Graduate Research Colloquium: Dr Reuben Phillips (University of Oxford)

Free to attend, no registration required. Please note that this event is no longer hybrid - we apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Housed today in the archive of Vienna’s Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde, the collection of books, manuscripts and printed music that belonged to the composer Johannes Brahms has a multi-facetted music-historical significance. As is widely acknowledged, the library offers insights into Brahms’s cultural and musical world, but the collection is also important for the documentary heritage of Western art music more generally: to be found here, in addition to Brahms’s own works, are nineteenth-century collected editions and miniature scores, historical music treatises, as well as autograph manuscripts, particularly from earlier composers in the Austro-Germanic musical canon. Drawing on archival materials, newspaper reports and historical photographs, in this talk I consider the life of Brahms’s library after the composer’s death in 1897 with a particular emphasis on the ways in which this private collection has been brought into public view over the course of the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.

Reuben Phillips is a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow at the Faculty of Music. He completed a PhD at Princeton University and is a co-editor of the recent Oxford University Press volume Rethinking Brahms. In the academic year 2022–23 he was affiliated to the University of Vienna and carried out research at the archive of the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde supported by a grant from the Österreichischer Austauschdienst. He has been the recipient of an Edison Fellowship from the British Library and of awards and fellowships from the University of Edinburgh’s Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst, the Staatliches Institut für Musikforschung in Berlin, and the American Brahms Society. His articles are published and forthcoming in the Musical Quarterly, the Journal of the Royal Musical Association, Music & Letters, and 19th-Century Music.

About the series:
The Colloquia feature leading figures, as well as younger scholars, from across the world. They present their research in papers on all kinds of music-related topics. Graduate students Stephanie Shon and Francis Bertschinger organise the series. Presentations are followed by discussion and a drinks reception. Students, staff and the general public are warmly encouraged to attend, in person or online. Free and open to all.