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Associate Professor of Music History, Western University, Canada

How does music reflect and adapt to changing political attitudes? How are those who write music shaped by their times? How might government policy impact music-making and composition, and music-makers shape policy in return? What leads politicians to turn to musicians to advance their agendas around the world, and what makes musicians decide to make their music overtly political? My research considers these questions by examining the relationship between music and politics across the Americas during the Cold War, assessing the effects of this ideological impasse on all different kinds of musicians, from amateur performers of folk music to classical composers.


I am a British-born musicologist who studies and teaches the history of 19th and 20th-century classical music at the University of Western Ontario in London, Canada. I received my PhD from Harvard University in 2010 following a Masters Degree at Oxford University and a BA in music from Durham University. I have won a number of awards for my scholarship, including the Petro-Canada Young Innovator Award, the Kurt Weill Prize, and ASCAP's Deems-Taylor/Virgil Thomson Award.

My research has been published in leading scholarly journals and presented at major conferences. My book The Sound of a Superpower: Musical Americanism and the Cold War is in production with Oxford University Press and will be published in Spring, 2018. It considers the ways in which the Cold War shaped the lives and musical works of American classical composers who were committed to creating a uniquely American tradition. I am currently beginning a new project, looking at the functions of music for Salvadorans during their country's Civil War in the 1980s.