestra, and a performance by the orchestra for primary age children; a workshop with the Villiers String Quartet and Oxford students using digital technology; and a seminar for GSCE and A-level students on composer manuscripts.

It was very interesting to see how composers wrote their music and how they didn’t write it from start to finish but a little bit at a time,” commented a participating school student.

This was fundamentally a team effort, bringing together musicologists, computer scientists, performers and heritage experts, leading to a number of collaborative projects and papers. This research also lays the foundation for future researchers in heritage and digital musicology,” adds Professor Grimley.

Professor Alison Woollard, Academic Champion for Public Engagement with Research, University of Oxford says:

“These awards highlight the many ways that Oxford’s researchers engage with the public. This includes informing and empowering people by sharing research findings; working in partnership with communities to shape research and enabling citizens to take part in the research by collecting and analysing data through Citizen Science. These winning projects also demonstrate that excellence in engagement results in a ‘win-win’ for both researchers and publics alike.”