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Academic Insights for the Thinking World

Oxford Music in 2012

Compiled by Anwen Greenaway


2012 has been an eventful year for the OUP music teams. We’re in reflective mood as the year draws to a close, so we thought we’d share our highlights of 2012.

January

OUP’s most popular classical music publication had a documentary dedicated to it on BBC TV — “The Lark Ascending: the nation’s favourite piece of classical music” discussed the history of the work, and also included a complete performance of the fantasia for solo violin and orchestra.

February

World premiere of McDowall’s musical tribute to Scott of the Antarctic’s ill-fated expedition, Seventy Degrees Below Zero. The new work for tenor and orchestra was performed alongside Vaughan Williams’s Sinfonia Antartica, in a concert which featured Downton Abbey’s Hugh Bonneville (which caused great excitement!).

March

OUP composer Richard Causton was appointed lecturer in Music Composition at Cambridge University, one of the world’s most prestigious music teaching jobs.

April

Launch party for Groove Music: The Art and Culture of the Hip-Hop DJ by Mark Katz at our New York office, complete with DJs, a turntable, and an appearance by legendary DJ GrandWizzard Theodore.

May

Wells Cathedral

OUP composer Michael Finnissy’s Sincerity — his choral anthem commissioned for The Choir Book for the Queen — was premiered in the lovely surroundings of Wells Cathedral. The Choir Book for the Queen is a collection of contemporary anthems compiled and commissioned to mark the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

June

Oxford Music launched on Twitter and gained 100 followers in the very first day. Follow us @OUPMusic.

The first public performance of Vaughan Williams’s Fantasia for Piano and Orchestra took place in the UK. Although the piece was composed in 1896 it had never been published until this year. It is the composer’s first known work for solo instrument.

Composer Will Todd wrote a new piece of choral music which was included in the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee service. Choristers from St Paul’s and a ‘Diamond Choir’ of young singers from around the UK performed The Call of Wisdom at St Paul’s Cathedral in London. We interviewed Will about it on our blog.

Anwen Greenaway (Promotion Manager) got married in Oxford, and was thrilled to receive a specially written Wedding Fanfare from composer Howard Skempton. He even turned up on the day to perform it with Anwen’s niece!

Howard Skempton and Anwen’s niece

Anna-Lise Santella (Editor of Grove Music/Oxford Music Online) won on the hit US quiz show “Jeopardy”! She won two days in a row on June 27th and 28th.

Anna-Lise on Jeopardy

July

The Southbank Centre in London was taken over by the New Music 20×12 team for a whole weekend in July. New Music 20×12 commissioned 20 twelve minute pieces of music from the UK’s leading composers to celebrate the talent and imagination of the UK’s musical community as part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad. OUP composers Howard Skempton and Richard Causton were both commissioned and their new pieces were included in the weekend celebration of the project.

Howard Skempton trying bell ringing at the Southbank Centre

The London Olympics were the highlight of 2012 for lots of the UK-based team. Lucy Allen (Print and Web Marketing Assistant) went to the fencing and Anwen Greenaway (Promotion Manager) went to the athletics. Seeing the world’s best athletes competing was mesmerising!

August

Chilcott’s The Angry Planet had its world premiere at the Royal Albert Hall in London as part of the 2012 BBC Proms concerts. The work was the largest piece commissioned for the proms this year and the concert was broadcast live on TV.

Richard Causton’s New Music 20×12 commission Twenty-Seven Heavens was performed in Amsterdam, Edinburgh, and Darmstadt by the European Youth Orchestra on their summer tour.

We were excited when Olympic swimmer and gold medalist Dana Vollmer linked to our blog post by Gerald Klickstein about how musicians and athletes can excel under pressure.

[blackbirdpie url="https://twitter.com/danavollmer/status/232907154674311168"]

Our very own OUP history editor and author Nancy Toff won the 2012 National Service Award from the National Flute Association.

September

American dream pop band Asobi Seksu retweeted our post about Colony Records closing. It was a pretty exciting moment for our music book marketer, who is a fan!

October

Animation insider Daniel Goldmark visited the OUP office in New York to talk about music in Pixar films (including how music makes the beginning of Up so darn sad).

Kathryn Marsh’s The Musical Playground won the American Folklore Society’s Opie Prize.

The ASCAP Awards were announced, and three OUP titles won:


November

Vaughan Williams’s opera The Pilgrim’s Progress was performed at English National Opera: a rare treat, as the opera has only been performed handful of times since its premiere in 1951. OUP staff were thrilled to attend some of the performances!

Oxford Handbooks Online in Music launched. Oxford Handbooks Online in Music brings together the world’s leading scholars to write review essays that evaluate the current thinking on a field or topic, and make an original argument about the future direction of the debate.

It was Awards season!

OUP music titles were successful at the American Musicological Society awards:


And the Society for Music Theory Awards:


And at the Society for Ethnomusicology Awards:


December

Gabriel Jackson was honoured with his third British Composer Award – winning in the Choral category for his piece for choir and pianola, Airplane Cantata.

The OUP Music twitter feed reached 1000 followers!

John Rutter wrote a beautiful new carol, All Bells in Paradise, for the King’s College, Cambridge CD Nine Lessons and Carols. It was included in the Christmas Eve service at King’s College, Cambridge, which is broadcast around the world.

As an end of year treat music journals have given free access to the most read articles from each journal (Early Music, Music and Letters, Music Quarterly, and Opera Quarterly) in 2012. Read them quick. They’re only free until the 31st December!

Anwen Greenaway is a Promotion Manager in Sheet Music at Oxford University Press. Read her previous blog posts.

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