Dr Raymond Holden

Raymond Holden

AcademicConductingResearch Programmes


The Sir John Barbirolli Reader in Music

Research Profile

My research interests include the role of the conductor in the 19th and 20th centuries, marked scores and recorded sound documents as historical evidence, Richard Strauss as composer-conductor and performance traditions as pedagogic tools. These interests are an extension of my work with Sir John Pritchard between 1978 and 1989, for whom I acted as associate conductor with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Philharmonia Orchestra and the Brussels Opera at the Proms, the Royal Festival Hall, the Salzburg Festival, the Edinburgh Festival and the City of London Festival, and my concerts as a conductor with the Philharmonia Orchestra, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the New Symphony Orchestra of London, the Wren Orchestra, the Danish Radio Orchestra and the Orchestra of the Emilia-Romagna.

In recent years, I have published extensively with the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, Music & Letters, Performance Practice Review, Richard Strauss-Blätter, Studien und Berichte, EMI records and ICA Classics. As music advisor to the editor of the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, I have contributed twenty-nine signed articles to the Dictionary and, for Cambridge University Press, I have written chapters for the firm’s Companion to Conducting and Companion to Richard Strauss. I have also published three major books during the last six years: The Virtuoso Conductors and Richard Strauss: A Musical Life, both for Yale University Press and Glorious John for The Barbirolli Society. I have appeared on BBC Radio, BBC Television, ABC Radio, Classic FM (South Africa), 3MBS FM (Melbourne), Vision Australia Radio, LBC, Danish Radio and Television and RAI Radio and Television.

I regularly lecture on my research interests at major universities, conservatoires and conferences around the world and, in recent years, have spoken at The Institute of Historical Research (University of London), The Institute for Advanced Musical Studies (King’s College, University of London), Goldsmiths’ College (University of London), The University of Sheffield, The University of Oxford, Monash University (Melbourne), The University of New South Wales, The Australian National University, the Sydney Conservatorium, the 16th Congress of the International Musicological Society, the Norwegian State Academy of Music, the Richard Strauss-Institut, the University of Stellenbosch, the Sibelius Academy, the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory (Singapore), the Austrian Cultural Forum (London) and King’s Place. 

In September 2013 he was given the title of Reader of the University of London.