Professor Peter Franklin

Professor Peter Franklin took up the post of Reader in Music at Oxford in 1996, when he became the first Fellow in Music at St Catherine’s College. His primary areas of research interest are Gustav Mahler and the post-romantic symphony, early twentieth-century Austrian and German opera (particularly Franz Schreker) and Hollywood film music (including the role of European emigré composers like Korngold and Steiner in the 1930s and ’40s). Books and examples of his more recent work are listed in Publications. In the Fall of 2010 he was Visiting Bloch Professor at the University of California in Berkeley and the lectures he gave there were published in 2014 by University of California Press as Reclaiming Late-Romantic Music: Singing Devils and Distant Sounds. He is a member of the Editorial Boards of 19th-Century Music, The Wagner Journal and is on the Advisory Board of Nineteenth-Century Music Review.


The Idea of Music. Schoenberg and Others, pp.188, London, Macmillan 1985

Mahler. Symphony no.3, Cambridge Music Handbooks, pp.127. Cambridge. CUP 1991

The Life of Mahler, pp.228. Cambridge, CUP 1997 [also translated into Japanese and Chinese]

Seeing Through Music, Gender and Modernism in Classic Hollywood Film Scores (Oxford University Press 2011)

Reclaiming Late-Romantic Music: Singing Devils and Distant Sounds (University of California Press 2014)

[As Editor:]

Natalie Bauer-Lechner: Recollections of Gustav Mahler (translated by Dika Newlin), London 1980.

Recent Work

‘Strauss as the pervert? Gendered subjectivity, Ambiguous Meaning’ in Christopher Moore & Philip Purvis (eds.), Music and Camp (Middletown Connecticut: Weslyan University Press, 2018), 159-80

‘Mahler’s Overwhelming Climaxes: The Symphony as Mass Medium’ in Nineteenth-Century Music Review, Vol.15/3 [online publication 26 June 2018], 391-404 (print publication December 2018);

‘ “Come to the mirror!” Phantoms of the Opera – Staging the City’ in Suzanne Aspden (ed.), Operatic Geographies: The Place of Opera and the Opera House (Chicago & London: University of Chicago Press 2019), 162-77.

‘Modernism’ in Morten Kristiansen and Joseph E. Jones (eds.): Richard Strauss in Context (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2020), 229-37.

‘Film and Recent Popular Culture’ (Ch.34) in Charles Youmans (ed.), Mahler in Context (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2021), 291-99

‘ “Deeds of Music” in Bourgeois Opera (What the Listener Sees…)’ in Carlo Cenciarelli (ed): The Oxford Handbook of Listening Cinematically (OUP March 2021, electronic publication [book due April 2021]).

‘Reading the Popular Pessimist: Thought, Feeling and Dance in Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic Narrative’ in Philip Ross Bullock, ed., Rachmaninoff and His World  (Chicago & London: University of Chicago Press, 2022), 2-25. 

Related Websites

Research interests in late 19th- and early 20th-century European music and culture (especially opera and the symphony), in modernism, critical theory and music in mass-entertainment film.