Biggest Royal Musical Association conference ever heads to Liverpool

Bookings are now being taken for the prestigious Royal Musical Association (RMA) conference 2017, hosted by the University of Liverpool’s Department of Music in September.

The conference will feature the highest number of contributors in the 53-year history of the RMA, with a record 220 speakers and musicians from countless universities and colleges in eighteen different countries.

It is the single academic event in the UK calendar seeking to celebrate the entire range of current musical research in progress around the world in all its richness and diversity.

Featuring a packed schedule of panel sessions and papers, lecture recitals and lectures, presentations will encompass a wide variety of music and performance related disciplines.

With opportunities for networking and engagement, this three-day conference promises to be essential for anyone interested in the study of music and/or its performance.

Conference director and music Lecturer, Dr Kenneth Smith said: “I am overwhelmed and excited by the reaction to our call for proposals, which elicited the highest response of any such conference outside of London.

“Both established and early career researchers will be there, and they will be impressed by the university and the city.

“Diversity is what we do best at Liverpool, and that’s what we’re offering, but we’ve managed to offer coherent sessions and panels that draw strands together and kick-start new dialogues.”

Conference highlights include the RMA-sponsored Peter Le Huray lecture featuring Salzburg’s Andrea Lindmayr-Brandl and entitled Schubert the successful; as well as presentation of the RMA’s annual Edward Dent Award Medal to Mark Katz from North Carolina at Chapel Hill for his work The Power of Musical Diplomacy in a Divided World.

There will be sixteen themed panel sessions, a further 96 individual presentations and nine lecture-recitals on topics spanning 800 years and ranging over an astonishing number of corners of the globe.

The specialist panels will cover topics as diverse as Music in Detention, from former Institute of Popular Music PhD, Aine Mangaoang, and a panel from Edge Hill University on Eurovision will feature a guest appearance from Jon Ola Sand, Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest.

Members of staff and students (both PhD and MRes) will be presenting their research on topics ranging from The Evolving Role of the Soundtrack in Virtual Reality Gaming to the Business of Western Classical Music Connoisseurship in South Korea.

Professor Fiona Beveridge, the University’s Pro Vice Chancellor for the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, said “This is a tremendous opportunity to welcome visitors from across the world to Liverpool, a UNESCO City of Music, and to showcase the very best of music scholarship.”

A conference wine reception will be held on September 7 in the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, with live music from the ensemble, Klezmer-ish. The following evening delegates will be escorted on a walking tour of the city down to the Albert Dock for a special viewing of  TATE Liverpool’s summer collection, followed by a conference dinner. As well as twelve lecture recitals, a lunchtime concert will be hosted in the Leggate Theatre, featuring a new piece by University Head of Composition, Dr Ben Hackbarth entitled ‘Liquid Study No. 2’ for piano (Ian Buckle), and live electronics, to celebrate the department’s new research centre Interdisciplinary Centre for Composition and Technology (ICCAT).

Royal Musical Association (RMA) conference 2017 takes place at the University of Liverpool between September 7 – 9. To find out more, and book your place, please visit:


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